Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Oh USO, how I love thee!

The USO is the only way to go for a military member traveling via air.  Ebony and I arrived here in Dallas earlier than expected, which worked out well, since we took the tram to damn near every terminal in the airport, thanks to misinformation.  Luckily, we finally arrived at the USO.  It's about the same size as Charlotte - smaller, but accommodating, and two floors!  We enjoyed a nice piece of pizza, Fritos, water, and a box of Samoas!  I forgot that they gave you a whole box, so I passed on the Thin Mints and Tagalongs that I also wanted. 

I read magazines all the way here, even though I'm sure I should've been sleeping.  We have a short flight to San Antonio, where the TIs meet us and pretend to be nice while we're in the airport.  Once we're on the hour-long bus ride, the politeness stops.

Ok, gotta run!  Not sure when I'll be able to update again! 

Just when you thought I was gone!

Battle buddy Ebony and I!
We reported this morning at 0700.  After getting to bed at 0015, the 0500 wake-up call was painful.  Totally my fault, I was running around at the last minute making sure everything was finalized for today.  We did paperwork for three hours, with lots of (surprise, surprise) waiting around.  We filled out our direct deposit papers, made sure everything was good with SGLI (life insurance), separation pay, housing allowance, etc.  We moved over to another building to do height/weight again and I came in at 167.2 pounds!  That's the lowest I've been in a long time, even with all of the eating this week!

We came home for a bit, ran some errands, and we leave late this afternoon.  Gotta run, I'll update when I can!

Monday, May 30, 2011

The Numbers

[Source]
12,400 calories burned while running at working out at the gym (since I got my Garmin).
2090 sit-ups (not including exhaustion tests or the sit-ups I did when I was working at the higher rate).
1696 pushups (not including at least three exhaustion tests).
120 days in the Delayed Entry Program (from enlistment until ship date).
71.25 miles ran.

All leading up to this day.  I'm 9.5 hours away from in-processing at Peterson AFB, from finding out my flight times, and from crossing into the blue!  That being said, I need to hurry up and get to bed!  I'll try to update tomorrow!

Music on Memorial Day

GAC posted this Top 20 list earlier today, of songs and videos honoring our troops.  Sespi and I pointed out a number of quality songs that slipped their minds, including Tim McGraw's "If You're Reading This," which is flabbergasting.  Two of my favorite military-inspired songs that they missed are Craig Morgan's "Paradise" and Kory Brunson Band's "We Know You're Out There."  Enjoy, and remember our fallen heroes as you meditate on the lyrics.


Hundred Pushups


I hesitate to post and brag about this accomplishment, because I didn't do them without pausing, and I wasn't even pausing in the appropriate/approved "downward dog" position.  I was about to go off to BMT without ever taking the final challenge for this program, and that didn't seem right.  I'm pretty goal-oriented when it comes to the big things (and not, for example, like reading books) - if I start something, I want to finish it.

During this challenge, I was start to peter out, start to walk away, and the get back to it.  I haven't been doing much this week, in terms of working out.  I ran Monday and Wednesday, did my usual off-day on Friday, and didn't do anything over the weekend.  In all fairness, I don't want to injure myself this late in the game, and I also wanted to spend my last few hours with family.  I'll be working out soon enough, that's for sure!

If you're looking for a workout challenge, definitely try this program.  I accomplished far more than I thought I'd be able to.  As a result, when I read about the top female PT score consisting of 48 pushups, I think to myself, "Eh, that's not that bad, I could do that!"

Off to enjoy my cranberry and orange scones on this last breakfast at home!

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Remember the Fallen


As a PGR member, I've been to more military funerals than I'd care to admit.  I've stood by at airports to honor fallen heroes as they return home on Kalitta airplanes, their family members seeing them for the first time.  I've consoled widows and paid them respects on behalf of the group.  Every experience has been different, and none less heart-wrenching.  At this point, I have yet to attend a military funeral for someone that I've known closely, and I can only hope that the day can be put off as long as possible.

The picture above was taken at a funeral back in California.  The fallen soldier was Vietnamese in descent, and according to cultural tradition, the family walked from the church to his resting place.  It was a sight to be seen, and a beautiful tribute to the young man.

Another memorable funeral I attended was for Marine LCpl San Sim.  His family came to the US as refugees from Cambodia.  As Buddhists, they believe in pacifism, yet Sim enlisted in the Marine Corps.  He was awarded his citizenship posthumously.

  
Always remember those who have made the ultimate sacrifice in order to preserve our freedoms and the American way of life - this weekend and every weekend.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Feeling, Fears, and Failure

[Source]
I get asked pretty frequently about how I'm feeling, with regards to my impending ship date.  Are you nervous?  Are you getting excited?  Are you ready to get yelled at?  My response is typically, "I'm anxious and I'm eager."  I'm not nervous and I'm not particularly worried.  Being an older enlistee, I've got so many things that I need to wrap up on this end.  I've got a house to prepare, a husband to prepare, etc.  I can imagine if I were younger, I'd have more time on my hands to worry about what I'm about to experience.  Let me interject and make a list...

Being an Older Enlistee
  • While I'm not fresh out of high school and full of youth, I'm in better shape now than I have been since the beginning of college.  I've never been a runner and I am now!  :)
  • Being 30, I've been through the "finding myself" and growing up phases.  I know who I am and I'm confident in myself as a person.  I won't second guess myself when I'm being yelled at by TIs trying to break me down.
  • I am established in my career and I'm truly doing the Air Force out of the desire to serve my country.  I'm not one of those who's looking at the military as "my only option," which is a ridiculous attitude anyway since enlistment is a rigorous process.
  • Through my advanced education and experience, I've gained leadership skills and abilities.  Leading groups of challenging, unmotivated individuals won't be anything new to me.
  • Being older also means I need to arrange for more than just a room at my parent's house, a cell phone bill, and an hourly position.  Walking away from my life means more than just a goodbye.  I've had to prepare my husband and my co-workers, that way my absense doesn't negatively affect my home life or my classroom more than necessary.
  • As a military spouse first, I've already been away from my family and my husband for extended periods of time.  I'm so far removed from the experience of homesick, younger trainees.
  • I'm used to working hard, academically and on the job.

"Are you scared?" is another question that gets asked of my fellow trainees fairly often, or I hear them admit to being scared.  I'm not scared of anything they might say to me, do to me, or have me do.  My biggest fear/concern is failure (which isn't surprising).  I've seen too many people, even folks that seemed competent/physically fit, have issues come up which forced them to be discharged and sent home.  If this happened to me, I'd be devastated.  Devastated.  No amount of "It wasn't meant to be" or "At least you tried" would be able to console me.  I've worked too hard for too long to come up short now.  Everyone has their reasons for being discharged, and maybe it was "for the best" for some of these folks, but I know that I won't take it well.  You're highly unlikely to see me post that news right away, if it should happen.  The last thing I'd want to do is tell people about it, because I'd be so ashamed of myself, whether it was out of my control or not.  I'm not trying to put anyone down, because anyone who's taken the enlistment oath in my mind has made a selfless decision that many are unwilling to make.

Wish me luck!  I hope all of the positives I have going in my favor will carry me through!     

What I'll be thinking, come Tuesday...

[Source]

Yes, it was a short summer, Mrs. C.  I have two days "off" before I leave for BMT (Sunday and Monday), and even then, I know I'll be finalizing things around the house.

DH's daughter is graduating high school soon, and if everything goes in our favor (and her desire), she'll be coming to live with us.  She already has a furnished room at our place, so I've been working on making it "move-in ready" this week.  We've cleaned her room, cleared out the closet (and managed to put all of that junk in the guest bedroom closet), and I cleaned out her bathroom last night (in 25 minutes!).  Kind of crazy to think that I'm going to come home from BMT and have a daughter living under my roof, but I'm excited about having her.

I still need to finalize all of the financial issues and pack my three days of clothes.  Oh, and memorize the AF song and the Airman's Creed.  Nope, haven't been doing any of that!

I am an American Airman.
I am a Warrior.
I have answered my nation's call.

I am an American Airman.
My mission is to fly, fight, and win.
I am faithful to a proud heritage,
a tradition of honor,
and a legacy of valor.

I am an American Airman,
Guardian of freedom and justice,
My nation's sword and shield,
Its sentry and avenger.
I defend my country with my life.

I am an American Airman:
Wingman, Leader, Warrior.
I will never leave an Airman behind.
I will never falter,

and I will not fail.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

FINAL Things Students Say Thursday #14



Last TSST of this school year!  What sort of nonsense has been going on in your classroom as you wrap things up?

If you're a teacher, or if you know a teacher, you know we have some downright crazy stories about what comes out of the mouths of babes!  Therefore, I bring you:

Things Students Say Thursday

This meme is not only for teachers - if you're an educator (teacher, aide, paraeducator, volunteer, substitute) in a Pre-K through 12 setting, feel free to jump in.  A wee bit of fun for all of us, and to get us ready for that feel-good Friday!

No rules about this one, just post a funny/interesting/shocking story about something a student has said this week.  I don't need to remind you all about the ethics of teaching - please don't use real names or pictures with faces, and please use people-first language.

What about your friends?



What about my friends?  Well, they're fabulous, as if you could expect anything less from me!  Most of my close knit friends you've already been reading about for months now.  I am blessed and pride myself on having reliable, dependable, thick-and-thin chums, and I hope that I am the same kind of friend for them.

I've had a few people ask me if I was going to have guest posters while I was gone, or if I'm going to be able to update while I'm away.  While I don't have plans to gather up guest posters, I wanted to have someone update the blog, just to keep everyone informed.  I appreciate that you are interested in hearing about how I'm doing and what I'm up to!

Realistically, DH won't be posting in my absence.  He doesn't have a lot of patience with the computer and he barely updates his personal Facebook page.  I'm already saddling him with a significant amount of responsibilities while I'm gone, so to ask him to contribute to the blog would probably be met with a laugh.  Plus, he's one of those guys that leaves out the fun details that we all want to read/hear about!

[Re-]Introducing...

Trinnie!  My BFF of 10+ years now, we met when I was in my first two years of college, living in the dorms.  We met like so many soul mates do these days - online.  She was unmarried and attending college in New Mexico when I met her.  Oh how times change!  We've only grown stronger in our friendship over the years, and she's truly someone I trust and love without hesitation.  We finally live within a stone's throw of each other and she's extended family.  We talk daily, without fail.  Trinnie is a proud supporter of our military as a member of the USAA team.  She's currently juggling college courses, a live-in MIL, a husband who's back in school himself, a four y/o son, and gestational diabetes with her 2nd child, a boy due no later than July 25th.  She's my partner-in-crime and is ready to step in to help DH with anything that needs handling while I'm gone.  Yes, she has Power of Attorney for me, because I trust her that much.  That's the sort of level we're working at!

Haywee!  Well, that's what her mother's dog, her four-legged brother calls her.  Her name's Haley, as you probably assumed, but if Barkwee [Barkley] calls her Haywee, so will we!  Haywee's mother has a Facebook page for her dog, who interacts with us on a regular basis.  It's actually cute and pretty amusing.  Haywee is 1.5 days away from finishing her first year of teaching!  She went to CU Boulder and UCD, culminating in an MA in SpEd!  Haywee is getting engaged any day now to her boyfriend, who's a DA in a local county.  She's a ball of energy and anxiety, all wrapped up in a gluten and dairy-free package!  Haywee is my work BFF and we keep each other sane.  She's agreed to jump on board the blog team, especially as Trinnie gets closer to her due date.  Yay Haywee! 

Wordless Wednesday

[Source]

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Two hundred sit-ups? Done!


Guess who's a beast?!  Well, I can't give myself too much credit, because I did pause in the upright, authorized "resting position," versus doing them without pausing, but I did do two hundred!  I really recommend this program to anyone who's looking to either improve their sit-ups, or work on their abs/core strength.  I've seen results in my waistline and definition in my abs.  I feel confident going into BMT with this training under my belt, and I hope it pays off at PFT time!

Monday, May 23, 2011

Miscellany Monday

Miscellany Monday @ lowercase letters

‎"Never interrupt someone doing what you said couldn't be done." - Amelia Earhart

1.  Man, what a Monday!  The first Monday I've looked forward to in a long time, and it was a day.  I was looking forward to today because it was the start of the last week of school.  This is IT!  I'm almost done with my 5th year of teaching, I was set to finish my lesson plans, etc.  I started off the day by missing my bowl of cereal, having to leave my iPod behind because it wasn't done syncing, forgetting my school keys, and realizing I had forgotten to put on deodorant.  Mhmm, that kind of day!  Luckily everything turned out ok in the long run, but it was definitely a tough start.

2.  Remember when I did DH's favorite meals for his birthday week?  Well, this is my week!  This is the week of my favorite "Last Suppers" with the pièce de résistance being The Melting Pot on Thursday, double dating with Trinnie.  Can't wait to get my grub on with some fondue and good friends!

3.  I was so focused on the fact that Saturday marked 10 days left until BMT, that someone else pointed out that on Sunday we hit single digits!  As the countdown gets smaller, I'm definitely getting more excited.  I've been verbally recognizing all of my "lasts" - last workout at the gym, last trip to the commissary, last time I take the trash out, etc.  I've really been focusing on those positives, knowing that I won't have to do them (these chores) again until September.

4.  Most of you know what a big makeup hoor I am.  Heading to BMT, it was nice to know that I wouldn't have to worry about dealing with any of it until late July, when I'd be allowed to buy some for graduation.  Wrong!  I found out from my recruiter that we were allowed to bring some, for our formal pictures and graduation, and that it would just stay locked up in our bags.  You'd think that'd excite a girl like me, but it just stressed me out more.  I'm all or nothing.  I can't just take an eyeshadow duo, mascara, and lipstick.  I did manage to simplify last night, and picked out the bare, neutral essentials that would work all summer.  [For you fellow mu fiends: Kevyn Aucoin E/S #1,  CARGO Blu-Ray Blush, and MAC Brave New Bronze l/s, amongst other stuff.]  Lest you think prissy of me, I promise, this has not been a high priority around here, and Trinnie can vouch for that.  I'm more excited about new running gear than I am about new makeup releases.

5.  I have a case of runner's envy.  I spotted a co-worker at Saturday's race, someone who I didn't know was a runner.  She was kicking my ass too, and looked like she was doing it effortlessly.  Her final time was about 6ish minutes ahead of me, but she managed to finish 105th to my 175th, and snagged 5th in her age bracket.  5th!  Next year, dammit, I will do better!  At least, better than my own time/performance this year.  I asked her how often she ran, and she said she doesn't.  Guess I'm just going to have to work a little harder, since I don't consider myself a natural talent.  I've been stalking the official BMT page on FB, and keep tabs on the PFT totals of the top female trainees.  I really do think I have a good shot at performing well.  The most recent top female did her 1.5 mile run in 10m40s, 54 sit-ups, and 48 pushups.  If I can speed up my running pace, I think I can manage similar statistics.         

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Counting on Fingers + MFF #41

[Source]
Yes, I'm officially counting on fingers as of today!  Ten days until BMT!  As for rapture, I don't know about you folks, but it's just not fitting into my schedule.  Imma be pissed if the world ends today, I'm not an airman yet.  As ridiculous as this whole concept is, the related tweets are pretty hilarious.

The rapture also marks Trinnie's husband's birthday, so I'm heading over there in a couple of hours to enjoy some fajitas, peach pie, and margarita cake!

I'm checking things off my to-do list left and right, and I feel like I'm making good progress.  I'm pretty much done with lesson planning for two out of three classes.  It's actually what I'm supposed to be doing right now, but here I sit.  I've been zoning out since I got home from my race and woke up from my nap.

How cool is the event shirt?!
As for the Run to the Shrine?  Well, let's just say it was a run/walk to the Shrine.  I'm my biggest critic and I'm not a fan of personal failure, so forgive me as I justify walking.  I did about 0.7 miles before I decided to walk (along with tons of other people).  Trinnie isn't lying when she says this run is no joke.  It's uphill the entire way, with no plateaus to catch your breath or regain strength.  I decided rather than kill myself 10 days before BMT, I better just walk it.  Once I hit the turnaround, I did run all the way back down, which helped even out my pace to something somewhat respectable.  I finished in 43:41, with an average pace of 13:31 min/mi.  The starting elevation was 6726 feet and peaked at 7714 feet, for an ascent of 1220 feet.  If nothing else, I burned 488 calories this morning and I ran over half of it!  I hung out at the zoo for a little bit afterward, before I went home for a nap.  I had only gotten six hours of sleep the night before, since I was out with Trinnie and hubby at a show.  All in all, it was a beautiful day and the scenery was to die for.  The route allows you to look out over the entire Springs area, not to mention I ran past an elephant.  How often does that happen?!


I missed the MilSpouse Fill-In Friday yesterday, because I was busy wrapping up an insane week (literally and figuratively) at school, napping, and heading to the Crystola, a local roadhouse/biker bar up in the mountains.  That being said, let's do this!


1.  What is one of the things you always do special when your husband returns from a deployment?  submitted by Keep Calm and Soldier On  Deep clean the house - that never happens otherwise.  Hang all of the banners, decorate, buy a new outfit specifically for the occasion.  It's pretty much all about him - where and what he wants to eat, what he wants to do, etc.  We have no pressure to do anything with family, so I just take everything minute by minute.

2.  What do you do to help your spouse and/or yourself re-adjust after a deployment or long separation?  submitted by Diapers, Dogs and Deployments  Same thing as most everyone else - try not to pressure him, try to cater to his needs initially, etc.  Readjustment was difficult for us this last time, although I can't remember specific issues.  I thought it was harder than the actual deployment.

3.  Are you a crazy coupon clipper (I’m becoming one, so share your secrets with me)?  submitted by Married My Airman  I'm not crazy, but I've cut coupons for years now.  My mom cut coupons when I was a kid, so it's natural for me.  I don't stock up on items I don't/won't use, so I only cut coupons for products I actually buy or that I may be interested in trying.  A lot of these TV shows are unrealistic, in my mind, and they get people thinking that anyone can do it.  The most I've ever saved is 25%, but that's still worth it to me.  I've gotten a number of items at the commissary for less than a dollar, and a few items totally free, thanks to coupons.

4.  What’s your most treasured memory of you and your spouse (not counting your wedding – that’s a given)?  submitted by Scrubs, ACUs and One Crazy Ride  Probably our first vacation to Yosemite.  It was a mere two months after we'd first gotten together, so we were madly in love.  The scenery was beautiful and I would love to go back there with him.

5.  If you could live anywhere overseas, what would you pick and why?  submitted by Little Moments Like This  If I'm consider the two of us, I'd probably say retirement in Mexico.  DH hasn't been able to get back there on my family trip in years, and we both love it down there.  They have really odd property ownership rules for foreigners, but I could see DH and I spending long days on chaise lounges, enjoying the sun and the amazing food.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Things Students Say Thursday #13


Seems like I talk about my favorite student every week...and here I go again!

The students were working independently in 7th period today, preparing for their final next week.  My favorite student asks me, "What are you doing Saturday?"  "I'm running in a race."  "You're running in a race?"  "Yes."  "Oh...good for you."  He said it so matter-of-factly, you just had to be there!  It was too cute, and it was a phrase I've never heard him use before.

The reason for asking about my Saturday?  Well, someone has my kids going, thinking that the world is supposed to end.  Thanks, radical Christians, thanks.  My favorite student kept asking me if the world was going to end.  Um, no, I don't think the world is going to end.  Never mind the fact that if you're not Christian, there's no significance to Saturday.  He asked, "What do I do if I hear the horn?"  "Um, what horn?"  [Student puts clenched hand to mouth and makes horn noise.]  I pick up on the fact that he's referring to warning sirens and tell him, "If you hear the horns, look at your parents and ask, 'What do we do?'"  I think he was satisfied with that answer, poor kid!  I was honestly thinking to myself, the world better not end on Saturday because I haven't gotten to go to BMT yet! 

Thursday 5


Let's do this!  The words for the week are:

Irresistible
Positive
Successful
Vibrant
Glorious

1.  New music purchases on iTunes are my guilty pleasure!  They're the instant, put-me-in-a-good-move purchase!  There's nothing like an irresistible little ditty, typically an old school jam, a sexy R&B number, and usually tagged "EXPLICIT."  Hey, what can I say?  I'm finally getting to indulge tonight (more on that later), and my $10 budget meant the following songs:
  • P!nk - Raise Your Glass; This song has a fabulous beat for running and a great message for when you need to feel like a champ!
  • Cee-Lo Green - F**k You; I love this song!  I'm so drinking the Kool-Aid on this one!  Another, "How you like me now?!" song.
  • Blackstreet ft. Dr. Dre - No Diggity; Trinnie would agree, this is the jam.  The doctor is in, indeed!
  • Justin Timberlake - Rock Your Body; You know how I feel about sex jams...
  • Whispers - Rock Steady; Old school, baby, old school!
  • Rod Stewart - Forever Young; My dad used to sing this song, and I was tearing up looking at Father's Day cards tonight.
  • Ray J - Sexy Can I; Awh yeah, doesn't this make you want to get naked?!  Or at least bump and grind?
  • Missy Elliot - Work It; iTunes was doing 69 cent songs again, and this was one of them - bring it!
  • T.I. - Bring Em Out; Another great motivational song!
2.  Things are really starting to look up at work, and I've been in a much more positive attitude today!  My lesson plans are done, my study guide and final is written, and I'm almost completely done with my IEP progress reports!  I've located some materials for my Math 11/12 class for next year, and I'm almost done lesson planning for one of my classes.  My workload is looking more manageable, that's for sure.

3.  I'm so proud of my teacher's aides!  Tomorrow is their last day of high school!  Thank God for Haywee - she reminded me that I should get them a little something, as a token of gratitude and congratulations on how successful they've been.  I picked them up a card and a $10 iTunes gift card.  A 3 gift cards = 2 for them + 1 for me.  Everyone wins!  I remembered that I needed to snag my dad a Father's Day card before I left for BMT.  Trinnie the Super BFF is going to mail out his Father's Day and birthday cards.  I was completely tearing up in the store, and I found a card that is perfect, given that I'll be at BMT.  It reads:

Because her father listened to her, she knew she had something to say.
Because he believed in her, she believed in herself.
Because he said she could do anything, she did.
Dad, so much good stuff in my life started with you.  Thank you. 

4.  When I hear the word "vibrant," I think "gay community."  That's my word association for vibrant.  Completely random, but true.  In other acts of vibrancy, when the sky cleared today there was a patch of white clothes against a blue background that were pretty breathtaking.  Colorado is absolutely gorgeous.

5.  It's going to be a glorious day when I'm sweating in that Texas sun, overdressed in a blue suit, single ribbon on my chest, standing tall and proud.  I can only begin to imagine how I'll feel on that day.  All I have to do is get there!           

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Things Students Say Thursday #13



Second to last TSST of the year!  I'm going to cut it off after next week, which is my last week at school before the start of summer.  I know participation has been waning, and even I've been busy.  Jump on in with the final stories of the year!

If you're a teacher, or if you know a teacher, you know we have some downright crazy stories about what comes out of the mouths of babes!  Therefore, I bring you:

Things Students Say Thursday

This meme is not only for teachers - if you're an educator (teacher, aide, paraeducator, volunteer, substitute) in a Pre-K through 12 setting, feel free to jump in.  A wee bit of fun for all of us, and to get us ready for that feel-good Friday!

No rules about this one, just post a funny/interesting/shocking story about something a student has said this week.  I don't need to remind you all about the ethics of teaching - please don't use real names or pictures with faces, and please use people-first language.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Check-Offs and Countdowns

[Source]
We're running out of time, friends.  I have fourteen days left and I'm running out of time.  I got my orders on Sunday, and while it was anticlimactic, it did set things spinning.  I wouldn't say I've reached chicken status, but things are definitely getting overwhelming.
  • Positives first!  I sent my orders off to one of our banks and a creditor (for SCRA purposes) and got really helpful folks.  That was probably the easiest experience I've had so far, and unfortunately it was an isolated incident.  I wish some of our other accounts had me as the primary account holder, but alas, no.
  • I managed to finish preparing my lesson plans for the rest of the year, prepare my final exam, and a study guide for the kids.  One less thing to worry about!  I'm just going through the motions from here on out.
  • I'm halfway done with my IEP progress reports for the students, which need to be prepared to send to parents by next Friday.  It's time consuming, and probably one of those pieces of paper that most people toss aside anyway.  I'm not too worried about finishing these, but it's still going to take some time.
  • I've had to pick up some slack around the office, which has resulted in another meeting on Thursday...a meeting that I haven't been given a lot of information about, for a kid that I don't really know that well, and that requires me to prepare three documents that I'm not familiar with.  You can imagine how thrilled I am about this one.  
  • I could write a book on how ludicrous DEERS and Tricare are, in terms of how they handle dual military families.  In order to pay the most economical premium as parents are activated or put on reserve status, you have to keep enrolling and disenrolling the kids, switching between parents.  We're trying to disenroll DH's daughter and put her on my account (since I'll be activated), but they're telling us we can't do so just yet - not until the 31st, the day I leave.  Wonderful.  Since I'm going to be readily available on that day to handle business.
  • I'm running out of room in my carry-on duffle bag for BMT.  I had to pick up a few more things yesterday, and finding out that I can bring more things isn't helping (like makeup).  My bag is going to be stuffed by the time I'm done, especially since I have to pack three days of street clothes.  My bag is just a small duffle, before you start thinking I'm getting crazy over here.  Guess I'll be wearing my running shoes down there.
  • I need to pack a bag for DH and/or FIL to bring down to graduation, of stuff I want during tech school.  This is a last minute to-do.
  • I need to get some items we have stashed in DD's room out, since she'll be moving out here while I'm gone.
  • I need to finish DH's PowerPoint on our finances, and update a few things.  I need to update his bill calendar as well.
  • I need to lesson plan for the first 30ish days of school that I'll be missing when I'm gone - for four classes.  This is the most daunting task I have before I leave for BMT, and a pile of books are sitting next to me, waiting to be cracked.
  • I need to finish packing up my classroom and office.  I've gotten a lot done already, I just need to finalize everything on the last day and bring it all home for storage.
Can you feel me on everything?  When I think of everything that needs to be accomplished, I wish I was one of these 18 or 19 year-old recruits, without a care or an obligation in the world.  Living at home, only a car payment (maybe) and a cell phone bill, etc.  Ultimately, I wouldn't change a thing.  I'm glad I'm a 30 year-old recruit.  I have education, life experience, confidence, and leadership skills that will make my experience that much smoother (or at least I hope).  I may not have youth, but I'm in better shape now than I have been since my first year in college.   

[Source]
In other news, I finished the Two Hundred Sit-Ups program!  I just have to take the final assessment and I'm golden.  I did 257 sit-ups tonight, but I still have to do my boat-load of pushups before bedtime.  I'm going to be glad when the programs are over, I must say, although I know it's not the end of my pushups and sit-ups - not for a while!  

I was thinking of doing The Incline again this weekend, as my last big hurrah, but plans changed!  Out There Colorado is a division of our local paper, one that covers all outdoor sports and activities in the local area.  They were giving away entry fees into the Run to the Shrine 5K/10K this Saturday, a race that someone had asked me about last weekend.  Long story short, I won!  I'm opting for the 5K, since the race is all uphill, to a shrine built to honor Will Rogers in 1937.  It's located at the zoo, so after you finish the race, you get to bomb around the zoo all day - pretty cool!

So, that's what's going on around these parts, and you can understand if I'm hit or miss these days.  I'm trying to keep up with my blog reading, but even that's difficult.  Hope all is well with everyone!       

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Armed Forces Community Run 10K

17 days until BMT!
Today I completed my 2nd 10K and my 3rd race overall!  The inaugural Armed Forces Community Run, held at Peterson AFB, was a 5K/10K for military members and civilians alike, and was run simultaneously at Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan, Al Udeid Air Base in Qatar, and Thumrait Air Base in Oman.  After seeing advertisements for it at the PAFB PFC [read: "gym"], I knew as a future airman I had to participate.

FIL was supposed to cheer me on, but he ended up not feeling well at the last minute.  I woke up early, put on all of my gear that I'd laid out the night before, and set out for the base.  I was there really early, so I followed the lead of others and stayed in my car wrapped up in a blanket - it was 37°!  I was in my shorts, short-sleeved shirt, and arm warmers, with just a fleece jacket.  I was debating whether or not to ditch my fleece, and I did in favor of my gloves.

There was a good turnout, and a diverse crowd.  There were some very obvious competitive runners, a few folks with dogs, a couple of jogging strollers, and the rest of us.  The event was well organized and the volunteers were positioned along the route so you didn't deviate.  The base is pretty flat, so hills weren't a concern this time, which was nice.  There was only an itty bitty hill near the golf course, but I still caught people walking along the route.


©Bob Kane, Design Photography

©Bob Kane, Design Photography
I ran right by my recruiter's office, but no one was outside to watch me go by.  Oh well, I'll be there tomorrow for my last DEP meeting!  I felt pretty strong throughout the entire run, and I checked my Garmin constantly to keep myself motivated.  I never even thought walking, and made pretty good times.  My first mile clocked at 8:30!  I slowed my pacing after that, but I kept it consistent (aside from that mile with the hill).
    

As I closed in on the finish line, I hammed it up for the camera, showing off my "BMT Bound in 17 Days!" bib decoration.  A friend on FB said it looked like I was wearing elbow-length gloves in these photos.  :)  Overall, I finished in 57:55 with an average pace of 9:40.  I met my current reigning goals for a 10K - keep it under an hour, with a sub-10 pace.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Playing catch-up!

Thanks to Blogger, I missed most of the Thursday memes and I felt like crap today, so I'm just now sitting down to write.  My big 10K is tomorrow morning, so I'm hitting the sack soon on top of it.  Let's do this, the quick and dirty way!



1.  I'm in the process of packing up my classroom.  My favorite student, who has Autism, says, "Mrs. C, it's a mess in here," very point blank.  Um, thanks buddy, I'm working on that!

2.  The same student, who fixates on hair [most children with Autism have a "thing" that they're obsessed with], was talking to me about next school year.  I told him that I was going to be his teacher, only to get the question, "And wear your hair down?"  Um, yes, maybe every now and then.  I'm very low-maintenance when it comes to work.  This same student is supposed to run the 10K with me tomorrow.  I asked him if we could take a picture again together, and he said, "And one with just you?  With your hair down?"  Yeah, probably not if I'm running six miles!  Love this kid!



1.  Which was the best day of your life - Wedding day or Homecoming day?  submitted by Pink Champagne, Gatorade & MREs  I love my husband, but I really want to say neither, like my girl Wookie, but for different reasons.  Both of those days were memorable, and I wouldn't change them for a minute, but they weren't end-all-be-all, perfect, best days ever.  If the wedding day was perfect, DH would've been wearing something else (he was sweating his balls off in Class As in the Missouri heat) and we would've escaped to a private room and actually gotten to spend the night together and then leave on a honeymoon, which we didn't.  Homecoming was picture-perfect, but I'm not ready to call it the best day ever.  Wookie has it right - we're too young to limit ourselves by selecting a "best day of your life."  I hope there's greatness to come!

2.  Were you a part of the joining the military question or did you sign up for the relationship when your man was already in the military?  submitted by Cammo Style Love  Yes and no!  DH was a prior service Marine when I met him, but had been out for a couple of years.  He kicked around the idea of re-enlisting when we were dating, and I supported him 100%, just like he supports my enlistment.  We actually didn't discuss a whole lot, because he doesn't have to argue his point with me.  We've always supported each other's dreams, as cheesy as it sounds.

3.  What is your favorite Disney movie and why? submitted by Raising Roscoe  My favorite as a child was always Sleeping Beauty.  My mom made me Aurora's dress for Halloween, but in pink rather than in blue!  :)  I loved the imagery in that movie, and Flora, Fauna, and Meriweather!  I don't consider myself a princess-y type though, not by far.

4.  What is your favorite family activity to do on the weekends?  submitted by Destination: RN!  DH and I haven't had a lot of expendable cash for a while now, so our favorite low-buck activities have been going for rides on our [motorcycle] bikes and snuggling on the couch, watching movies.

5.  Where do you secretly wish you could be stationed with you/your SO’s line of work (realistically speaking, not everyone can be stationed on NAS Fiji)?  submitted by Wookie & Co.  His job can be done anywhere.  I was always wishing for Carson, but I would love to be stationed OCONUS in a foreign country.  Korea's at the top of my list, since I missed out when DH was there back in 2008-2009.