Monday, July 30, 2012

Running Scared

I started back to the gym yesterday after being pretty lax with my workouts over the past two weeks. I did hit the fitness center twice while in Hawaii as well as we snorkled almost everyday. But I have not been doing my hard workouts much this month. Now I find myself feeling a little unprepared as Saturday's Run for Your Lives race approaches. Another 5K Obstacle Run that I have been looking forward to running. Three of my OCR ladies & one friend have signed up to volunteer as stumbling Zombies then race afterwards. We get to keep our cool makeup on they do for us during our race. So I am thinking I'll wear my Wonder Woman outfit & become the zombie version for our race heat. It should be great fun! I'm sure it won't be my best PR but it's really about the fun. Today I am off to the park to try to get in a good workout so maybe I won't feel like I'm dying on Saturday. Look for some fun pictures this weekend .

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Walking, Walking, Walking






Just a reminder that Jeremy , Banyan, & his family will be walking 2 miles on Sunday September 23, 2012 for Chelsea's Walk for SUDEP Awareness.
Jeremy set a goal to raise $800 and so far we are at $180.00 thanks to family & friends. If you could help me spread the word anyone can donate as little as $5.00 helps a child living with seizures get a grant for a Service Dog or an EMFIT monitor that alerts to seizures while sleeping. Please go to our Team Page or our personal page to make a donation. Then copy the link & SHARE with your friends. No parent should have to live in fear each night that their child might not wake up yet so many of us do daily. This is just a small way we can help spread the word about Sudden Unexplained Death in Epilepsy as well as get money raised for a great cause.  The Chelsea Hutchison Foundation is a Non-Profit so if your looking for a charity here is a good one & Tax deductible to make a donation. Please remember that our highest donation winner will receive a FREE Banyan t-shirt as well as his dog tags! Go ahead click on our link & Join our Team today- Thanks!

You have two choices to either donate to Jeremy individually or to our Team- either way it all counts!

Jeremy & Banyan's Journey Donation Page

Jeremy & Banyan's TEAM Donation Page

Friday, July 27, 2012

A Little of This & That

I dropped my mom off to head back to Tennessee this morning. It was a very short visit with her for me but great for my boys! I hope that she can come out again sooner rather then later. Most times we only see them twice a year if we are lucky. My dad is still here & off fishing with Paul for the weekend. They took two of the boys so my house seems super quite. It's nice since I managed to get an ear infection on our return from vacation. Silly allergies then flying just messed my left ear up. Thankfully I got right into my doctor & hope to be able to hear again soon. I am also enjoying some much need stay at home & lounge time. I am super tired from all the activities even though I enjoyed everything.


 Now to address the following:
We had someone ask me how we where able to afford a trip to Hawaii when we fund-raise for Banyan constantly? Even though it's not really anyone's business I did realize others may wonder as well. Here are my thoughts on the subject.

1. This is the first vacation in 16 years Paul & I have taken together alone w/out children out of state. So I am pretty sure after four consecutive deployments we earned a vacation.


2. Tax Money- we used cash to pay for everything.


3. Hale Koa R&R/ Block Leave discount. When your soldier is on either from OIF or OEF you get 30% off your stay- HUGE MONEY SAVER!


4. My amazing parents paid for 1 of the plane tickets as Paul's Welcome Home / 40th Birthday/ Happy Father's Day gift. They had no idea what to get him while he was deployed so I had them save all the cash & chip in for our trip.


It may seem we where unwise to spend money on a vacation, but trust me we did not splurge- we where extremely frugal. We had fun & enjoyed every moment , I'll never regret going. Paul & I needed that time to reconnect as a husband & wife. It's hard to get quiet time with 4 boys in the house. I hope anyone else who thinks we are unfair in fundraising while going on one trip takes time to read all my posts about our Army Life- then readjusts their thinking to realize one vacation is not breaking the bank or taking advantage of others wonderful generosity helping with Banyan.

Now I am going to sit back relax & read some more of my books I have been waiting to read. I managed to get through 3 while on vacation & I have 9 more in this series to go. Have a great weekend everyone. 

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

ALOHA

We went to Oahu , HI for our first ever in sixteen years kid free vacation! It was magical from the time we stepped off the plane into the tropical breeze. Paul & I couldn't get enough of the beautiful flowers, clear blue waters, & beaches. We snorkeled, we drank yummy tropical drinks,we shopped , Paul fished, & we swam with a real Sea Turtle! It was an amazing vacation that was long over due for just us two. So many times as a military wife you push aside alone time for fear of not letting the children have their time with dad. Fear that if you go away by yourself your being selfish because you have no idea when or if he will get leave again anytime soon. Not this time, this time I was not feeling guilty one bit. Did we discuss the boys, yes. Did we miss them yes. But did we want the with us - NO! We did decide to take some tax money come February & catch a MAC fight back to the Islands with the four boys so they too could experience the wonders of Hawaii. But I would not change one moment of this time with my husband.
 Here a few pictures, but honestly we just snorkeled a lot, cuddled, & acted like we had just got married- it was AWESOME!




The beach in front of the Hale Koa where we stayed


FIrst day on the beach- I was singing " I got my toes in the water Arse in the sand" hehe





Can you tell I was excited to be sitting in sand in 85 degree sunshine!



  My handsome husband




Hanauma Bay a Sealife Reef that is protected. We snorkeled & it was amazing!


Paul fishing on a Flat's Boat- was a really fun day! We saw so many Sea Turtles & beautiful views. Our guide was hilarious & kept us laughing all day.




Lau night was a lot of fun!



We snuck over to the West side of the island on one day for some snorkeling we heard was amazing! It was at the Lagoon at the Disney Resort. What a great quiet beach & Paul found me a Sea Turtle! We where able to swim right with him for about ten minutes! I was thrilled! Paul was so great following him around when I couldn't see him good to make sure I kept right with him. I love Sea turtles they are one of my favorite animals.

This was one of my favorite spots in the hotel. It had beautiful flowers that these pictures don't begin to do justice.
I couldn't have asked for a better getaway with Paul. I am so lucky that the grandparents came to babysit so we could escape. It was nice to have the time to reconnect & enjoy some much needed down time. Now we are home & I am jet lagged. But it was so worth it & I would do it again next week if we could. I can;t say enough about how nice the Hale Koa was. If your husband is returning from a deployment go check them out for a getaway. There is plenty to keep you entertained on site & they offer a generous 30 off as a Thank You to our returning soldier's. There is a lot of family activities if you choose to take your kids as well. But I highly recommend taking some time away with your guy if you can. It was nice to be reminded hy I fell in love with this man & have stayed married to him for the past sixteen years. It is memories I can hold on to should the Army decide to send him away again anytime soon. They are special moments I'll never forget.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

22 Years of Army

Today marks my soldier / husband's 22 years of serving in the Army. He is not one to make a big deal out of it, but I am super proud of him. He has worked so hard over his career before & after we got together. He has achieved a list of awards that most Infantry Men never receive- I am one proud Army Wife. I wish my scanner was working because thanks to his mom I have photos of everything going all the way back to his Basic Training days. But lucky for him it's not hooked up & functioning. I will have to just post some random pictures of highlights of my man's amazing career. 

Way to go honey- way to always put your families needs first when I know you really wanted to retire already.  You've missed birthdays, anniversaries, holidays, first days of school, first driving permits but you did it all for us & we LOVE you very much! Whatever path the Army leads us down next I know you will make us all proud until the time comes for you to pack away your combat boots. Until then we will be here beaming with pride over our awesome husband, dad, son, brother, & soldier.


Private Huston's first time home after Basic.


Jamie who was suppose to go with Paul but got a no-go due to medical.


Corporal Huston- this is the guy I met & fell in love with on July 24,1994


I married that Corporal on January 6, 1996
 


SSG Huston on his first deployment to Iraq 2003 / 04
 
 
Promotion to SFC Huston 2007



 2 Bronze Stars he has received - this was in Iraq 2008

SFC Huston seeing his boys for the first time in 13 months 2007 / 08


 Promotion to 1SG in 2009


 Bronze Star number 3 in 2010 


Auctioned off his hair for a good cause as 1SG- was one of my favorite days

 
 Sat in the dunk tank for the FRG.....



Made sure to attend buddies promotion ceremonies when he was home


 Makes me look good ALL the time!!

I love my man & I'm sure he is embarrassed over all the fuss. But he has earned it with his hard work & dedication. There are so many more moments that I can't possibly post them all. But if you've know Paul or worked with him at some point in his career I'm sure you can add to the list. Once again thank you for serving for 22 years & thank you for always thinking of your family.
 

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Belated Birthday

Finally after months of waiting it was time for Jacob to get to see his first Sounders FC game LIVE in Seattle! We had purchased the tickets back in February to watch the Sounders take on the Colorado Rapids. Paul, the two younger boys & myself headed into Seattle late afternoon for the game. We parked and the two boys where bubbling with excitement as well as their dad. We headed to Pyramid Brewery that is across the street from Century Link Field to eat before the game. This fulfilled my husband's wish to see the brewery as well as mine to feed us all for under $50 since stadium food is expensive! Jacob was super excited for his late birthday adventure to begin!





Next we headed over to century link to see some of the fun pre-game activities. We turned around at one point & ran into our friends from church. What a pleasant surprise to be in a huge city like Seattle and see people we know unexpectedly. The boys took turns kicking the soccer ball at the X-Box set up to try to win prizes. Jeremy won a pair of purple sunglasses when his soccer ball went into the hole on the wooden board. Then we went over to the Hynudai car where Jacob threw the soccer ball into the top of the sunroof to win us a chance to get Season Tickets!! We where so excited! There will be huge fights over who get's to go to the games should we win .

As you can see Jacob was pretty good distance back & he was the ONLY ONE out of the four of us to make the shot! He was so stoked! Next we did some quick pictures before heading into the stadium.




We had great seats even though I bought them I was surprised at how close we where to the field & players. We where mid-field and five rows back- AWESOME! Jacob got a new Sounders Scarf & Jeremy picked a hat.









 They also did a Military Appreciation display before the game with a re-enlistment ceremony. It was very nice to see & hear the crowds cheer.




The sounders went on to win against the Rapids 2-1 which ended their losing streak. We went on to have a really fun time together & have decided we need to buy more tickets soon so we can go again. It was a great atmosphere with very friendly spectators. I was pleased that the crowd we sat by where very pleasant with no cussing around the many kids sitting in the crowd. We all had fun & I look forward to going again soon.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Virtual Walkers Sign Up

video


Hi Everyone- we are so EXCITED to pass along the information about Jeremy & Banyan's own Virtual Walking Team for the Chelsea Hutchison Foundation. If this foundation sounds familiar it's because they are helping us get a grant to pay for Banyan's continued training. Jeremy has picked the goal amount of $800.00 to raise by September 23rd the day of our walk. We can't attend any of the walks in the four states that are hosting but we can walk right here in Washington! With the help of you our family & friends we hope to meet this goal.

On September 23,2012 Jeremy, Banyan, & our whole family will walk at least 2 miles in support of this wonderful organization. If you would like to pledge any amount big or small we would be thrilled! If you would like to be a virtual walker yourself JOIN OUR TEAM- that would be amazing! If you join our team you receive an AWESOME t-shirt with the footprint in the logo you see pictured. Just make sure to look for our team when you go register. There is NO limit to how big our virtual team can be so PLEASE SHARE with your friends & family. If they are looking for a great cause I don't know any better cause then helping children with seizures have a safer life with the help of a Service Dog.

Our biggest PLEDGE donation will receive a SPECIAL Thank You from Jeremy & Banyan after the day of the walk. Banyan has his own T-shirt & Dog Tags that could be yours if you make the largest Pledge Donation. Please go check out our page & make a donation so we can have a fun amazing time walking .


Jeremy & Banyan's Page 

PLEDGE PAGE/ DONATIONS

HOME PAGE for Chelsea's Walk

Jeremy & Banyan's FACEBOOK Page

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Down & Dirty






Race #3 DONE! We had fun in the beginning hanging out waiting to run. But once the actual course started we where very disappointed this year with the 5k Down & Dirty on JBLM. In years past there was running but there where a lot more fun obstacles. This year we ran, ran, & ran some more only to come to half hazard looking obstacles that looked like they just threw together that morning. All the poor children who had come to run where in tears & complaining on most of the run. They really should have said "hey there are 6 sort of obstacles this year. It will be mostly running hills on a trail where we chopped all the trees down". Why an event put on by the Army could not come up with an amazing obstacle course is beyond me! I won't be paying to run that again . 
I did enjoy finally running with some of the wear blue:run to remember group from the Dupont chapter. The most fun on the course was when we would run by others who cheered us on for wearing our blue. Over all race number three was a huge BUST! July is relaxation & some training month- no huge runs planned. Which I think is much needed. I am pretty sure my body is screaming for some down time. We are off to go camping later this week which should be an adventure in itself with four boys & two dogs.