Sunday, January 29, 2012

All American Dogs

All American Dogs is a brand new non-profit organization that has been helping our family with my son's service dog from the moment they learned we where in need. They have never asked for any money to pay for Banyan's expenses. For this we are forever grateful & now I am one of their all volunteer staff helping spread the word. If you want to help get the word out about how our Wounded Warriors, Veterans, & their families can get a Service Dog if they qualify please go like the Facebook page as well as share it on your own. Since we are all volunteer and fairly new Jeremy's schools Boy Scout Troop is doing a Raffle in their honor. We have asked that all proceeds go to All American Dogs to help cover Banyan's continued Training.

We recently found out that Jeremy is now considered legally blind in his right eye that is affected by Glaucoma. He will go into another surgery this Wednesday to see if they can salvage any of his vision. What this has meant to us is not only does Banyan need to alert for seizures, learn mobility, but now he needs to be a guide for Jeremy at times. With this comes enormous expenses & a lot of extra training for Banyan. Since All American Dogs has offered to always pay for the training we wanted to give back. A lot of our wonderful family & friends have rallied to donate a lot of great items.

These items where Hand Quilted by Jeremys Grammy , my man's mom. She is so talented and wanted to help out. The  bear pattern is a Quillow which is a throw with a pocket for your feet to tuck inside. You can also roll it up & turn it into a pillow- it's amazing.

Hand etched lanterns donated by a fellow Army wife & friend- amazing!

Our AMAZING Fire Department donating for a good cause!

This is my husband's fishing buddy & friend -  who is AWESOME!

These are just a few of the items we have to Raffle off. There are many more to add soon. Some items are for Local Winners only. But some like the Quilts & Lanterns can be shipped to our Winners. If your interested in buying a Raffle ticket (s) they are $5 a piece. If you are out of town just please specify that on your checks so we know which items to place you in the Raffle . All Checks can be made out to Boy Scouts of America Troop 603.

They can be mailed to : Amanda Huston P.O. Box 1164 Yelm, WA 98597
We need all money collected by February 10th - with the Raffle to take place on the 12th.
Remember folks it's for a Great Cause- to help give back to our Soldiers who give so much all the time.
Here is Jeremy & Banyan's    Facebook Page to go take a look at all the information. We will add items daily up until the 4th of February. Feel free to share this Raffle on your Blogs. if you do let me know so I can let everyone else know how you are helping out!

OK- now onto a different Post- I posted my First Ever Give Away  And NO ONE has commented. I really want to give away this awesome digital scrapbooking download worth $59 to a lucky reader. If you missed the post go take a look & leave a comment super easy to enter.
Have a wonderful Sunday every one.

Friday, January 27, 2012

First Ever GiveAway with My Memories

I was recently asked to do a review/giveaway to one of my lucky bloggers for the digital scrapbooking company My Memories.

I was super excited as this will be my first ever giveaway. First let me tell you a little about My Memories. Once you download their software which took me about 15 minutes on my computer you have several options. You can either use their pre-exsisting backgrounds or make your own. I chose a pre-made one to start with then tweeked it a little to my liking. It has taken me several minutes to figure it all out but I admit I am really not that great with all this computer design stuff-lol. Those of you who are use to using this kind of software may get it done way faster then me. I had fun selecting pictures from my 16th anniversary night with the girls.

As you can see super cute per-exsisting pages. I even added more embellishments with the little pink flowers. You can take away any item that is on a pre-made page or add more to them.

They give you a lot of options for fonts on text, embellishments, & layout designs.
After you have saved the designs to your computer you can upload anywhere to make bound photo books.

Super Cute Right!!

My Memories  also let's you make digital videos to share but I haven't tried that yet. But I can't wait as I love doing photo movies for Paul when he is deployed. You can make so many cool things & their download let's you save it as jpeg to your computer. All you have to do to get the software now is use my code to receive a $10 discount on all purchases. This is a special offer for just  my Followers. Feel free to share my Blog as I love new Followers!

 Use this Code for $10 off discount at CheckOut :MSV310dld

Now how to enter my First Ever Giveaway is simple please follow the rules below. I will randomly pick a winner on my birthday February 8th to share in my special day.

1. Follow My Memories on facebook & let me know so I can check when you have "liked" their page.

2. Leave a comment about your favorite scrap design after looking through the products on their

3. Make sure you are FOLLOWING my Blog

You can enter twice if you pick 2 ways  - just let me know in 2 separate comments.

See it's simple to enter because it's my birthday soon & I want you all to enjoy the day with me!! Now go take a look at their products leave a comment & like their Facebook page!!



Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Tune Time Thursday

It's that time of the week and I honestly am in a very melancholy mood. Not much energy lately and just ready to see my man. I had a very crazy day that I'll pass on posting about for now. But while I was in town picking out a movie to watch I got to pre-order Breaking Dawn which made me smile. Then it made me want to listen to this amazing song from the movie by Christina Perri- A Thousand Years. Even if you aren't a fan of the movie you may love the song. I know I love listening to it when it plays. It reminds me that I waited for my love & how I can't imagine not loving him ever. ahhhhh , love stories I am a sucker for them everytime. So that is my pick for the song link-up with Amber over at Goodnight Moon. I hope you hop on over to listen to some more great song choices from other lovely blogger. Have a great Thursday every one- oh and my countdown I am at 3 weeks!!!! YIPPIE!!


One of my favorite pictures. I can't wait to be in his arms again soon.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012


Yesterday I jumped full on into my Personal Training session with my love to hate trainer and friends. Yesterday I felt fine nothing- then BAM! This morning the legs ache! I had to make my self get up and go do my 45 mins of cardio. I stretched and that hurt! I know all about DOMS (delayed on-set muscle soreness) but had hoped I was past that point. Apparently little ms trainer girl loves to torture me! She definitely hit my quads hard yesterday. We did 50 seconds on then 10 seconds of rest for 12 minutes straight then we had about a 2/3 min break then all over again for an hour-OUCH! I know the pain is worth the results I'll see in a few weeks- but today it just hurts!

I can hardly believe we agreed to meet with HER two more times this week instead of our normal two times. I workout with two other friends- who I've decided have a death wish. They where all for working out three times this week with our lovely trainer- yeah I can't wait to see how they are feeling on Saturday & if they still think it was a great idea. I've worked out enough with our trainer to know by Saturday the whole body is going hurt & we will have to be rested & ready by MONDAY for round two!!Oh- well at least I am sticking to my fitness goals so far and I can already see some results in my clothing being looser. But it does come at a cost- my legs ache when I move- now I am off to drink some more water and pray for relief from the leg pain. I hope you got your work out in today!!

Monday, January 23, 2012

Feeling Human Again

Well after almost five days with out power when the neighbor Facebooked me at 6:00PM last night to say it was back on I almost broke down in tears. All our neighbors woke up Sunday morning with power & nice toasty warm houses. But we had several live electrical lines hanging on the roads that had to be addressed before they could return our section of the neighborhood back on with power. I made the decision to get the heck out of dodge! I was snapping anytime the boys made the slightest noise, the boys where not even being that bad. But they had moments of constant non-stop fighting which tends to happened when confined to one room of a home for days at a time while slowly freezing .

We took off for post to the bowling alley for what we thought was a free game of bowling since Paul was deployed. Only to find out they no longer offer free bowling to families of deployed soldier, insert huge sigh here. I was upset but paid up for the boys to enjoy a day away from the house & get some much needed energy out of their systems. I fed them hot food and they enjoyed some time with friends who came along as well. Then the moms decided I needed a mom intervention because I was slowly losing it! I am pretty sure at some point I had daggers flying out of my eyes. I had lost my smile a few days ago when I could no longer feel my face when I woke up due to my house never being warmer then 58 degrees.Most days it took about three hours after turning on the portable heater to even get it that warm! So off I went to drop all four boys & one dog at a friends home. They babysat eachother and a couple more children while the grown-ups snuck this girl out to Olive Garden.

The lovely ladies bought me a yummy drink to enjoy to get started on the intervention. I was finally warm eating a nice meal and doing some much needed laughing. It was only two hours or so , but it was just the recharge I so desperately needed.I know I wasn't the only Army wife going through this crazy power outage without a husband but I was exhausted. My shoulder actually has a dull ache from re-starting the generator so many times. It just never seems as bad when the husband is home to help some. I was so excited to come home when we got the facebook message after dinner! The boys too! We all pitched in and got the house put back together in 45 minutes flat! They headed off to bed at a normal time & the house was up to 65 degrees when bedtime did roll around.

I sit here now in my comfy pjs not layers of clothing enjoying my hot coffee. Two kids are out the door for school already- HALLELUJAH!! The other two will go in about another hour. I will be able to mop and finish up a few small things today. I will never again complain about a short hour or two power outage. This has made me so grateful for our generator, friends willing to allow this crazy girl into their homes during an emergency, & electricity!! I just need to shower to start feeling almost human again. I hope everyone has a great Monday & fingers crossed for no more power outages while the clean up from the nasty ice storm continues.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Day 3 of No Power

Yes folks we are still trapped with no power now going on 3 days. This is why....

Even though it looks pretty with all the snow, it also had a heavy layer of ice which caused thousands of trees to break. Thus causing over 200,000 people to loose power when they took out the power lines. We have been living off our generator which allows me to keep the TV, internet on occasion, refrigerator, & portable heater running.We wake up to 52 degrees in the house in the mornings, brrrrrrr is an understatement. Last night we finally headed to post with Banyan in tow to shower, eat real food & sleep in a warm bed. Thank you for a good friend willing to house this crazy bunch! She has three babies of her own & one deployed husband- so yikes we had a house full!
Power is not expected to return until Monday or Tuesday at the earliest. So we will be escaping tomorrow to post to the bowling alley for some fun , food, & HEAT!! Then back home to shiver some more. The kids had fun at first playing legos, reading books, & camping out in the living room. But the novelty has worn off and we just want our power back. I know the power company is doing it's best- but I can't help but wish it was quicker.Oh well- if you don't hear from me for awhile I may have actually turned into a human Popsicle-haha .

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Thursday's Tune Time is Back

We all took a short holiday break from Thursday's music link up over at Goodnight Moon with Amber. But we are all back & I am really not sure what song I've been listening to this week. Oh that's right I've been trapped inside my home with four boys & three dogs!! I haven't got to listen to much this week thanks to the snow storm. All I can really focus on lately is the fact that my husband will be home in less then a month for R&R. So I am going to stick with a sort of oldie but goodie deployment must have on your playlist song. I am counting down the days until he is home again.Even if it is only for 16 sweet days.

If you haven't listened it's Nickelback's Faraway
It will be 7 months & 2 weeks by the time I hold my soldier again. He has been faraway for far too long.

Now head on over to Amber's to listen to some great songs & link up too!

Snowed IN.........

We woke up to 8 inches of snow......

Clearlake at around 7:00AM


By the time it stopped falling from the sky we had 12 inches!!

Monday, January 16, 2012

Blustery Snow Days

We've had snow since late Saturday night around our place. I have been trapped at home as we live out of town down a long winding road. Today since I couldn't get in to the gym to do PT  :0(  I decided to walk the 2.2 miles to the  front gate store & back . I grabbed my tote & layered along with my camera. Two of the boys where already down at the meadow below our house playing so I stopped to grab a couple of pictures then walked on my way. The wind picked up & snow flew out of the sky smacking right in the eyes. My nose was cold but I was warm! I got to the store & no one could believe I walked -lol It is not a bad walk in decent weather but with ice on the ground I think they thought I had lost my mind. The I headed back the way I came. I picked up the two boys on the way home. We enjoyed some hot chocolate & lunch when we got home. We have more snow falling now so I am guessing we will be stuck at home tomorrow . The boys are thrilled - I on the other may go stir crazy!

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Another Fallen Brother...

EDIT - SFC Ben Wise - Second Son lost for family.

My husband doesn't have all the details yet of his former soldier & friend. Only the news that came across his Facebook that his friend had died yesterday from wounds he received earlier in the week. As soon as we know more I will add them to Ben's picture on the Page of Remembrance. It saddens my heart every time we have to add a name. It seems like a new name is added every year now with no end in sight. Ben when I knew him was young quiet kid who loved working with Paul and the other Scouts in 5/20 "Skyes Regulars" They all deployed in November of 2003- 2004. The smaller pictures in his memorial are from that time. The bearded picture is the most recent friends have posted in his honor on Facebook as their profile picture. He leaves behind a wife and small children. Please keep them in prayer as their world is forever changed. We will not forget his sacrifice or his sweet disposition. He was one of the good guys & he will be forever missed.

Recon 5/20 2003-04

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Who are YOU to Judge?

Damn Right!!! These are comments made by Allen West, LTC, U.S. Army (Ret.) on the Marine incident in Afghanistan to the Weekly Standard:

Rep. Allen West (R-Fla.), a former Army lieutenant colonel, sends THE WEEKLY STANDARD an email commenting on the Marines' video, and has given us permission to publish it.

“I have sat back and assessed the incident with the video of our Marines urinating on Taliban corpses. I do not recall any self-righteous indignation when our Delta snipers Shughart and Gordon had their bodies dragged through Mogadishu. Neither do I recall media outrage and condemnation of our Blackwater security contractors being killed, their bodies burned, and hung from a bridge in Fallujah.

“All these over-emotional pundits and armchair quarterbacks need to chill. Does anyone remember the two Soldiers from the 101st Airborne Division who were beheaded and gutted in Iraq?

“The Marines were wrong. Give them a maximum punishment under field grade level Article 15 (non-judicial punishment), place a General Officer level letter of reprimand in their personnel file, and have them in full dress uniform stand before their Battalion, each personally apologize to God, Country, and Corps videotaped and conclude by singing the full US Marine Corps Hymn without a teleprompter.

“As for everyone else, unless you have been shot at by the Taliban, shut your mouth, war is hell.”

** My thoughts & opinion **

I know I have possibly stirred the pot with this post and frankly don't care. I am really sick and tired of the Liberal American public screaming for blood everytime our soldiers do something that yes we know is wrong, but if you look through the history books is no worse then what has been done to our Americans.

Does it make it right-NO. Does it make those soldiers really stupid for video taping it- YES! Should they receive punishment- Yes.

But it should be handled by their Commanding Officer & Unit. They should NOT serve as an "example" because so many arm-chaired quarter backs who have never once stood up to say  " I'll go, I'll go take the chance that I may die for all those in my country I do not even know." 
 Because of these brave Marines & all the military who have come before them you have that right to scream at the top of your lungs. But while your screaming for justice take a stroll through the history book and a look at all the injustices that have occurred over the years to our men and women. Is it any better or any worse then what is now being played over and over on your TV screens? It doesn't make their actions right- they should get punished. But is should be handled with-in their Unit's not because it's what the American public thinks should happen. They served probably multiple deployments- they have invisible wounds you & I may never see. Instead of condemning how about suggesting & volunteering solutions for all our military who are tired & exhausted after a decade at war.

Once again these are my thoughts & may not make you happy. Please feel free to disagree, but know if your comments get to nasty they will be deleted. Please make your point in a way as to not scream obscenties from my BLOG. It's my BLOG there for I can have any opinion I want.

Have a great Saturday every one. Thank you to all those including my husband who are serving overseas or have served. 

Friday, January 13, 2012

Fitness Funny!!

Someone shared this Youtube video yesterday & I can't stop watching it  then laughing every time! It was like they were reading my mind , a lot of it is exactly what I have said or do say to my trainer every-time. So this is just for some giggles. I hope everyone has a great weekend. We are expecting snow & the boys are excited- not so sure I am........

"Do I have to eat Mushroom- their like a Fungus!!"  haha I say that all the time!!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Wordless Wednesday

First time at our lake 

Just the 3 of us

Practicing leave it

 Finally bedtime

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

No Superwoman Here Folks

I am now 6 months into a fourth deployment. I get told a lot of times "Amanda it'll be OK because your Superwoman!". I hate to burst everyone's bubble but I am no different then any other ordinary Army Wife who is only trying to find activities to fill the time while my soldier is away. It may appear to those who don't know me well that I am on the go a lot and juggling fifty different things at once with ease. But appearances can be deceiving. Don't think for one moment that just because I am out doing things for my children or myself that this makes my deployment experience any less exhausting and emotionally draining then anyone else. But above all please no I am NO Superwoman!!

Do I cry , Yes- yesterday it was three times. Am I exhausted & get no sleep? Yes- I am averaging if I am lucky 4 to 5 hours a night 7 days a week. Do I think because this is his fourth deployment I know everything-NO. I called another wife just this week to help out another of our unit's wives because guess what folks- I DID NOT have the answers she needed. Did I know who would, yes I hoped I did. But if I was perfect or Superwoman as some seem to think I would have never had to make a call for assistance to begin with-huh. 

I am not angry that some think I have it all together, just a little frustrated with the title. I still need hugs & told it'll be OK just like any other wife going through a deployment. I still sat in my living room floor on Christmas Eve alone crying with just the three dogs. It's hard work to keep up with all the balls I do have going in my life. But I have four boys to think about & not just myself.

I am not a person who sits around and does the "whoo is me stuff" very well. I have a hard time reading status's on Facebook like that as well when I am in the middle of a deployment. I take the attitude that if you stay busy, keep your kids happy then it just helps. But by no means does it mean I have it all together anymore then other wives out there who miss their husband. I just want my family back together just as much as anyone- but right now that's not going to happen. So I put on a smile, I do endless doctor's appointments, puppy classes, soccer, video games stuff, because it helps pass the time. Not because I want to feel exhausted. But I know sitting in my house moping around will only make the kids sad and worried as well as me a depressed hot mess!

Please remember ladies that we are all in this deployment hell together. Not one of us is any more ready for a deployment emotionally then the other. We may tell our selves "we got this", but yeah when it's time & happening to you- it is never as easy as it looks. It's a lot easier to think a person doesn't need hugs, checked in on, advice, because you are peering in from the outside. Maybe you just need to remember if you feel like crap because your soldier is leaving or gone chances are so does that wife that looks like she has it all together.

I can't say enough how much fun Friday night was for me with the two ladies who enjoyed going out with me on my anniversary. I needed the laughter, the giggles, the silly girl talk. I needed to not worry about one damn thing for those six blissful hours- they will always hold a special place in my heart for taking the time to do that for me.If you know a wife or family going through a deployment it's the really small teeny tiny things that you think make no difference that sometimes mean the most. Walk up give them a hug, tell them they are doing a great job, but you just want to know do they need anything? We may not ask for help ( I know I don't) but it's nice to hear the offer to have the sense that someone knows how hard it really is to go through. For someone to realize, you aren't Superwoman you just need a hug.

Thanks for listening to may rant, every once in awhile I just have to vent. I hope everyone has a great Tuesday this non-superhero is off for my 2 hours of "me time" at the gym, then home to laundry, puppy training, dinner, then more puppy class,oh & setting up pre-op for Jeremy at some point. That is a whole different Post though. I'll share it when I am ready- ta ta for now.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Monday Madness

Today is a little nutty around my house. I committed to staying healthy this year and on track. Which means no matter how tired I am from a weekend of puppy class in Oregon on Saturday or a child who was sick yesterday- TODAY I am going to the gym !! I made it 4 days last week & got one super hard PT session in with my old trainer. I seriously could not walk well until Sunday came around. Squats are not my friend at the moment, they just hurt!! I watched every thing that went in to my mouth- looking at it & asking myself was it " a Healthy Choice" ? I ate a couple of things I knew weren't great for me, but we all have those moments. I am not perfect but I am trying my best to stay on track. I feel better when I eat clean and exercise. It is my only outlet while Paul is deployed that is just for me! After dropping two boys at school I will hit the gym for a one hour session of PT with two friends. I will work hard and I will sweat a lot! Then I'll come home to finish the rest of my crazy day of Ophthalmology appointments & Soccer camp for the kids. But I'll be feeling much better knowing I started my day off great!

What are you doing today or this week to help you stay motivated and live your best life?? 

Today's smoothie is the following:

1/2 cup Greek yogurt
1 tbl spoon Almond Butter
1 scoop chocolate protein powder
half of a banana
some ice cubes

It tastes great!! Almost like a peanut butter cup- if you want it sweeter add a packet of your favorite sweetner.

have a great Monday everyone!

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Celebrations = Friends Who ROCK

 I started off my anniversary day a little bummed & sad Paul was missing another of our special days. But as my day went on it just got better & better thanks to good friends. After going for my massage that Paul let me treat myself to since he was away, I came home to find these beautiful roses on my front porch.

My best friend of thirteen years & her family knew I would be a little down in the dumps so they left this great surprise for me on my porch. Not only do they look beautiful but smell heavenly! They also had a gift certificate attached to my favorite Nail Salon in town to go get a much needed pedicure. I was all smiles & not a bit surprised by their thoughtfulness. I love them & we have learned to take care of eachother when we know we aren't taking care of ourselves.

Next was going out to dinner with two friends to not only celebrate my wedding anniversary but my friend's 40th birthday! We decided to go eat pizza & see a funny girly movie. Just get out & have some much need laughs! One of the ladies going is also an Army wife whose husband is due home from deployment soon. I lent her my oldest son to babysit so she could be my "stand-in" date for Paul. She took it very seriously &  showed up with a dozen pink roses for me because she knew Paul would have bought me flowers if he would have been home. Oh- so sweet & an unexpected surprise. I have to say I have some amazing ladies in my life & am so grateful to God he saw fit to place them in my world. Well since my date didn't realize we where celebrating my other friends birthday as well - I shared six of my lovely pink roses with the birthday girl. Then I placed the other six mixed in with my others- so pretty- here take a look.

After flowers where exchanged it was time to head out for the fun!

Quick picture of me with the Fabulous at Forty Birthday Girl

We went to The Rock that does all kinds of yummy firestone pizzas. When they heard that we where there to celebrate my anniversary, Tena's birthday, & Ashley's husband was deployed as well- they rolled out the red-carpet for us! The manager came over to present us with three free movie passes & one large pizza of our choice for dinner !! I was speechless! Tena who is never at a loss for words was immediately saying thanks & how now she could pay for an extra drink with dinner-LOL

Our waitress was kind enough to snap a picture of us as well giggled away . I won't divulge exactly what our conversation was about but use your imaginations ladies. Especially those who have husbands that have been deployed for over 6 months before........haha
 Plus Tena got a new boyfriend right before Christmas so we had to hear all the details of her visit to his families home. There was a lot of laughter & some looks from other tables because yeah we where a loud bunch for only being three girls. All I have to say is in a few weeks for Ashley as well as myself we will no longer suffer from the horrible syndrome another Army wife has labeled as "LOD"- thank goodness !!

Dinner was a hoot which led us to running to our movie because we lost track of time. I am pretty sure our waitress was glad to see us leave. The people who sat in front of us during the movie New Years Eve where not so happy to have us behind them. We laughed & chatted through out the movie. It had some really good funny parts & then they had to throw in a lame Army Skype scene at the end. Ashley & I where making so much fun of Hayley Berry who I normally love that I am surprised the people in front of us didn't turn around to tell us to shut-up. But making fun is really a coping mechanism...yeah that's what I was going to say if they did get mouthy . But for real it was a super dumb scene that in no way was believable.

We laughed all the way home & made promises to do it again soon. I can't wait until next month & my birthday- wonder if the Rock will be so nice again? We may have to broaden our horizons so we don't wear out our welcome. But Thank You to The Rock for taking time to make our night so special. Thank You for telling us you appreciate our sacrifice while our husbands are deployed. Also thank you to the cute elderly couple who gave us their table & hugged us in thanks- now that made me tear up.

Friday, January 6, 2012

16 Years and Counting

Sixteen years ago today at 5PM central time in Nashville, TN I was lucky enough to marry the most handsome soldier around. It was the middle of the worst snow/ice storm Tennessee had seen in years. Only those guests who had arrived from out of town actually could make it to the church. They where mostly Paul's family. All my good friends where trapped in their homes in the surrounding counties due to the highway patrol closing a lot of major interstates. At one point even the airport closed for twenty-four hours.Thankfully my parents, my brother's family and almost all of Paul's extended family had already arrived that week. They where all from Michigan, Colorado, & Alaska so they found the snow storm very funny. Especially since no one could get out and about in what they called minor snow. I guess if there hadn't been a lot of ice I could see their point but us southerns where shocked & frozen.Thankfully a few guests braved the roads and arrived. I was NOT about to delay my wedding as was suggested. My soldier had orders to deploy in April so we where going to be married before he left. I had already waited longer then I wanted because everyone felt I needed a proper church wedding. All I ever wanted was my soldier & Gatlinburg in the fall, but the beautiful snow would work as well.

Our wedding photographer could not even make it to the church so we had friends & family take a lot of snap shots. Now I look back with regret that I didn't let my maid of honor call the only photographer we knew who lived right down the street. He was super expensive and at the last minute I hated to add more expense to my parents already bulging budget.But oh how I wish we had  the picture from our reception at the Opryland Hotel on the grand staircase. It's the only time you can have wedding pictures taken on that staircase, if your reception is held there. But the memories will hold me and all my snap shots that everyone took. We actually have photos I'm sure we would have never gotten.Thanks to the Army I had a winter wonderland to get married to my soldier. He looked like Prince Charming & has swept me off my feet every since. As we celebrate yet another anniversary thousand's of miles apart I realize how rare & lucky we are to still have eachother. Not only due to multiple deployments, stress, but plain old American Society who often devalues marriage today.I love that my boys are just as excited about our wedding anniversary as I am. I just wish I could say it to my love in person not on a computer screen.

I Swear by John Michael Montgomery was our first dance as a married couple. We've been dancing together ever since <3

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Half-Way Home

Today marks exactly 6 Months ago that I watched my soldier board that ugly yellow bus & drive away. We have seen his face on Skype thanks to technology but we have not held him in our arms. I am beyond excited to finally hit this mark as it seems so much longer then 6 months since he deployed. Now we are on the count down to R&R which is much easier to wrap my brain around then to think about another 6 months until he is home for good. Here is praying that the next few weeks go by quickly, with no Murphy's Law in play . That everyone stays healthy until our soldier returns for some much needed family time.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

We Got It

We found out that we did indeed get the grant we applied for from the Chelsea Hutchison Foundation to help pay for Banyan's Service Dog training. We are so excited & incredibly grateful! The money in the amount up to $2500 will be paid to All American Dogs (Paws for Heroes) out of Camp Murray who is helping cover Banyan's training. They are a non-profit so this is a huge help to them in providing us as well as others with the training their service dogs need. Banyan will need at least 24 months of training but then some special training as he get's older. This grant allows us to know that the people who reached out & offered to help with no strings attached are going to get some financial help for their generosity.  It's a huge relief for us all. Banyan's vet bill alone for last month was $106 for just an ear infection that we paid out of pocket. We have to keep him as healthy as possible. So any time we are blessed with help we are so thankful, no words can express. Please take the time to watch the video below that Chelsea's family put together to help spread the word about Sudden Unexplained Death in Epilepsy. Help spread the word or go pledge a donation. They are doing great things to help children who need a companion to help keep them safe. 

Year in Photos 2011 Chelsea Hutchison Foundation   Jeremy makes a short appearance towards the middle.

Here is a picture of Banyan drawn today by my 13 year old son for the foundation. They use the children's artwork to put on note cards they sell. The money raised goes into the money for all the grants. Jeremy signed his name & Banyan's. Then Banyan added his pawprint with the help of purple ink &  mom. The purple is the color that represents Epilepsy Awareness.

Pretty amazing for a 13 year old, an 11 year old , & a 8 month old pup!!

Monday, January 2, 2012

Out for Sick Day

I am still out sick with an awful head cold. I braved it drank another Vitamin C smoothie to hit the gym this morning. I did finish my cardio & arms- but now I am paying the price. Headache- pretty sure some one is inside my brain with a hammer! I'll be back once I'm feeling much better- have a good week folks.

I made it to the gym and completed 4.15 miles plus arms today!

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Watch Me....the Best is Yet to Come

I woke up sick with an awful head cold that derailed my plans to hit the gym at some point today. I took some over the counter drugs that just knocked me out. When I woke up two hours later I feel even worse then when I went to sleep. This is NOT the way I envisioned starting off 2012. It's exactly the opposite. I was super excited to hit the gym get my Fitness back in gear now that my back is feeling better. So you may ask what did I do, I headed on over to Pinterest & spent the past hour looking through things that help keep me motivated. 

I love to exercise it makes me feel better not just physically but mentally while the husband is deployed or even home. I need motivation, lots of it to stay on task. I must have visual references whether they be on a computer or someone in the gym who inspires me. Well I got  my wish when my old gym brought back my beloved trainer full time-YIPPIE!! I booked my FREE 1 hour PT session for this Thursday. It'll be the first time in almost 3 years I have gotten to get my booty kicked by Jaime- I can't wait! After every work out I ever did with her, I was exhausted but excited. She pushed me to do more then I ever thought I could at my age. I am no spring chicken anymore & it's hard to stay in shape. A lot of work required with my nutrition & fitness. Jaime makes sure I stay accountable for what I let cross over my lips & onto my hips!

Now today Pinterest helped me stay motivated . I found some pictures I loved of strong healthy fit bodies not super skinny ladies Strong muscular women who work hard. I also found a lot of sayings that I hope I can repeat to myself all year long whenever I feel tired of it all. I thought I'd share with you all as well. I know a few of my readers are on their own Healthy Life Style Qwest. It's never been a diet for me It's ALWAYS a LIFESTYLE & that's what makes it work! Wishing all my fitness buddies the best of health & fitness in 2012- Never Give Up- there are NO EXCUSES!

I noticed as I age I really don't care so much what others think of me. But what's the most important is what I think of me & I think I am pretty amazing!

 I can't say it enough, everytime I leave the gym I feel 100% better then when I walked out!

 I am capable of Great Things! I proved that this year as I completed my 6th - 5K Obstacle run.

I love my life & I want to be around to enjoy it with my children for a long time. I work hard to ensure I'll be here tomorrow!!

Still feeling extremly sick like someone is hammering away in my head. I hit up Pinterest to find a super yummy healthy Vitamin C packed Smoothie. It even tasted good & I don't like oranges!

1/2 cup plain Greek Yogurt for protein
1/2 cup ice cubes
1 cup orange juice
1 packet of pure vitamin powder

Blend & drink- it stopped my stomach from growling & I hope I feel somewhat human again in the morning.