Thursday, May 31, 2012

Sweat & Chicken

My day started off with super sore quads from my Wednesday workout. We did my version of a bootylicious workout. I had DOMS for sure this morning in the quad region. I then decided today would be back, arms, & chest with some cardio. Once all four of us super ladies arrived & where warmed up we hit it hard! I had a circuit going that hit your bi-ceps, your shoulders, your lower back, the area I call my bat wings-lol Plus some Burpees with long jumps to get that heart rate back up while we worked. Here is a lovely picture of me almost done with round 3 of everything.

I was super sweaty & tired at this point. I barely finished burpee / long jump #25! But I DID!! I hate that you can see my silly back fat even though I work hard 6 days a week in this picture- not sure if it just comes with my old age or what? After we finished this we jumped on the ellipticals for a good 25 minutes of cardio. Leg Pain- YES!! I was going so slow for my normal self- but I stuck with it even though at one point I was pretty sure I couldn't feel my legs anymore. After I got home I was so hungry & super excited to try out the new garden chicken burger recipe I found yesterday. Thank you Pinterest! I modified it a little due to not have a couple of ingredients but man oh man was it tasty!

I left off the bun because I have a PopChips addiction- the sweet potato kind-YUMM!! I enjoyed my Popchips and burger. Now I am happily folding clothes & watching Eclipse on this rainy day. I have some seriously sore muscles going on in my legs right now. I cringe everytime I get up- but I know it'll pass. We are down to 16 days until our Spartan Sprint & I intend to hit my training hard so I don't feel like I want to die at the end of my race. I hope you all got a good workout in today!

Garden Chicken Burger with Strawberry Sauce

3 tsp vegetable oil
1/2 medium onion, finely chopped
2 Tbsp brown sugar
2 cups strawberries, sliced
1/2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 Tbsp fresh mint, chopped
1 medium carrot, peeled
1 medium zucchini, peeled
1 lb lean ground chicken breast
1/2 cup bread crumbs
2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1 egg, lightly beaten
1/3 cup parsley, chopped
6 flatbreads or naan
1 cup arugula or baby spinach

1. Warm 1 teaspoon vegetable oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add onion and saute until soft, about 4 minutes. Add brown sugar and continue cooking for 2 minutes. Add strawberries, balsamic vinegar, and black pepper; cook for 1 minute. Stir in mint and remove from heat.

2. Preheat grill to medium. Using a box grater or mandoline, shred carrot and zucchini, then chop into small pieces. In a large bowl, lightly mix shredded vegetables, ground chicken, bread crumbs, Worcestershire sauce, egg, parsley, and salt and pepper to taste. Form into 6 patties and brush with remaining vegetable oil.

3. Place burgers on grill and cook for 4 to 5 minutes per side or until internal temperature reaches 165°F. Meanwhile, toast bread for 1 to 2 minutes per side.

4. Line flatbreads with arugula, add burgers, and top with strawberry sauce, then fold bread over burgers.

Makes 6 servings. Per serving: 387 cal, 8 g fat (2 g sat), 54 g carbs, 7 g fiber, 497 mg sodium, 27 g protein


Tuesday, May 29, 2012

He Did it Again

My soldier husband got a wonderful award for all his hard work this deployment. He never fails to amaze me with his casual conversation on chat that he isn't doing much just his job. Then he casually drops in that he is receiving an award. I have him send me a link to see & found out it is the third highest award for a non-combat job during a deployment. My man ROCKS!! He has worked hard for the last 21 years of hs Army career and deserves every award he has received. Anyone who begs to differ need only look at his record. Last time I checked your superiors don't just hand out the type of awards & NCOER's this man has in his file. Yes I am bragging, but I am proud of my man & the career he has that provides for our family. Love him & am super excited that we are 96.45% DONE with deployment number 4!!

He looks so sad here it bummed me out. I hate missing his award ceremony this is only the second one ever I have missed.

 There is his smile....
Pinning on is Defense Meritorious Service Medal in Afghanistan
The Defense Meritorious Service Medal (DMSM) is the third-highest award bestowed upon members of the United States military by the United States Department of Defense. The medal is awarded in the name of the Secretary of Defense to members of the Armed Forces who, while serving in a joint activity, distinguish themselves by non-combat outstanding achievement or meritorious service, but not of a degree to warrant award of the Defense Superior Service Medal.

This has been his only non-combat deployment- a totally new world to us both.

Monday, May 28, 2012

191+ Miles Pledged

WE DID IT!! I woke up at 5AM jumped out of my bed & said a silent pray that God had not sent the rain. It was windy, cold & cloudy bit NO RAIN!! I had my cup of coffee & could hardly sit still until 6 when I needed to wake up the boys. Hunter & Jacob where helping me out today at our wear blue:run to remember event in town. We got out the door on time & headed to the Yelm / Tenino trailhead to set up. Of course with this being the first year I've hosted we had several little issues along the way. But we learned how to post the placards for next year so that the wind should it be here again not blow them away! As frustrated as I was at set up it all evaporated as more people showed up. I was worried the weather would keep them away but I was praying they would hold to their pledges. Only 5 where no shows- But two of those sent me private messages explaining they where still running just not at 8:30AM.

We read the names that had been turned in of our fallen, at times with tears running down my face. But I made it through the list & we snapped our group photo . Then we where off!! Here are some of the pictures from my  morning. I had so much fun running & sometimes walking. I really had no idea how exhausted I was until I got home to sit down. I ran my 4 miles pledged then ran & walked another 2.5 just so I could visit with some of the runners on their journey. It was so nice to see the laughter & hear the stories of why they came. The thanks people gave was not needed. Today was nothing I wouldn't do again in a heartbeat. It finally made me feel like we where a living, breathing, Memorial to those in our past who made it possible for me & my family to have a future.

Our Gold Star family with some friends

At the end we where mostly all still smiles. Happy in the knowledge that we didn't forget those who where gone. Some like me accomplished a goal of running further then I ever had- now I have super sore muscles to prove it. It is something we will do again in the future. The sun shined down at just the right moments.

"Greater love hath no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends"  John 15:13

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Getting Ready

A lot of prep going into Monday's  wear blue: run to remember . It started off with just a hope that some of my friends & fellow community would come out to honor our Fallen. We have managed to get over 30 adults plus children now who have pledged miles. We are currently up to 172 Miles Pledged for our Fallen. I'm so grateful to everyone who is giving up a couple hours of their Memorial Day to remember why the day is really set aside as a holiday. 

Someone said to me today " happy Memorial Day" it made me stop and think. I thought back to last year as I read a BLOG from a War Widow who wanted others to realize it's not a "happy day" for most. No it may not be sad & full of tears for a lot of people . But each person who has lost a soldier is in a different stage of grief so to say " happy Memorial Day" is not really appropriate. This made a lot of sense to me so I am no longer saying happy Memorial Day ever again, but Thank you. My way of saying this will be this run this year & I hope every year I am able I will run . Here are a few of the pictures showing the prep leading up to the run. Anyone can offer to host a wear blue: run to remember at anytime. I just wanted to make Monday's a little more special.

It started with Banyan & I doing a little shopping yesterday. Then we headed out to Dupont early this morning to pick up the shirts that several of our runners bought.

 From there Banyan & I where close to post so I headed to the 4th Brigade Memorial. Every year since they opened it I have visited on Memorial Day to remember all our friends listed on that wall. This year we will run for them so I went today to place the flowers & the flag.

Next I met up with my friend Dana who offered to help make placards with all the Fallen soldier's names. If a runner turned in a name to be read then we made a placard that will line the trail part of the way. It's a visual reminder of their sacrifice. It was very touching as Dana & I worked on these to look at the date. To see how long ago some soldier's died as well as just this past Monday we lost two. It was a very sobering reminder that this war is not over until they all come home.

These simple extra touches are not required if you host a run. But I felt it will make the meaning behind the run that much more powerful. These men & women went when called, stood beside their fellow soldiers . Then made the ultimate sacrifice so my family could live free. It was no trouble at all to do things to honor them. I was over whelmed with emotion as I made shirt deliveries .The excitement that my friends & fellow runners expressed over participating really solidified my choice to host this run. I am ready for Memorial Day are you ?

Friday, May 25, 2012

14 Years Ago

Fourteen years ago I had another little boy named Matthew. I can hardly believe where the time has gone.Today we celebrate his birthday with a few friends spending the night in the tent he put up in the yard. They all want to fish so that's what they will do at our lake all day tomorrow. Happy Birthday to my little boy- he is never going to be a big guy to me.

Isn't his cake adorable. My friend Ashley M just started her own business here in our little town.  All the other things are what the birthday boy requested to eat.

He asked the all birthday money from the grandparents & mom/dad be put towards an Ipod touch because he knew that was THE only way he'd ever get it-lol He was really excited.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Doing His Job Well

Today found us heading to the hospital for a very lengthy procedure for Jeremy. They had to do so many blood draws we opted to let them put a temporary port in Jeremy's hand to help keep the pain down. Banyan never ceases to amaze me at how in-tune he is to Jeremy even when I think he is distracted. We arrived & took Banyan for a quick walk around outside so he could stretch since it was going to be a long morning. We headed inside where they quickly had Jeremy head back to a room & lay down. As soon as Jeremy laid down Banyan paced back & forth in front of the bed. I asked the doctor since it was a small procedure room if Banyan could please lay with Jeremy. He was more then happy for us to allow Banyan up with Jeremy . As soon as I pointed to the bed & told Banyan "up" he jumped up with his front paws & waited for me to assist getting the rest of him up. He immediately snuggled beside Jeremy and seemed to calm right down.

As the doctor & nurse got everything ready Jeremy began to whimper because he knew he had to get at least one poke for them to place the port. At this time I noticed Banyan simply lay one paw & his head over Jeremy's lap. Jeremy started rubbing his head and it seemed to calm Jeremy for the moment. As soon as the nurse started prepping Jeremy,  Banyan became very alert. When the doctor stuck the needle in & Jeremy cried out Banyan snuggled some more with his eyes never leaving the doctor's hands. The doctor started drawing the first 8 tubes of blood we needed & Banyan still watched. Once the doctor was using his soft fun voice talking to Banyan as he drew the blood and tried to get his attention. Never once did Banyan lift his head from Jeremy's lap or acknowledge the doctor. The nurse was so impressed she asked if she could take a picture while they worked. She commented on how she had never seen a Golden who is only 1 year old stay so calm for so long. We where going on about an hour at this point.

Here they had just finished drawing the first 8 tubes of blood and where going to let Jeremy sit up soon. Banyan finally closed his eyes for a moment but would open them right back up as they began to wrap tape over the port. Soon Jeremy was sitting up a lot more relaxed which in turn seemed to relax Banyan.

At this point we had to wait another hour for more blood draws so I had Banyan hop down to nap on the floor while Jeremy played. Banyan laid down and was sleeping for about thirty minutes before the doctor came back in & he sat right up. I kept him down on the floor at this time because it was so quick to get the next two viles of blood from Jeremy. But what surprised me was when the doctor laid the viles on the bed next to Jeremy, Banyan went over sniffed them then laid his head back on Jeremy's lap. We have had no seizure activity since we brought Banyan home. The blood draw today I think was a great chance for Banyan to really smell Jeremy's scent from the blood in a normal state. Everything we've read said it's a good way to train medic alert dogs because Jeremy's scent will dramatically change should he seize or have a low blood sugar.

Banyan did his job today & he did it well. Jeremy stayed calm as did Banyan. We are so blessed to have God open the doors so wide for us when we where praying about getting a service dog back in October. Today was just more evidence to me that we made the right choice. The two walked together today better the I have ever seen. When the doctor had Jeremy follow him w/out Banyan, I thought Banyan was going to pull me behind the desk to get to Jeremy. Luckily I had a lot of treats & placed him where he could see Jeremy clearly. This whole three hour process was truly made easier by having Banyan by Jeremy's side.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Wear Blue to Run


With Memorial Day fast approaching as well as our friends 1 year angelvarsry it got me thinking. How can I as a Army spouse live up to my promise to all those families that I would not forget their hero? I went back & forth on this. I could go to the Memorial on post again this year & have quiet time. But that just didn't seem like enough. Then a friend posted about the wear blue: run to remember. A widow from a unit off of Joint Base Lewis McChord had a passion for running well before her new title of "War Widow". When that happened she turned her passion into remembering all of our Fallen Heroes EVERY Saturday. That's right folks I said EVERY Saturday she got up with a group who had lost someone in the beginning and put on her blue to run. Now it has a following of people who just want to never forget the sacrifices of our soldiers. Many run each Saturday.  Every weekend a route is dedicated to a fallen hero. You have choices to run 3 miles, 5 miles, 10 miles, even 12 mile routes. You can buy a standard shirt now and run to remember.

Well needless to say they are hosting a big Memorial Day event. My only problem is it is about 40 minutes away and I wanted A LOT of people to want to participate. After looking through their Mile Pledge page I realized you can host your Run Meet-up for Memorial Day. So that is what I did thanks to Facebook. I have a lot of civilian friends who are runners & we live in a military community . I posted the event invited everyone and asked them to spread the word. We have one Gold Star Family attending now so I am so pleased that they will be able to see that as a community we have not forgotten their sacrifice or their soldiers.

 I'm not going to lie I am a little disappointed so far at the response. I get that you make Memorial Day plans you may go out of town or plan a bar-b-que. But I'm sorry folks that  free day off of work is NOT about bar-be-ques & vacations. Is it really that hard to get your butt up out of bed at 8AM drive to a local meet up place to run / walk the mileage of your choice to remember? Seriously people amaze me! I made it a family friendly event. 

The only requirements are 1. Wear Royal Blue to keep in context of the original group. 2. Listen to me read a list of names that I personally have a vested hero on as well as other names that may be turned in prior to the run. 3. Smile for a group picture for the Wear Blue to Remember  group to post to show how across the country people have not forgotten. I made it so simple yet even our own military families who currently have a spouse deployed can't seem to find time to take an hour of their day. The excuse of no babysitter doesn't fly with me either as you can bring the whole family & walk 1 mile.

I ask you to stop to remember as you sit at your computer screen the soldier who is far away from home. He is hungry because he has been on patrol for awhile & they don't  stop for breaks. He hasn't showered because he wanted to sleep instead. He may not have eaten because he chose to stand in line to call his wife,mom, dad, kids back home for a whole 20 minutes to hear their voice. For you to sit & tell me you can't get off your butt and take time out to remember that brother or sister who use to stand to the right or the left of those men- well yeah you just lost my respect on a lot of levels. Then you are going to post or invite everyone to a bar-b-que later?? I just don't understand how easily you forget September 11th & why these men said "I'll go, I'll take the bullet for you so you can stay at home safe".

Anyway that is my rant & I hope if you are looking for an easy FREE way to honor our men & women on Memorial Day you too will set up a Walk / Run to remember in your community or go join one that someone may have already started. It's not about us on that day folks it's about them & even my husband who is still gone. He may come home soon but until his boots are on the ground we will never know he is safe. 

Go here to see my list of who I pledged my miles for on Memorial Day Page of Remembrance

** EDIT** A friend made a good point not everybody is on facebook- Yelm, WA Memorial Day 2012 at 8:15 AM the names of the Fallen will be read at the Yelm / Tenino Trailhead. Then you walk or run however many miles you pledged. We are up to 128 Miles Pledged from the Yelm Community- so exciting & thankful.


Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Drop & Plank Challenge

Late last night all us Spartan Chicks where issued a challenge to Drop & Plank every hour on the hour for 1 to 3 minutes. Why, because we are super chicks & because the winner get's a free Spartan Race entry!! Yes I was on board with that!! Rolled out of bed & started at the lake.

Then my living room floor with Jacob

Next came the ironing board- yes folks I had to UP my game- these ladies where getting hard-core with their planks!

After seeing some of the fabulous Planks taking place all over the USA all for a free Spartan Race I knew to win this was going to be almost as hard as winning the race itself!

By 10AM I was in town so I picked Starbucks right in front of everyone. Including two police men who weren't sure whether to keep drinking their coffee or make me get off the wall.

This cracked me up as my friend counted to 60 & we hurried off I CORPS lawn. This is right in front of the building my husband would normally be working inside.

Next I moved on to the Joint Base Lewis McChord water park for a make-up plank I owed. Yes folks I got a little wet & laughed at by some moms at the park.

 What made my day was when I picked up the two boys from school & they asked where are you planking next? I had no more cool ideas....but Jeremy did! Oh the blasted monkey bars, it seemed only appropriate since I complain about them everyday.
Now I'm at home working on dinner & randomly dropping to plank in my kitchen floor. But I wanted you to be able to see how motivated these women are across the country. 
 Spartan Chicks ROCK!! 

I liked all the pictures so I have no idea who will win ? But everyone did great who tried!

My last plank of the day was at the lake since I started my day there as well.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Yep It's My Happy Dance

If you been following along on this crazy roller coaster ride for the past 10 months & 2 weeks - I bet you can figure out why I am Happy Dancing around my house tonight!

I got the STOP sending mail email today from our Rear D & the "this is how Homecoming will go"  newsletter!! We are so close I can almost taste it to having my husband home after deployment number four. We have only told the boys a time frame that dad may arrive. Seeing as I've been there done that a few times I know that exact dates are  not a good thing to hand out. But oh how I am relishing the fact that we are almost DONE!!

Done skyping, done mailing care packages, done chatting on Facebook, done, done , DONE!! YIPPIE!! Now to make it through these last few little weeks by keeping busy. I think I can manage to find things to do that I didn't quite get around to
I hope all you still going through your deployments know the end does come eventually. I wish only good things as you travel on down the deployment road- you are never far from my thoughts. Now to start making hair appointments & planning the outfit....thank goodness.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Just Add Color

I have been waiting for two months now for Mother's Day. Not so I could get some flowers or a card or even a great dinner- which I did. I was waiting for The Color Run Seattle 5K. My nine year old son decided to run with me as my gift from him. It was our first ever 5k together & his first 5k ever. It was so amazing to get up at 5:15AM (note some sarcasm) & head out to Seattle. Hunter my oldest tagged along to be our camera man. He captured some great pictures that will forever be in my memory. This will most likely be the best Mother's Day for a long time to come. I will let the pictures tell the story of how we started off white & ended up looking like a rainbow of colors. It is so cool to have my boys involved in my runs now! 

In the beginning there was a group of 9 clean runners....

For some it was the first mom & son 5K

It also meant best friends running their 7th race together

Friends who met everyday at the gym for weeks to support eachother

There was over 6,000 runners...fastest sell out time ever!

We began our run & laughed the whole way!

Jacob turned into a smurf at the first color zone

The people in the green color zone went a little nuts on us- we looked like the Hulk!

By the end we looked like a rainbow explosion!

We all had fun & all the kids ran their very best!

Jacob kept up anytime I asked to run including a big hill.

The Color Party at the end- was so fun! It was a little hard to breathe but we didn't care.

Bekah's husband looked awesome in all his color.

Color Party Zone

We got photo bombed by random dude!

My little guy resting after the race eating a snack.

It was a morning filled with laughter & fun that I will never forgot. It was so much fun that Hunter my oldest who took all the pictures wants to run it next year! I can't wait to maybe get the whole family to join us in the fun! 

An Overhead shot of Seattle