Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Veteran's Day

It's a day after Veterans Day, but it's never too late to express gratitude.  This day is one that I am learning to appreciate more each year.  Growing up I never understood what this day is all about.  Thinking back to elementary school the word veteran = Lt. Dan from the movie Forrest Gump.  I was smart enough to know that Lt. Dan was a fictional character and since he wasn't real veterans probably weren't real either (little naive me).  I didn't come from a family with a rich military background.  I do have extended family member that have military experience, but regretfully, I have yet to take the time to learn of their service.

Jordan with Pedersen at boot camp graduation

I know now that veterans are very real people.  They might not look like Lt. Dan although some may.  Most veterans are the average Joe.  It's almost impossible to be in a place where someone isn't a veteran or doesn't know a veteran.  Looking back to my freshman year of college my best friend, Brittany, and I took an Army ROTC class together.  Being associated with ROTC is committing social suicide but I wouldn't give back the experiences I had or the people I met.  Below are a few of the experiences that allowed me to increase my appreciation for our service men and women.
  • Fire watch in the dark and freezing temperatures.
  • "Sleeping" on the ground covered in frost. 
  • Early morning PT (I may have skipped out more than once)
  • Smelling MREs (I didn't need to taste it to know it was a waste of calories)
  • Participating in color guard
  • Wearing camo pajamas one too many times
  • Attending a dining-out (Those events are full of tradition!)

ROTC FTX Brit and I only survived because Jefferson took us under his wing.

The nastiest panty-hos at the dining-out

I couldn't end without sharing a little of my very own personal veteran (I am aware that I don't own him).  Jordan is an Active Duty Marine.  He has served for 3 years and is currently on his second deployment.  He is a grunt and a badass.  He will out hike most in his platoon while carrying others gear.  He has a sharp eye and excels in his duties.  You might think I am being bias but I am not.  That is all fact.  I am honored and proud to support him.  Being married to an Active Duty Marine, I have first-hand experience in making sacrifices that are necessary to protect this country.  Jordan shared with me a part of an email that he received from another Marine.  There was a line that read, "we sacrifice our lives, family time, birthdays, holidays, funerals, births, and first bike rides for our country." The list could go on, but when I read those words I was overwhelmed with gratitude that Jordan and so many are willing to put this country before their families, education, and personal goals.  I hope that all Americans feel an obligation to help this country stand strong so that our military men and women do not feel their sacrifices were made in vain.  When you encounter a veteran make sure you thank them for their service.  I know it means a whole lot to each of them.

My favorite picture of J in his Blues.

USMC 237th Birthday Ball

Just before J's first deployment

Saying goodbye to the pup before his second deployment

J's new bed for 8 months

J's new home.  He hardly fits at 6' 5"

Come home soon!

Sunday, March 31, 2013

Gone Fishin'

This weekend Jordan and I went fishing on the open ocean.  We were so happy that our good Friends the McCubbins(Madi and Aaron) came along.  We woke up super early to make sure were didn't miss our boat.  As you can see the sun is just starting to make its appearance in the first picture.  It was a rough day of fishing. The water was too cold and the fish just weren't biting.  Madi was lucky enough to catch a little fish and Aaron caught a lobster cage.  Jordan and I and pretty much everyone else on the boat got skunked. 

Even though we didn't catch anything we had the opportunity to see a lot of marine life.  That alone was worth the trip.  We saw a huge pod of dolphins, lots of sea lions, and a ton of pelicans.  The boys were lucky enough to see a whale.  I'm sad I missed it while I was inside warming up my fingers. 

I really can't wait to go again.  We learned that next time before we go out to check the fish count.  Seriously, if you are ever in the area check out Dana Wharf they will make sure you have a good time.    

6 am smiles
J was nice enough to bait my hook.
 I really didn't feel like touching squid and sardines.
Our irreplaceable friends the McCubbins

This little guy swam by the boat a few times.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Newly Discovered Truths

I feel like every so often I have few ah-ha moments.  Then a new day comes along and I forget that ah-ha moment.  Those moments that the light bulb goes off in your head or the wheels make a complete circle are supposed to in someway change something in your life.  Most of these moments are really insignificant, but if I remembered them I could have less arguments with myself about things that need to be done.

Here are a few moments that I have had recently:
  • Eating a salad for lunch does NOT make it ok to eat a whole box of Girl Scout Cookies for dinner.
  • If your dog goes for a swim in the ocean it does NOT count as a bath... the stink will still be there if not worse.
  • Running the same distance every time you run will NOT help you progress.  You need to push yourself to run farther.
  • J can finally pull off a surprise without spilling the beans so do NOT try and get him to.
  • When J is gone the pup will try and take his place on the bed... and some. Enforce the NO dog on bed rule.
  • When I have a grocery list... Stick to it. NO cookie dough, mini pizza's, or other junk I don't need.
  • Talking about goals is NOT the same as working towards them.
Hopefully writing these thoughts down will help me remember them in the morning. Most importantly I need to start working on the last thing. 

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

My Old Man

I have noticed that most of my posts are pretty generic.  I will share what going on in life, but rarely do I share feelings or things that I have been thinking about.  Maybe I am trying to practice voicing my opinions and sharing my thoughts.  

Lately, I have been thinking about my old man.  It could have to do with it coming up on seven years since his passing.  I can pinpoint a few things that have sparked all of these thoughts and memories of my dad.  This last weekend my whole family traveled to New Mexico to celebrate my Grandma Brown's 90th Birthday.  A the day before I was on the road I swear every corner I turned I saw my dad's favorite flower, Birds of Paradise.  This sounds silly but every time that I see that flower I feel like its a reminder that he is watching over me and loves me.  

As we came closer to our destination I couldn't help but feel like my dad was right there with my sister and I.  I just felt peaceful and knew that my dad was so happy that all of his kids would be together.

On Saturday when we arrived at the party I was able to spend sometime with my uncles and my aunt.  Being surrounded by my dads siblings was such a sweet experience.  Each one of them has a quality that reminds me of my dad.  Their hugs, their smiles, the twinkle in their eyes, their humor, their chubby hands, their thick black fluffy hair, their kind hearts, and their love for story telling.  It makes me feel like heaven isn't too far away.

I always have such a hard time leaving my family because of the special feelings that I have when I am with them.  I treasure every moment that I get to spend with them.  I know how much they care for me.  I am truly grateful to be part of a family that is so loving.  Sometimes I feel sad that my dad hasn't met Jordan or that my future kids won't know their grandpa but its these sweet little reminders that help me know that he is still around.  I love you Daddy.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

A "Bite" Of A Reality Check

Almost immediately after Jordan and I were married I was begging him to start a family with me.  I feel like almost everyone experiences it.  I would take it very personal when he would shut down at what I thought was the most wonderful idea ever.  I no longer let the thought of starting my family now consume my entire day.  I have realized that the time will come but now isn't our time.  

Yesterday was just another day.  I went to work and after I took Cider, our baby for now, to the dog park to let out some energy.  She loves it there and loves to play with other dogs.  After 20 minutes of being there this little French Bulldog snapped and started to attack her.  The dumb thing wouldn't let go of her foot.  Long story short her paw got bit open.  I took her home and helped clean out the bite.  I was bawling my eyes out.  I felt so bad that she was hurt.  As soon as J came home he helped me clean it out a little better and bandage her up.  The rest of the night I couldn't even stop crying.  Jordan gets a gold star for putting up with crying.  I spent the whole night playing out scenarios in my head about what I am going to say to the owner next time I see her.

The point of the story is as of yesterday I realized that I am going to be a wreck when I have kids.  That little incident brought out the mama bear in me and she is just a dog.  I can't imagine what it would feel like if I had a child and someone bit, hit, or made fun of them.  I would be livid.  So lets just say watch out for the day that I have kids.  On a side note I think that I am fine waiting a while longer since obviously a child would mean 1,000 times more than a dog.