Wednesday, July 20, 2011

A Graduation

Wow, up at 2 a.m., can't sleep.  You see, my oldest daughter, Alyssa graduates in just 2 days from the United States Air Force Basic Military Training program.  After 8 1/2 long weeks I get to hold her in my arms again, kiss her face and tell her how much I love and am proud of her.  I have been watching a few videos of what her celebrations and graduation will be like and I cry like a baby.  Just the anticipation I believe.  She has an Airman's Run on Thursday morning where the flights run 2 1/2 miles in formation and we (families of the Airmen) stand on the sidelines and cheer them on, see our babies for the first time and even hold up HUGE banners like this one here that we had made for her.

Then we head off to a coin ceremony which is a HUGE moment in an Airman's career where they reaffirm their oath to serve their country and receive a coin commererating their completion of this first step in their military career.  After this event ends, all of the graduating Airmen stand at attention until someone from their family comes and "taps them out".  Which just means they receive their first hug, kiss or even just a pat on the back from their loved ones.  Man how I can't wait for that moment!  After the completion of the coin ceremony, we will have a picnic lunch (Mom - my Mom that is, is making chicken salad, yum!) and then we check into a base hotel at 2 p.m.  We decided to stay on base because that day they are only allowed base liberty (meaning they can't leave base ) and so that we could get out of the heat and so Alyssa could have a place to relax for 5 1/2 hours before having to be back in her dorm.  Plus, it will make it much easier on us when we have to be back on base anyway the following morning at 8 a.m. for the actual graduation ceremony.

Friday is her actual graduation ceremony, which is actually a parade of Airmen marching.  I am not quite sure yet which of these events I will feel the most pride or if they will be equal in significance for me.  I just know that I am going to be one proud Mommy and am so wired I can't sleep.  Thus, up at 2 a.m. blogging to anyone who might be reading.  After her ceremony, we are leaving base and taking her out for a steak dinner (her request) and then coming home so she can relax a few hours before having to return to base for the night.

Saturday she gets to leave the base again and after we pick her up at 9 a.m. she will come home with us for a short while before going out to lunch with her real father and that side of her family.  Then most likely she will once again be here for some relaxation before we take her back to base again for the night.

Sunday she only has base liberty once again so it's going to be a long, hot day in Texas with over 100 degree temperatures.  We will be there from 9 a.m to 6 p.m. because I don't want to miss a moment with her.  After that day, when I say goodbye at 6 p.m., she will once again leave us for a 3 to 5 month stay in Tech School.  From there, she gets her duty station and that is the scariest part of this whole career move for me.  Where will my baby end up and will that mean I don't get to see her very often over the next 6 years of her life.  Tech School location is great.  In San Angelo only 2 1/2 hours away so I will go see her at least 3 times during her visit there.  Woohoo!

Here is my baby before she left, getting sworn in for the first time, vowing to serve our great country.

She told me the other day that she has gained 8 lbs. over the last 8 weeks ( no doubt it is solid muscle) and for the first time in her life she weighs over 100 lbs. LOL

Anywho, I have a ton to get done before my family gets here and better get started.  I just wanted to capture these thoughts and memories before the moment passed me.

I will leave you with a few layouts I have done recently because well, I am a scrapbooker......right?  I don't want to take the time to list credits today but, they are linked to my gallery at DST in case you are interested and want to leave me some loves.  ;)

You know the drill....until next time.....

Saturday, July 16, 2011

I hope to inspire become a healthier you

Today I ran 5K.  I started running back in April of this year with the Couch to 5K program.  The last 5K I did was with my USAF Airman daughter in February of this year with a 52 minute walk time.  I ran today's race in 36:54 (11:54 pace) and took 5th place in my age group.  I have Fibromyalgia which prevents me from running to train some days when mentally I really want to.  I have arthritis in my right knee.  I spent nearly two years sitting on the couch letting myself be run by my ailments.  However, in spite of these ailments that I could let hold me back, I said no more will I be a victim and I push myself to give my very best on the days I can.  I have a long way to reach my goals but today I hit a major milestone.

I ran this race for one was held at Lackland Air Force Base where my oldest daughter is currently doing her Basic Military Training.  She graduates in 5 days.  I did it on the slight chance that out of 600 Airmen, I *might* get a glimpse of her.  I walked 3 times on my last mile so I could let some female flights (they ran in formation) catch up to me in hopes I would see her that way.  Once the race was done, my husband (who ran the 5K also) and I found her.  We sat in bleachers far enough away that we weren't obvious but close enough that we could see her and she could see us.  She was sitting with her back to us about 500 yards away on the pavement below but glanced back several times to smile at us.  After not seeing her for 8 long weeks, she was beautiful and looked very healthy.  I was so proud of her, just seeing her in that environment.

I never in a million years expected to win an award so I was pretty far from the awards table.  When my name was called, I got up and ran to the awards table, retrieved my trophy and walked quickly back to the bleachers.  There in front of me still sitting on the pavement was my baby girl, wiping the tears from her face and getting pats on the back from her fellow flight members.  All the while, trying to hide it from her TI's.  But, in that moment....I had made my daughter proud of me and that made this achievement more wonderful than just winning the trophy itself.  You see, while she has been gone....I have worked really hard and when I thought I couldn't push any harder or give any more, I think of her and what she is going through and it drives me to give everything I have in me every time I workout.  She is a runner, a cross country runner at that and I really wanted to be a runner, like her.  I idolized her that she was so strong and a fierce competitor.

She left me a she saw me as a runner.  I will never forget this moment.

I hope you can all find your motivation to give your best at becoming physically healthy.  Find what drives you and dig deep.  If I can do this.....I have every faith that you can reach your goals too.

Thursday, July 7, 2011


Well, I don't have much to say today other than yesterday morning I was feeling 10 feet tall and bulletproof (I am a bit stubborn) and I decided to run my longest distance to date, 4.88 miles.  I did it in 58 minutes for a pace of 11:53, which I am VERY proud of because I ran it straight, no walking, great breathing and pace control.  Just got tired legs but, that is why I do strength training with weights and continue running - to build those leg muscles.  Gotta build that endurance!

However, I figured I would pay for it later and low and behold.....I surely did.  And it was FIERCE!  I was hurting so bad from my Fibro that I was in tears.  I took a muscle relaxer (which doesn't help my pain) and it relaxed me to a point that I was loopy enough to not pay so much attention to the pain and lost the frustration of it.  When I do take those pills, I am not able to function normally though so my speech was slurred, balance was off, etc.  I fell asleep on the couch and when I woke up to go to my bed, I took a route that I wouldn't normally take and well.....ran nose first into the wall.  I am so glad that I didn't wake up with 2 black eyes this morning.

Today I am feeling great and moving around the house like "a chicken with it's head cut off" (as my Grandmother would always say) trying to get ready for our MC weekend Anniversary Party.  Someday I will tell you about our MC.  All in due time, I have so much about myself and the happenings in my life that this would be a novel if I shared it all in one post.

So, I have another busy day ahead of me and NO.....I won't be running today although, it is VERY HARD for me to not do it.  You see, I am addicted to running.  I have run 5 days in a row and it physically hurts me not to run.  But, I am bringing my gear with me just in case I find a nice place to run at our resort!  LOL

Before I get to my Agenda, I just have to share my layouts for today!

This one uses Captivated Visions newest release - Ianthne The Bundle and Fiddle-Dee-Dee's newest template set Fuss Free:  Funky Paper Play 5

This uses Designs by Kat's newest - Proud Mama and a new set of templates from Nanie's Designs - Sassy Starters Inspired by Paper Vol 4.  Of course, font is my new favorite, Niki by Stolen Moments!

Here is what is up for today:

Shave necessary body parts - done!
Pluck eyebrows - done!
Sew Lyssa's quilt backing -done!
Baste Lyssa's quilt - done!
Go to store - done!
Send off questionnaires to my 6 "adopted" Airman - done!
Finish printing LYM book - done!  AND in binder!
Reschedule DD #3's doctor appt - done!
Get puppies ready for outside doggy weekend :( - done!
Upload some layouts to galleries - done!

Whew!  Another busy day!  But, I think I can accomplish it all without the running making my fibro flare up worse than normal.  We'll see how I do!  I will try and update at the end of the day before I head out at 7 pm for our trip.

I hope you all have a blessed weekend!


Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Fibromyalgia and Me

Well, it was bound to happen sooner or later that I tell you all about my Fibromyalgia.  Because when I have a flare up like I had the last two day (crossing fingers it's not here again today) it pretty much disables me from doing much of anything.  If you aren't familiar with Fibromyalgia, let me give you the rundown.....

Fibromyalgia is a medical disorder characterized by chronic widespread pain and allodynia, a heightened and painful response to pressure.  Fibromyalgia symptoms are not restricted to pain, leading to the use of the alternative term fibromyalgia syndrome for the condition. Other symptoms include debilitating fatigue, sleep disturbance and joint stiffness. Some patients may also report difficulty with swallowing, bowel and bladder abnormalities, numbness and tingling and cognitive dysfunction Fibromyalgia is frequently comorbid with psychiatric conditions such as depression and anxiety and stress-related disorders such as postraumatic stress disorder.  Not all people with fibromyalgia experience all associated symptoms. 
Evidence from research conducted in the last three decades has revealed abnormalities within the central nervous system affecting brain regions that may be linked both to clinical symptoms and research phenomena.  These studies show a correlation, but not causation.  Some research suggests that alterations in the central nervous system might be the result of childhood stress, or prolonged or severe stress.
Historically, fibromyalgia has been considered either a musculoskelatal disease or neuropsychiatric condition. Although there is as yet no cure for fibromyalgia, some treatments have been demonstrated by controlled clinical trials to be effective in reducing symptoms, including medications, behavioral interventions, patient education, and exercise. The most recent approach of a diagnosis of fibromyalgia involves pain index and a measure of key symptoms and severity.
Fibromyalgia is considered a controversial diagnosis, due to lacking scientific consensus to its cause.  Not all members of the medical community consider fibromyalgia a disease because of a lack of abnormalities on physical examination and the absence of objective diagnostic tests.
Fibromyalgia has been recognized as a diagnosable disorder by the National Institutes of Health and the American College of Rheumatology.
Well, I am here to tell you that it is real.  Very real.  I take regulatory pain medications (of which I am at the maximum dosage) each day that are supposed to limit the amount of pain overall.  In other words, stays in my system, builds up in my system.  However, there are times that it is just not enough and the Fibro wins or over takes the day.

I was diagnosed almost exactly 2 years ago although I suffered with the effects of it for many months prior to diagnosis.  For some people it gradually comes over time, for me it seemed to almost happen over night.  I went through test after test after test, saw so many doctors that I can not remember their names, had brain scans, blood work, x-rays, sleep study, EKG, EEG, nerve conduction studies, you name it....I've been through it.  I am so sick of doctors I can hardly stand to go to my monthly visit with my Rhuematologist.  But, of course I do because I need to.

I recently went to see a Pain Specialist because my Rhuematologist just won't or can't do anything more for me for the pain.  Well, this pain specialist wants to give me 2 shots in my spine to try and alleviate the pain.  I am undecided yet whether or not I will have this procedure done.  I am just at my wit's end sometimes as to what to do and especially when I have bad days.  I just want someone, anyone to take the pain away and make it better.  Nothing helps completely.  I have elevated my legs, laid down, stood up, sat down, propped up, taken a warm bath, etc.  I do rub myself down a lot with Icy Hot as it seems to dull the pain but not alleviate it completely.  My pain is mostly in my legs and feet although, it does radiate to my arms and hands when I am having a really bad flare.  Like this week.  Folding laundry last night was nearly impossible and the hubby was angry at me for not listening to my body.  But I am stubborn sometimes and refuse to let it rule my life.

So, that is what I live with.  I never know how my day will be when I wake up each morning.  Stress seems to be one of the worst triggers of my Fibro and right now I believe I am having a flare due to my grandson's diagnosis of hearing loss (like I mentioned, more on that later).

I have learned over the last 2 years how to live a very low stress life.  However, if any little thing disrupts this barrier or bubble that I live in, my Fibro flares.  The bigger the disruption, the worse the Fibro.

But, enough about that....I am sure I have bored you to pieces by now.  Just want to give a thank you though to Wikipedia for the information on Fibromyalgia.

I have some major news!  On Monday I got a PM from Mel at Scrap Orchard asking if I wanted to join their creative team and become a "BEE".  Of course, I jumped up and down, squealed and told the hubby to pinch me to make sure it was real.  I had applied to their recent call (in May) and wasn't selected.  Which totally bummed me out and yes, I shed a few tears.  But, all in good time my wishes came true and I am now officially a BEE.  Thank you Mel and Kami for having me!

This layout uses Lucky Me by Rosey Posey Studio and of course my new favorite font, Niki by Stolen Moments.

This layout was made for the After Five Designs, July Template With A Twist Challenge (you can grab the template for FREE on their forum) and uses their new July 555 Collab, Independent Spirit.  You can get that collab for only $5 for 5 days!

I really liked posting my Agenda the other day and with today being a REALLY busy day for me, I thought I would post it again.  BTW - I did go back and update the things I got done from my list the other day!

Agenda for Wednesday, July 6th:
Make bed - done!
Unload/load dishwasher - done!
Prep coffee - done!
Bleach countertops - done!
Water plants - done!
Layout for Kat - done!
Call Resort about amenities -dond!
Letter to my baby Airman - done!
Pick up scrips at Walgreens
Pick up groceries for weekend motorcycle club retreat -done!
Pack for motorcycle retreat - done!
Clean sewing room - done!
Run - done!
Add Google Reader to my blog - done!
Sew together backing for Lyssa's quilt

Well, there you have it!  Busy day or what?  I better get started or I will never accomplish it all and I have to get as much done as possible before Jonathan comes home or I won't get it accomplished.  He seems to slow me down.  I get so much more done when I am home alone!

I'll see you next time!  May be Monday though before you hear (or rather read me) from me again.  I have a motorcycle club retreat from Friday to Sunday and we are heading out Thursday afternoon.  So, not sure I will have time to blog tomorrow.  I will have lots of catching up to do though so you have lots to look forward to!


Monday, July 4, 2011

Making A List

I mentioned in my initial post that I might be using my blog to write out my day's agenda so I think I will try that out today.  I may or may not come back and update what I got done.  Or I may just post tomorrow or the next day and say, "Hey, I knocked out x, y and z on my list".  Although, my list is much longer than x, y and z, I assure you!  LOL

So, here is what's up for today:

Run - done!  Did 4.32 miles today!  My farthest distance so far and with an 11:48 pace.  Not too shabby.
Dishes - done!
Water flowers - done!
Make bed - done!  (major OCD on this it everyday!)
Delete 35 peeps on Facebook - done!
Block 50 followers on Twitter - done!
*I am going through and deleting and blocking people on these apps whom I have no idea who they even are.    Will be doing this daily until I narrow it down to just my friends whom I normally interact with.

Back to list:
Order some 1 hour photos from Wal-Mart - done!
Write letters and mail to my 7 Airmen - done!
Layout for MSS - done!
Layout for Thaty - done!
Delete old photos and load new ones on DH's slide show pic frame - done!
Fold laundry - UGH! - done!
Prep coffee for tomorrow - done!

And that's about it I think.  DH grilled us some pork fajitas yesterday that we will heat up for leftovers for lunch and then it's a salad for dinner so I don't have any cooking to do.  Woohoo!

I hope you all enjoy your 4th of July!  I am thinking of my baby girl today, she is currently at Basic Training in the US Air Force.  She started Beast Week today so, it's going to be a rough week for her!  They live in tents, eat those little bags of food for breakfast and lunch (those things are 3000 calories each! geez!) and basically are treated as if they are "at war".  Say a prayer for her if you do that or just keep positive thoughts for her.  This is a real test of her abilities, strength and courage.

Until I see you again......


Sunday, July 3, 2011

Yay! A Blog Again!

After trying and wanting for months to get my personal blog started, I have finally done it.  I have to say thank you to Zoe Pearn for her beautiful Blog In A Box, Serenity and to Leah (paperboutique) for her help with my coding when I just couldn't seem to get it right this morning.

This blog is for me to post about my life and all the goings on that it involves.  My marriage to my wonderful hubby, my children, grandson, my scrapping, my quilting, my running journey, my biker lifestyle and everything in between.  It may be once a day, once a week or just whenever.  It will be when a. I have time and b. when the mood strikes my fancy.

One thing I just recently began as well is a P52 project.  Well, I say P52 because I will scrap my layouts once a week and they may or may not include a daily picture or they may have just one picture that sums up the week.  I know, I am starting on July 1, the middle of the year instead of your typical January 1.  But, in my defense, I had just had major surgery when the new year began and it just wasn't feasible and I also wasn't in the best of times emotionally in my life.  So, who says I can't do my P52 from July 1 - June 30 every year?  So, it is my hope that I will be here each week to show you the layout I did for the previous week's activities and life happenings.

Being that I am doing P52, I will also use this blog as a journal spot so I can record the activities that go on in our lives each day so when I do my layouts, I haven't forgotten what I need to journal about!

I would LOVE to use this blog as a daily jumping board and post my daily chores and tasks on the agenda but, I am not quite sure yet if this will happen so, I won't commit to anything just yet.  You may see me do it from time to time though just to see how I like it!  Thank you to my sweet friend Katie (Katie the Scrapbook Lady) for this idea!  It's not something she does routinely but, she did it one day and it caught my attention and the idea was planted!

I don't promise this blog will be funny or entertaining, dull and boring or even interesting at all.  I just want to journal my life and I hope that somewhere along the way, some of you find something in my blog that you connect with and it helps improve your life in some kind of way.  Whether it gives you creative inspiration, makes you want to go give someone a big hug, puts a smile on your face or just gives you something to read to fill some gaps in your day.

I tend to type like I don't be surprised if I take you around in circles and get off track a few times.  I am easily distracted so, I may be talking about laundry and jump into something about the Air Force (proud Mommy of a brand new Airman!) all in one paragraph.  So, no promises for correct punctuation, grammar or spelling either!

Now, since this is brand new and my first post and I just started my P52 on Friday, I need to do a bit of journaling to capture my family's activities over the last 3 days.

Friday, July 1 - Took Megan (Chunky as we lovingly call her - story behind nickname another time) in the morning to see Marcus for a 45 minute visit since she hadn't seen him in 2 years since his move.   Then very soon after arriving back home, she left me for her month long visit with her real Dad.  Of course, she left a crying Mommy.  This is the first time in 10 1/2 years since her Dad and I separated that he is taking her for this length of time and it will be the first time I have been without children at home for this long either.  Not surprising, with her being 14 and beginning high school this fall and quite the social life, she was not happy to be going for this long.  But, it is beyond my control.  I just hope that I am able to have her for her Sissy's USAF graduation activities July 20 - 24.  I felt sick ALL day.  I did little more than lay around on the couch hoping to feel better.  I didn't even unpack my bag from my return the previous day after a 4 day visit with my parents.  So, unlike me.  I typically always get unpacked from a trip either the same day I arrive home or the very next day - early!  Call it a little bit of OCD.

Saturday, July 2 - Woke up feeling much better.  Jonathan and I had an early start to our day and went out to run some errands.  We hit Wal-Mart to pick up my newest movies I ordered (I am a HUGE movie buff with over 550 in my arsenal), to pick me up an AMAZING new Enell sports bra after it came highly recommended by some of my friends over at the Sweet Shoppe Designs community, then we hit a Barnes and Noble so I could pick me up a weekly planner to keep track of all of my Creative Team duties.  I don't have a ton of creative teams, I am just a huge list maker and I got tired of having little notes scribbled and scrabbled in my spiral (I keep a spiral next to me all the time and write down all kinds of lists during the day) and then try to thumb through them to find what I was supposed to be doing when.  And I didn't want to use our family calendar cuz let's face it....they love looking at my layouts but, they don't really care to know how I come about making them.  We finished off our errands with a trip to a local ice cream shop where we buy popsicles and cream pops.  In fact, we just discovered the place last week and have been there 2 Saturdays in a row now to buy them.  They are so cheap at just .38 cents each and they have like 20 or so flavors.  They are made with real fruit and are simply AMAZING!  Every one I have tried so far has been fantastic.  I try and avoid the cream pops as they are higher calorie so I have only tried the coconut and banana so far.  But, by far my favorite is......wait for it.....Pickle!  Yes, they have a dill pickle popsicle.  It is so yummy, tastes just like drinking from the pickle jar or sucking the juice out of a pickle like I used to do at the movie theater as a kid.  There are even tiny pieces of real pickle in there - see....real ingredients in every one!  We tried to finish off our day with a run around the neighborhood, or I did rather.  Jonathan and I set out to run 3.1 miles but, I only made it 1.12 miles.  My music on my phone was skipping, taking forever to load and then quit working altogether.  Couple that with the fact that I just don't run well in the evening, I was a quitter.  Hubby continued on and ran his 3.1, show off!

Sunday, July 3 - Was up at 2:30 a.m. this morning.  Just can't seem to get my schedule right and really only sleep about 4 or 5 hours a night.  I think it has a lot to do with my little grandson and his recent diagnosis of hearing loss (more on that later too) but, I wish I could get more sleep cuz let's face it, I need it.  I scrapped a layout while I waited for hubby to wake up.  Then we started our day off right and set out at 7 a.m. to do our run.  I told myself that I would NOT let the pavement win today and that I would definitely put in my 3.1 miles!  And I DID!  Not only did I do the 3.1, I kept going on the momentum I had and put in 3.36 miles.  I always feel so much better after a bad run when I can have a good run the next day and rebuild my confidence.  We then headed out to pick up our groceries for the week.  Not much needed this week though as we are both pretty much eating salad for our lunch and dinner each day.  We have a ton of salad in our refrigerator!  Then with the help of Leah, this blog got created and I spent hours playing around with widgets (which still need work), surfed all of my digi scrap sites and then it was time for hubby to grill us some pork fajitas.  I went outside with him and was going to journal but, I got so sleepy that I wound up falling asleep on my wicker love seat a few times.  So, I decided a nap was in order.  Came inside, turned on my ceiling fan, crawled into my snuggly bed and napped for 2 1/2 hours only to awake to dinner waiting for me thanks to my wonderful hubby.  The rest of the evening has been spent writing this post while watching Ace Ventura.  I might start on a new layout before heading off to bed tonight or I may ask hubby to rub my aching legs with some Icy Hot  and just curl up on the couch for the rest of the night.

I will leave you with my most recent layout....the one I did today that I am super proud of.  Not my usual style of layout but, I love the journaling I did and I love it's topic - running.  I am so in love with running lately that I can't help but love any layout that captures my progress!

For this layout I used Rosey Posey's Luv 2 Run and Darcy Baldwin's Me and My Shadow Light font.

I will be back soon with some more nonsense!  Hope you all have a Happy 4th of July (if you are in the states) and if not just have a great start to your week!