Security

Security means home to me, both as a mother and as a military spouse. As we move all over every 3 years, finding a home and setting up shop says: security. At least for the time being. Finding a home and settling in also brings up words like safety, family, and contentment. Contentment has been a big theme taking up residence in my thoughts as of late.IMG_6820

As we face our next PCS we are doing things a bit differently this time around. While Eric leaves for our next duty station, I am staying behind this time with the kids and of course our 4-legged family members. Why would we do this? Well, not only do we love our kids’ school, Eric will deploy soon after relocating, so we can either miss him from somewhere familiar and somewhat comfortable, or miss him and have to start a new school, meet new friends etc. This decision not only impacts our finances, but our quality of life as well. We will be reunited as soon as the kids finish one more year of school.

Like most people, we have debt. Cars, homes, credit cards, etc. are all so pervasive in our culture that it’s almost weird if you don’t have at least a student loan or a credit card. We have a big hole to dig out of, so we are looking at downsizing our life, selling the house, and *gasp* living in an apartment for a year to increase the size of our shovel. It’s just a house. There will be others. We have no plans to return, or retire here so it makes no sense to hang on to it.

While it seems to be a backward step, going from paying on a mortgage to renting, it’s a relaunch of sorts. Making wiser financial decisions, sacrificing now so that later we can have more options, saying no now, to say yes later. Delayed gratification.

And later, actual financial security.

 

Snapshot Story

Snapshot Story
Arrival in Hawaii, 2009

In this daily post prompt, we are asked to grab a photo album and write a story about the first picture we see of ourselves. In my photo album on my computer, this is the first photo I saw.

Taken on the balcony of the Hale Koa hotel in Honolulu, we were so excited to be stationed in Hawaii! We couldn’t wait to explore paradise. With our then-5 month old baby boy, I had no idea what three years on an island in the pacific would mean for my family, my marriage, or for me.

I remember thinking at the time, “Hmm, I’ve lost a bit of weight, I’m on the right diet.” Now when I look at this picture, I see a bad hair ‘do (Christmas Tree cut, anyone?!), a tired mom, anticipation of opportunities, and more.

What I want to do is take this girl by the shoulders and shake her. I want her to discover how good it feels to eat healthfully and MOVE! I want her to not shy away from the camera. I want to tell her to stop wearing black in 80 degree heat!

I want her to start writing and never stop.

I want to tell her it’s okay to say goodbye.

I want to tell her to be open to new things, to be open to new people.

To try new things, even if failure is a possibility. Don’t always take the safe road.

That when she feels scared, it’s okay to sit in the fear, feel it for what it is, but then never to let it immobilize her.

There are many things I want to tell her. But she’ll soon discover it all for herself.

“All great achievements require time.” -Maya Angelou

I Tri’d

Whew. I did the dang thing!

Here’s the milage breakdown:

7 mile warm up from T2/Finish line to Goss Lake/Start line

800 yd swim in Goss Lake (warmer than I thought, thank goodness!)

19.5 mile bike ride

3.8 mile run

When I signed up for this race, I misread the distances and thought it was a 12 mile bike ride. And I had no clue about the “warm up” ride to the start line. Oh, well. Like most things I’ve done – I jump in first and ask questions later! I’ve yet to regret a race or event, and usually have a pretty good time doing it. You know, aside from the pain.

What I was unprepared for (among MANY things!) was how hilly the bike course was! (Here’s a link to the map if you are nerdy about elevation details like I am!) There were some TOUGH hills. When chatting with other triathletes, they were surprised that people (like me) would pick this one as their first Triathlon. “It’s such a crazy race!” Yeah. No joke. I think the website lied when it said, “great race for beginners”.

Oh well. I did it. And if I ever do another tri, I’ll be sure to find one that is a bit easier. There were a few DNFs (Did Not Finish), and while I was WAY at the back of the pack (so far back that I couldn’t SEE the pack!) I finished what I started.  There is no way that I could have quit knowing that my minions were waiting at the finish line. I didn’t care how bad I hurt or the fact that both of my knees were basically giving me the finger for the entire 3.8 mile run portion.

Ultimately it doesn’t matter how bad a person sucks at something. It’s that new things are attempted. I am not a huge fan of swimming (unless its just for fun) but perhaps like childbirth, when the pain and memory fades from this race, I’ll be eager to sign up for another one!

Mad props to the triathletes out there! You all make marathons look easy!

Wonder-full Wednesday

I have never been so grateful to sleep in my own bed as I am after a stay in a hotel. Yes, more FWPs (First World Problems) but I have to say – if you are thinking of buying a Tempurpedic (or a Select Comfort, I’ve heard) really consider all options. They are the BEST mattresses, but they make you a complete pansy when it comes to sleeping on anything else. Not sleeping due to crappy mattress, coupled with a nasty head cold and falling down the stairs and hurting my back – I was looking at my beautiful babies and the thought of “calling in sick” seemed like such a fun fantasy. There were a few times when I worked outside the home (especially early on in my first pregnancy) when I was very VERY thankful for the ability to call in sick, pull the covers over my head and just sleep and take care of myself. Or, the rare occasion when I was sick on a day when Eric was home and HE could take care of me! (Yeah, I think that’s happened twice in our 12 years of marriage!)

Now here I sit with my beautiful babies and yes, I admit, I would love to go back upstairs, pull the covers over my head and sleep off this cold for a few days. That just isn’t an option. Moms aren’t supposed to get sick. And when they do – they still have to do everything they usually do. So I kept it low key and drug out my camera and played cars, and blocks, and read books with these kiddos.

Then it hit me. While I love the idea of “calling in sick”, what I am REALLY thankful for is a “job” where the “bosses” love me no matter what, that they really don’t care if my hair is done or in a ponytail for the fifth day in a row, that I’m slinging snot all over, and I don’t have to wear nylons. Ever.

Here is a little bit of what we did:

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Hannah’s sweet little face…kind of tired and recovering from all the excitement of our little weekend away.

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Racing cars down the slide!!!

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The collection!

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Sweet little stinker!

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Watch out! She’s coming down!

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Peek at you!

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Blocks and tower building!

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Dazed and a bit sleepy!

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The fog was so thick we couldn’t even see across the street!

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Window art!

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Toys toys toys…..

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Hannah decided to do Jake’s hair!! (He was such a good sport! 🙂 )

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I love my littles.

Even on the sick days!