31 January 2011

Let it snow! Let it snow! Let it snow!

Yes! We are finally getting some precipitation here in Albuquerque! Yahoo!! 

As I'm sure most know, there is a major storm system developing (well, it already started here a few hours ago) across most of the US. I got some pics from the Weather Channel's site to share.

 So this is the snow prediction - notice all that purple in New Mexico, and of course, good old Oklahoma! Is it weird that I still check the local news stations on OKC?? I just miss Oklahoma so much - New Mexico is definitely not the same!
The high predictions for Tuesday - it's going to be pretty darn freezing in a lot of places (or colder!) In South Dakota, where Mike's parents and other family live, notice the high in the negatives. The high!!! Man, I am glad we don't live there! (Sorry Ruth!)

 There's also a huge ice potential for this storm - I hope they're wrong about this one! Ice is way bad. See my blog posts here here here here for an Oklahoma ice story.
 Snowfall forecast for this storm. The purple in New Mexico is the mountains. We'll probably get slightly less. Usually all the snow dumps on the east side of the Sandia Mountains (they already had 30 inches this year) before reaching the metro. However this afternoon when the storm started, it came from the west - so voila! We have snow on the ground now!
Wednesday's predicted highs - even COLDER in some places than on Tuesday. It looks like South Dakota will be warming up nicely to a whole ten degrees! We will be colder than Tuesday with highs in the teens. I sincerely doubt I will be heading out to PWOC!! 

Now, I am a little odd. Most people know this about me. What some people may not know is that I have a habit of almost always rooting for the underdog. Call me a "true American". Some will arguably say that rooting for the underdog is an American thing - it's just what Americans do - they rise above adversity and overcome all to come out victorious in the end. It's one of the things that makes America so attractive to immigrants - a person from nowhere who has nothing can become someone with everything.

I digress. When it comes to weather - I love the rain. I absolutely love it. I'll get to snow in a minute. I consider rain an underdog. Why? Because almost every news forecast calling for rain people get down and dismal and then they get downright perky when the sun comes back into the forecast. I find it annoying personally.

Did you know that the sun can burn you, even while you're on the Earth, millions of miles away??

And forecasters aren't the only ones down on the rain. People complain about rainy days everywhere - how they have to drive in the rain, how it's wet and it ruined their hair and all that. 

So, in some ways, I take up for the rain. Give rain a chance, I say! Rain is good for you. It makes things green and dark brown and glisten and grow and it nourishes and brings life. Without rain, everywhere would be a desert. 

I live in the desert. It's not so great.

To me, one of the best sounds on Earth is the sound of rain hitting the earth, or the roof of your house or car. I absolutely love it! Especially if it's a hot, tropical rain falling on a tin roof. 

Have you ever danced in the rain?? I have . .. you should try it sometime. And while you're at it, turn your head up and open your mouth and drink the wine of the sky. It's delicious (as long as you don't live in/near a city such as LA or Chicago).

Now, on to snow. I get excited about the snow. Probably because snow was such an exciting event in my childhood met with much anticipation as my brother and I stood at the window watching snow fall for hours from the living room window, wondering how much snow was going to fall (and of course if they'd cancel school!). 

Snow ties memories together for me. Memories of returning Stateside after 3.5 years of living in Okinowa (where it does not snow at all, by the way - although they have lots of glorious rain!), and seeing my first snowfall in years. Memories of getting all bundled up and going out to play with my brother in the snow. Memories of taking our plastic blue toboggan across the street to the giant hill nicknamed Suicide Hill. We lived in downtown, historic Fredericksburg, and George Washington's mother was buried at the top of the hill, along with other family members. There's a huge, white memorial reaching to the sky in honor of her. Just ten feet below that started the run down the tree lined trail where many would gather to go sledding. Because Thomas and I lived across the street from this amazing place, we were often the first ones to sled down the hill. Sledding down a giant, virgin hill in fresh, powered snow, the thrill of dodging trees and seeing how far you'll go is amazing! Memories of returning from such an exhilarating ride to hot chocolate with marshmellows and sometimes a roaring fire in the fire place. Memories of the teachers at school letting me go and stand in front of the floor to ceiling window by the front door of the school because I finished all my work early. It was like legally playing hookie! Ok, it was second grade, but still . .. good memory!

There was no responsibility or worries associated with such times. It was the essence of the innocence of childhood, which ended all too soon for me. Snow brings back that feeling of innocence.

So when there is snow in the forecast, even with all the worries and responsibilities of it, I still say bring it on!! :D

30 January 2011

OPSEC and PERSEC

There is a lot to say about OPSEC and PERSEC, especially since there are a lot of milspouse bloggers and there are a lot of military on Facebook. I could say it, but House 6 Diva said it way better, so I'm just going to borrow [parts of] her blog (I hope that's ok!).

OPSEC : OPSEC or Operations Security is being aware of what you are sharing because it could give away more information than you intended - this is usually related to military or combat operations.

PERSEC : PERSEC or Personal Security is also being aware of what you are sharing because it could give away more information than you intended - this is usually of a more personal nature.

But when I hear people talking about specific dates for the next deployment at the Commissary or the PX?  Or openly discussing the training schedule at the Post Office?
 
PLEASE
Don't talk about the time frame.
Don't talk about the mission.
Don't talk about equipment.
Don't talk about numbers.
Don't talk about destinations.
Don't spread rumors.
Don't share pictures with unit insignia

Phone, email, chat rooms, message boards, blogs.
Always assume someone is listening.
Polite and honest constructive criticism could prevent a terrorist attack and potentially save my soldier's life.

Yes - it's that serious.
 
A few weeks ago I thought nothing of tweeting....
"Going to the Commissary - really wish Hubby was home to carry in the milk... #thisdeploymentstinks"

Which could translate to...
"Dear Burglars - My house will be empty for the next two hours and there's no man around!
Wanna stop by for a soda and some free stuff?"

So now instead I write...
"Whew! Made it to the Commissary and back without selling one of my children! #timeforchocolate"
 
But let's face it - not everyone with access to the internet 
has all the best intentions at heart. 
 
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Now my bone to pick with people who post OPSEC stuff - just don't be that stupid. Especially if your husband is gone with my husband. I don't want some young wife who doesn't know any better who's running their mouth on Facebook potentially putting my husband in harm's way - because that's what they're doing. If you think it might be a problem, just shut up. I mean come on. National security and all that. I know I'm coming across as downright mean and rude, but some people just don't get it. Take down the countdown ticker. Stop publicly counting days until you kiss him again. Stop giving huge hints (aka he's coming home soon). If you have a need to do all that, get a paper diary that you keep in your house. Make a construction paper chain to post on your living room wall. But don't put it on the internet. I mean seriously people. 
Oh, and if you want your hubby to come home on time, that's another reason to keep quiet. My brother's who unit was delayed two weeks two days before they were supposed to leave Iraq because the higher up's discovered that someone had posted their return date on FB. So if you want your hubby to get home as soon as possible, especially keep your mouth shut. You don't want a whole until of upset/angry wives coming after you because you said something - and I would! So if you think that the unit commanders/etc aren't checking FB or other public social sites for that info, think again because they are.

As to PERSEC, that is just common sense. Why invite a burglar to come over to your house by posting that you're going to be at a party, aka gone most of the night? There's a lot more to PERSEC, and you'll notice that some milspouses don't use their husband or children's names on their blogs - they have a special (usually really cute) name that they use to refer to them. Just put some thought into what you're blogging or posting on your FB status. 

Ok, done ranting. Here are some great pics to help remind us:
image credit: Northwestern University Library
Image credit: Northwestern University Library
Image credit: Northwestern University Library
image credit: Northwestern University Library

28 January 2011

MilSpouse Friday Fill-in

It's that time of week again! Head on over to WifeOfASailor for the latest questions for the MilSpouse Friday Fill-In! :)


1. If you were a famous movie start, what type of movies would you star in?
I would star in dramas, I think. Not like action dramas, but more chic-flic type dramas. Not that I feel that I'm a drama queen or anything (I certainly hope people don't perceive me that way), but I don't think romantic comedy would be quite up my alley. Or maybe it would be. I can be diverse. :)

2. What is a vacation you would like to take if money were no object?
I would really love to go to Europe right now. I also want to go to parts of Asia, but Europe has really been on my mind a lot lately. That includes England, Ireland, Scotland, France, Spain, Germany, Italy, Greece, Switzerland, the Baltic countries, Ukraine and maybe Russia.

3. Did you have pets growing up? 
 I did indeed have pets growing up - cats. When we lived in Okinowa, I had a female tabby named Muffin, who had a litter of five kittens, three tabby and two black. Sadly, we had to leave them all behind when we moved away from Okinowa. Then when we came back to the States, my brother and I asked if we could stop in at the local SPCA "just to look" (and really, we did mean just to look - we didn't have a plan to beg for a kitten or anything) and our Dad totally surprised us by going to the lady at the desk when we were leaving and said we would take two! So home came Muffin (a male tabby - I know, I'm just super creative with names) and Darkey. There are many a tale of Muffin and Darkey from our growing up years! They were such fun and awesome pets!

4.What do you do for exercise? 
 I chase my kids around the house and tote them up and down stairs. Well, I suppose that doesn't really count. When it isn't too cold outside, I take the kids out for a walk. Pushing a 28# double stroller with a 20# infant and a 23# toddler is quite the work out (plus water and diaper bag and purse and blankets and coats) - let me tell you! Fortunately, or not, there are no steep hills where we go for walks. If I have my way, we walk super fast - the kids love it and I get in a super workout.

5.What is the best piece of advice you're ever received from a MilSpouse?
Hurry up and wait is the name of the game in the military. If he's got orders to deploy, they could be moved, postponed, canceled, re-iussed, canceled and moved again. Inside of a few days. So don't stress - he's gone when the plane leaves and he's home when the plane lands.

27 January 2011

It's out now!

Well, the last three posts relate to when I found out I was pregnant before I was telling people.

Those posts were posts that I wrote on the respective dates listed in the title. I wanted to share them on my blog, but now just yet. Now I can! Yay!

So we are expecting a new addition - yay! I'm due Aug 12th, which makes me 12 weeks tomorrow. I'll be putting up a LillyTicker or something pretty soon. The 4th post down - "Scrolling Down Memory Lane" talks more about announcing the big news! :)

From Jan 17th

Mike just informed me that he wrote a letter to our dear friend Ch Smith telling him of our exciting news, among other things. Mike was quoting to me some of what he wrote:

                “We were doing everything right [referring to NFP], but we are still trying to figure out what happened [referring to how we got pregnant].”

Yes, this is all true. We were doing NFP and I thought I knew when I was ovulating AND we were taking ovulation tests whenever we were going to do anything that might remotely end in intercourse (like getting ready for bed, for example). And it was still a huge surprise to us that we got pregnant.

And I’ve shared this with people that we’ve told (so far just family and close friends).

But somehow Mike relating his telling of this to Ch Smith just struck me as so hilarious.

Here we are, two grown adults, who have been married for over three years, and who have two children eleven months apart, trying to figure out how we actually got pregnant.

I kind of felt like, for a moment, we were just stumbling around naively wondering how we ended up with two kids with a third on the way, not knowing anything about the physiological repercussions of sperm meeting egg at a certain time of the month and how the sperm actually gets to the egg.

It’s funny how the same words can sound so different when you hear them out of someone else’s mouth.

From Dec 17th

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So I have been doing an awful lot of pondering my future since Monday morning when I found out, unexpectedly, that we are having another little one. A big part of me has been pretty excited. We actually had a doctor’s appointment yesterday and we got to do an ultrasound and see our new little one. And yes, there is only ONE baby in there! (Praise the Lord!)

These are some of the things I have pondered:

This is the third Christmas in a row that I will be pregnant. At least this Christmas I am not as far along as I was the last two Christmases (7 months pregnant for Christmas 2009 and 2008).

Will it be a boy or girl? What will the dynamics in our family look like with a boy? With a girl?

Will this baby live? Yes, I have some paranoia after watching Terri and Brenda lose their precious daughters after they were born.  I’m trying not to let that eat away at me, and I’m trying not to dwell on it, but the worry is there just the same in the back of my mind.

How am I going to do this? Just like last year, I am thinking about this while I am rocking my current baby to sleep. At least we have five more months of space between Edward and this baby than between Sophie and Edward.

I thought I was going to be through with bottles for a few years!

Mike and I have felt a pang of disappointment about not getting to do more stuff with Sophie and Edward before baby number three arrived. We had a plan to get bikes for each of us with a bike seat for each child (once Edward was old enough) and we were going to ride bikes everywhere for a few years. We had really hoped to be able to spend some “quality” time with them before introducing another baby into the family. The Lord had other plans.

Now, in contrast to the above paragraph, Mike and I are now looking forward to when all of our kids will be school age and we can do all kinds of things together as a family without having to worry about a newborn.  When Sophie is 9, this new one will be 7. And Edward will be 8. All of our kids will just be right in a row! Well, except for one week in March, when Sophie and Edward will actually be the same age! It’s still weird to me that when every year rolls around, Edward will have a birthday first even though Sophie is older! It doesn’t seem like it should be that way.

I have so much more love and respect for my husband for the support that he has already overwhelmingly given me since we found out. As I wrote earlier, I was pretty nervous about breaking the news to him, and how he would take it. He took it so well, and even got off work to go to my appointment with me. And even though we were there almost three hours (between the initial visit, the lab work and the ultrasound) he didn’t complain once. I feel like the bond between us has been so strengthened and renewed in the past few days. What an awesome feeling that is! And all brought about by this tiny little one I am now carrying in my womb.

I am already so tired – I wonder how it’s going to be when the exhaustion gets really bad. I guess I will be taking naps when the kids nap! Hopefully anyway. I’ll have to adjust Edward’s schedule.

I marvel that Mike and I can just look at each other and get pregnant. Even though we were doing Natural Family Planning AND using ovulation tests and being so careful, we still got pregnant! I have been labeled as “super fertile”. Who knew? Not me! Mike has super strong swimmers! Which isn’t really surprising, he’s so handsome and sexy and strong and mmmm, yeah. It’s not hard to tell why we got pregnant again so fast, is it?

I got a really neat book about pregnancy with pictures starting with an egg being fertilized. What an awesome God we serve that He created us so magnificently! Although it makes me so sad to think of all the women who have abortions or take drugs that cause them to abort a fertilized egg. The book describes how as soon as the nucleus from the sperm unites with the nucleus from the egg, a child is created. Cells start dividing immediately as the egg travels down the fallopian tube. It’s a child and it hasn’t even reached the uterus yet and implanted! Scientifically proven. (They have pictures too!) And yet I know of so many women, Christian and non-Christian, who just write this off in the name of whatever reason (that’s not how they view it, etc). Anyway, I’m going to stop there before I get angry at the willful blindness of people.

All these things I have pondered in my heart. Some I have shared, others I have kept to myself.

At this point, I really don’t want to tell people besides really close friends and family (and even some of them I don’t want to tell). Yes, Mike and I are going to have a third child 16 months after the second. Yes, we will have three under 3 (technically 3 under 2 and a half). It’s our CHILD though. A human child that the Lord chose to give us to raise, to nurture, to care for, to love, to train. What a miracle birth is! We are bringing a new life into this world! I know there are people out there, even friends, who will think we are crazy, who will say this or say that. And frankly, I don’t want to hear it. Our society does not like children. The people in our society forget that they were children once, that they have mothers and fathers. We are not born adults ready-made. Maybe our society doesn’t like children because children remind them of vulnerability, of innocence that will never be recovered, of having to depend entirely upon another person. Of taking responsibility. If you have a child, you are responsible for that child. From start to adulthood. That’s a big deal. And we live in a responsibility – dodging society that likes to blame others for everything they do. Even some Christians have bought into this lie and eat it up.

I really need to get off of my soap box now . . .

I wonder what the baby will look like – will they have Mike’s eyes, as do Sophie and Edward, or mine? Will they have Mike’s hair, like Edward, or mine, like Sophie. What kind of personality will the baby have? Will the baby be laid back? Will the baby be like Sophie (that worries us! She’s a “spirited” child)?

So many questions that only time will tell. So many prayers to go up on behalf of this tiny, precious little baby.

Thank you Lord for giving us another child!

From Dec 14th

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Since my cycle can be a bit long sometimes, I often get a bit stressed towards the end of a particularly long cycle, worrying about whether I’m pregnant or not.

I’m pretty careful about doing NPF and we use ovulation tests to as a back up, so I know that I shouldn’t be worried.

However, I let the worry get to me this past weekend and so I decided to take a pregnancy test, as I have done in the past, just to prove to myself that I am not pregnant.  So I take a test. Immediately two blue lines show up in the window.

Okay . . . next thought: “What did I do with the instructions??”  I didn’t have the box anymore, as I keep pregnancy tests and ovulations tests together in a large ziplock bag under the sink.

Glancing nervously at the stick laying on the sink, I start burrowing around looking for the instructions. I find them buried under about 15 ovulation tests under the sink.

Trying to unfold the instructions as fast as I can, I search for the picture description.

One line not pregnant.

There are two lines on the stick.

Immediately I cry out to the Lord “I’m not ready!! I’m not ready yet! I’m not ready yet!” And the tears come. I spent a good amount of time crying and praying telling the Lord that I am not ready, that I need more time. It dawns on me that I should confess to Him that I am selfish – I want more sleep! I realize that the ultimate reason why I feel that I am not ready to have another child yet is because I am selfish. I have selfish desires and wants and I want to have things in my own time.

I decided in my heart to consent to the Lord’s will for my life, and rejoice in doing so. I am going to have a baby! The Lord has seen fit to give Mike and I another child to look after, to raise up, to train. Who am I to question the Lord’s plan and will and design for my life? He knows infinitely more than I, He is wiser than I, He knows the plan for my life – He designed it Himself! Sure I can put in my request here and there, but He can choose to honor or not honor that request.

I spoke with Nikki and Abby and they both offered very comforting words of encouragement and enthusiasm. I am so blessed to have friends like them who love children and who think that children are a joy and a blessing from the Lord to be celebrated!

I was very nervous about how Mike would take it. He was not exactly thrilled when I told him about being pregnant with Edward. I prayed that morning that the Lord would prepare his heart. And he did! I told Mike when he came home from work for lunch, and Mike was actually excited! I was so relieved and felt such a passion of love for Mike and so much respect for taking the news of this addition to our family, which Mike works to provide for, so well and with enthusiasm. I am so blessed to have Mike as my husband!

I know that this baby and Edward will be very close in spacing. About 16 months actually, from my calculations presently.  Farther apart than Sophie and Edward are though! 5 months farther! We are grateful for that.

We have decided not to tell people, excepting immediate family and close friends, until the second trimester. I have a few reasons for this. The first is that I want to cherish this time of only us knowing for a little while. The second is that there will be some reactions that will not be full of smiles or joy. People in our culture and time can be downright mean to women who have more than two children and/or have children close together. I experienced this when I announced the news about being pregnant with Edward. Even some Christians were negative about it. I think they need to spend more time in their Bible. I know that some people will say that we are crazy. Is it crazy though to except the will of God as He chooses to give it to us? Does that mean that it is crazy to obey Him? Yes, we can obey in any number of different ways. This is a way that He has chosen to test our obedience to Him. And so Mike and I consent to His good and perfect will and rejoice in that He is giving us another precious gift of a child. And what anticipation it will be!

From my calculations, this baby will be due about August 3rd. So we will have a summer baby in the home after having two spring babies. I hope that one day we will have a late fall baby. Anyway, I shouldn’t get ahead of myself!

In contemplating that I am carrying another child, that the Lord has chosen me to carry and mother another baby, I wonder how life will be. It was the same when I contemplated when I was pregnant with Edward. How was life to be with two? Now, how will life to be with three? So weird to think myself the mother of three! And all under the age of three! Nikki assures me I will survive. And she would know, she had three under the age of three as well.

So I am now two days of knowing that I am with child. Mike and I are in a wonderful  place in our love for each other. Sophie and Edward and growing and doing well. My prayer is that I can be the best wife the Lord wants me to be and to be a good helpmeet to Mike, to train my children up in the knowledge of Christ and to demonstrate Christ’s love and will for me in my life to them. For children learn through example and I am the example set before them most often. What a task the Lord has called me to! I can do it only with His strength and guidance.

Strolling Down Memory Lane

Mike and I were reviewing some pics from memorable times tonight on the computer - taking the kids to an outing at the park on Tinker, Sophie's first birthday, Edward at the hospital when he was born . . . man do kids grow up so fast! They were so tiny and small and now they seem so big, and yet I know that in six months and a year they will seem so small now. It's so weird how life works like that. And I can't believe that I'm having another one! Man . . . kind of blows my mind!

Whoa, wait, what was that?? Repete si vous plait. . . . Yep. We are expecting. And I am officially announcing it on my blog. Yay! (And NOT on FB.)

I will be twelve weeks tomorrow - I can't believe it. Not quite the second trimester - one more week until then. It was quite a shock - that's another post.

We are pretty excited overall. Well, Mike is always excited. I have my moments where I'm not. Probably because I have a 22 month old and a 10 month old and sometimes life is just really busy . .. Today though I had an ultrasound and that was so neat. I felt like I was being introduced to my new baby for the first time. The baby waved and moved around and stuck out its' tongue. It's definitely a VB! (We're very silly in our family you know.) Seeing the baby gave me a whole new level of excitement.

And then looking at pictures of when Sophie and Edward were so little . . . and we're going to have another new little baby! Yay! Ten tiny fingers and ten tiny toes. Little coos and gurgles and sighs. Soft hair (I bet it will be black like Sophie and Edward's was) and soft baby skin. Tiny onesies and socks and hats. And since I'm due August 12th (a very hot month!) I"m sure the baby will just be in onesies and socks and hats!

Speaking of a summer baby, that's a whole new set of learning right there! Sophie and Edward were both early spring babies. And even though it was in the 60's-70's the day I went to the hospital to have them, there was a blizzard while I was in the hospital after they were born (both years!) and it was really cold their first few weeks of life. So they were dressed fairly warmly. Not as warmly as a winter baby (I have no idea what I would do if I had a winter baby!), but still. It's weird how you get in your comfort zone of knowledge, so to speak. If I were having another spring baby, clothing wise - it would be a piece of cake. Now I'll be having a summer baby and I'll be worrying about whether the baby is too hot or if it's getting cool because I don't have it covered up . . . of course having a new baby is a time full of worries of all sorts.

It will also be weird having a baby in New Mexico. I'm so familiar with OU Medical Center where I had Sophie and Edward. I even had some of the same nurses (who were awesome!). Now there's a whole new hospital and clinic system to learn and navigate and get used to.

So far though my care has been really good. I have a midwife (because I refuse to see an OB unless absolutely necessary for my routine care). I was referred to a Perinatologist because I'm high risk, whom I saw today. I really liked him. He ordered some tests that I haven't had before and really seems to be right on top of things. And the baby is looking perfect on the ultrasound. Everything is there and looks to be in good working order. Heart of 161 bpm - awesome! And my placenta (the big worry) is looking great.

Now it is out there for all that care to see: we're having a baby!! Yay!! The Lord has continued to bless us in this capacity and we are very thankful for such an awesome gift. :)

P.S. I will be posting a few blogs about thoughts I have had throughout the pregnancy thus far, but didn't post because I wasn't sharing yet.

The Miracle of Life

24 January 2011

101 in 1001

Updated 12 July 2013. :) It's time for an update! Take a look below - how are you doing on your 101 in 1001?
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Well, I finally did a 101 in 1001. I originally wasn't going to do this when I saw a few others on fellow bloggers blogs, because, well, I didn't want to set myself up for failure. I'm a perfectionist - what can I say? I like to succeed and sometimes I only bet on sure things. Sometimes.

But then I got to thinking about it and I decided to go ahead and do it. There are probably a few on there that won't happen (riding in a hot air balloon!), but hopefully I'll finish most. :) After realizing that all the scenic drives that Mike and I wrote down and want to do before we leave NM would take up about 1/3 of the list, I was a little more open to doing the 101 in 1001.

In case you don't know what it is, it's 101 goals to complete in 1001 days. That works out to be 2.74 years for you math people out there.

Start date: 26 Oct 2010
Completion date: 23 July 2013

So here is my 101 in 1001:


1.Complete Bachelor's Degree
2.Read the Bible through Finished 5Nov2012
3.Read the Bible through
4.Go skiing for the first time
5.Scenic Drive #1 Johnson Mesa & Capulin Volcano
6.Scenic Drive #2 The Enchanted Circle
7.Scenic Drive #3 The High Road 19Jul2013
8.Scenic Drive #4 Brazos Summit 12Jul2013
9.Scenic Drive #5 Cumbres Pass 20Jul2013
10.Scenic Drive #6 Ghost Ranch 12July2013
11.Scenic Drive #7 Valle Grande 03Sep2012
12.Scenic Drive #8 Sante Fe Scenic Byway completed 08Oct2011
13.SD # 9 Pecos River  completed 26Oct2010
14.SD # 10 Sangre de Cristo Mtns & Mora Valley
15.SD #11 Angel Fire
16.SD #12 Chaco Culture Nat'l Historical Park
17.SD #13 El Malpais & El Moro Nat'l Monuments
18.SD # 14 El Malpais Nat'l Conservation Area
19.SD #15 The Turquoise Trail 11 Aug 2012
20.SD #16 Sandia Crest Scenic Byway Oct 2011
21.SD #17 Salinas Pueblo Missions Nat'l Monument
22.SD #18 Magdalena Mountains
23.SD #19 Plains of San Agustin & the Beefsteak Trail
24.SD #20 Southwestern Mtn Country
25.SD #21 Gila Wilderness & Mogollon Ghost Town
26. SD #22 The Inner Loop Scenic Byway
27.SD #23 Kingston-Hillsboro Ghost Towns
28.SD #24 Heart of the Sands Drive
29.SD #25 Cloudcroft
30.SD #26 Sunspot Scenic Byway
31.SD #27 Sacramento Mtn Crest
32.SD #28 Sierra Blanca Peak
33.SD #29 Carlsbad Caverns Hwy & Scenic Loop
34.SD #30 Sitting Bull Falls & the Ridge Road
35.SD #31 The Black Range
36.SD #32 Valle Vidal
37.SD #33 Cimarron Canyon
38.Vist the NM Nuclear Weapons Museum 9July2012
39.Visit the ABQ Aquarium26Dec2011
40.Visit Old Towne in Albuquerque 27Dec2011
41.Visit the ABQ Museum of Natural History2Mar2012
42.Visit the ABQ Nat'l Hispanic Cultural Center 22 May 2013
43.Ride in a hot air balloon
44.See the Mass Ascension during Balloon Fest 8 Oct 2012
45.Visit an art museum in Santa Fe27Feb2012 - The Georgia O'Keefe Museum
46.Visit a different art museum in Santa Fe 27 Apr 2013 - The Native American Museum of Contemporary Art
47.Visit the Grand Canyon, AZ
48.Home school Sophie through preschool
49.Finish decorating the house 7 Jan 2013 - I had three pictures I've been trying to frame for two years now and I finally got frames that fit the pictures - yay! The finishing touch!
50.Write short story
51.Send short story to a publisher
52.Take a vacation to Virginia
53.Take a vacation to Maine
54.Celebrate our anniversary in a romantic way on our actual anniversary It isn't actually the romantic scene I pictured, but Mike was home and not TDY, and we weren't fighting and we had a great day, including some wonderful alone time - I'll take it! :D 10/14/12
55.Make a quilt
56.Learn to sew
57.Complete piano book #1
58.Complete piano book #2
59.Complete piano book #3
60.Complete french book (i.e. learn French)
61.Teach another mom how to wear/wrap her baby fall 2011
62.Read all of the LOTR books
63.Plant a garden Garden planted on 7 May 2011
64.Learn to can vegetables
65.Start running on a regular basis again 19 Feb 2013 - got a great start with 3 days of running in a row - and I'm signed up for a 5K in April!
66.Make 12 new recipes year 1 The recipes were: Red White & Blue Trifle, Italian Sausage Soup, Shepherd's Pie, Whole Wheat Bread Bowls, Lentil Soup, Carribbean Mango Chicken, Quinoa Stuffed Peppers, Beet Risotto, Ruth's Tuna Noodle Casserola, Pumpkin Cranberry Muffins, Salmon Loaf, Cheddar Mac n Ham casserole
67.Make 12 new recipes year 2
68.Make 12 new recipes year 3
69.Stick to the budget for 3 months in a row
70. Buy a car Jul 2011
71.Complete Sophie's scrap book It's not actually a scrapbook, it's a Shutterfly book of her first year, and I haven't bought it yet (and probably won't for a long while), but it is done!
72.Complete Edward's scrap book Same as with Sophie's book, it's not actually a scrapbook, but a Shutterfly photobook of the first year of his life, complete with journaling (like Sophie's)
73.Renew my passport
74.Get the children passports
75.Visit the petroglyphs 4 Apr 2013 - amazing!
76.Eat at the Finance Restaurant on top of Sandia Mtn
77.Upload all photos to Shutterfly Completed 20 Jun 2011
78.Write a letter to our sponsor child 4 times a year Dec 2012
79.Deliver cookies to all the neighbors in our circle
80. Bring a friend in need a meal15Dec2011
81.Visit Galloping Grace Ranch
82.Visit an ancient pueblo27Feb2012 with Sierra at the Tervo Times
83.Go swimming in the summer 9Jun2012
84.Attend at least one PWOC retreat/conference Went to PWOC International Conference in Dallas 11-14 Nov 2010 and KAFB PWOC Spring Retreat 8-10 Apr 2011
85.Send out Christmas cards/letters on time Dec 2012
86.Put up the childrens' letters in their room 30 July 2012
87.Buy bikes for whole family and start using them Apr 2013 - Mike and I have bikes, complete with child seat on mine and a bike trailer for Mike! Butterfly and Little Man have tricycles - considering their ages, I think that's okay.
88.Bike in the mountains
89.Learn to make homemade cards 9 Apr 2011
90.Put up gazebo and table in backyard Completed on 7 May 2011 with the help of wonderful husband
91.Type Spiritual Gifts Questionnaire up
92.Type DSC KCKC notes
93.Complete 40 day Love Dare
94.Finish editing friend's book
95.Visit Oklahoma  Mar 2011
96.Go on a marriage retreat I think going to Restoration Ministries definitely countMar 2011
97.Visit parents South Dakota 13Oct - 20Oct2012
98.Visit the Black Hills, SD
99.Visit an historical prairie homestead
100.Visit Yellowstone, WY
101.Make homemade pasta

Whew! That's a long list! Wish me luck! :D

What's your 101 in 1001??

What's in a Name?

I love how names have meanings. I really think that a name can make, or break, a person. Can you picture yourself with any other name? I can't picture being named anything else - Tegan suits me.

So when it comes to naming my children, I take that responsibility very seriously. A name that my husband and I pick can't just be one that we like with a meaning that we like, it has to "feel right". Sophie's middle name and Edward's first name were named after people in our family (Sophie - both grandmothers and Edward my brother Thomas - it's his middle name).

I was looking at some baby names because my friend is talking about naming her soon-to-be-here daughter on FB and I love the name that she and her husband picked out (I won't announce it until she's here).

So anyway, I was looking up my kids names' meaning (even though I already know them) and this is what we have:

           Wisdom (Grk) Rose (Eng) Shining Light (Grk) (Sophie RoseEllen) (total coincidence that two out of three are Greek)
          Guardian (Anglo-Saxon) Supplanter (Heb) (Edward James)

Mike is Gift from God (Heb) [so true!!] Lofty, exalted (Heb) (Michael Aron)

As for me, mine is: Beautiful (Welsh) Honor (Latin) (Tegan Honor)

I got these name meanings from here. Best site yet I've found for baby names! :)

22 January 2011

MilSpouse Friday Fill-in

I'm a day late, but that's ok. :) Head on over to WifeOfASailor every Friday and check out her questions. I've gotten to "meet" some really great fellow MilSpouses through WifeOfASailor's blog and questions. Kuddos to her!

1. What do you usually want to know about someone when meeting them for the first time?
Well, I like to start off with a first name. :) From there, it depends on the situation - are they military? Where are they from? Do they have kids? Do they work and if so, what do they do? I might also try to find out common interests and such. :)

2. Would you rather know everything about your spouse, or be really surprised?
I'd like to know some things for sure before getting married (which is what I'm assuming this question is pertaining to), but everything - no. There are some things that I like to be surprised about. That's one of the great things about a growing relationship in a marriage. You're always learning more about each other. There are still times, even after being married for three and a half years, that Mike just absolutely blows me away with a kind act or a loving word. And I wouldn't change that for anything!

3. If you could live in one city for the rest of your life, where would you live?
One city, with no moving, for the rest of my days. That city would have to be Oklahoma City, for sure. I love Oklahoma City - and Oklahoma is such a diverse state. Sure there are no ocean shores, but it has more shoreline that any other state in the U.S. (there are a ton of lakes!). There is so much that I love about Oklahoma City, and it is so dear and familiar to me. And the people there are the friendliest that I have ever come across.

4. When  you go out of town, what one material thing do you always take?
That would be my Bible. Whether it's a business trip or vacation, I always take my Bible with me.

5. Using no more than 10 nouns, and only nouns, describe yourself. 
  Oklahoma, Virginia, air force, wife, mother, friend, lover, daughter, horses, writer - that was pretty hard! Well, it was hard because I had to look up noun to make sure I actually knew what it was so I wasn't writing the wrong thing! Grammar and all that was never my thing in school - ever. :)

YES!!!!

I have found a reason to love Albuquerque! Here it is:

Vegemite!!

 Here is my favorite way of eating Vegemite: on hot buttered toast!


My Mom, being a proper Australian Mom, fed my brother and me Vegemite all during our growing up years. Seeing as how you can't buy Vegemite in the U.S., except at a very precious few specialty stores, I'm not really sure where she procured it, but that doesn't matter. She had some! (Maybe her family mailed her some on a regular basis.)

Where did I discover such a treasure in this high desert on American soil? Well, there is store called the Talin World Food Fair located on Central Ave and Louisiana Ave in Albuquerque. That store is awesome!! 

Upon first entering the store, I was hit with such rich sights and smells that brought me back to so many different places from through out my life time. It smelled like Okinowan grocery stores and fresh food markets. You could smell the fresh vegetables and the very fresh fish and in one corner there was a delicious smell of liquorish. I think I have found my new grocery store!

The sounds were so unique as well - at any point you could hear at least four or five languages being spoken - English, Spanish, Korean, Vietnamese, Chinese, and possibly Japanese. I saw a lady shopping with children dressed in the traditional Indian dress (as in Indian from India, not Native American). There were small, elderly Oriental ladies shopping and college age Korean and Chinese students and Caucasians like me (although not many).

Besides selling Vegemite, they had a Sanrio store (talk about taking a stroll down memory lane!!), and they had foods from all over the world. They had an aisle for a few major cities around the world including: Frankfurt, Beijing, Kyoto, Saigon, Seoul, London, and more. They also had a fresh food section like you find in a typical Oriental market and a huge selection of fish. They even had a tank with live crabs. And not little crabs - they were enormous! Like the size of medium dinner plates. I wish I had brought my camera with me so I could take pictures to post - I'll have to go back. 

Back to the Sanrio store they had inside - I haven't been inside a store like that since I lived on Okinowa - the memories that came flooding back from the sights and smells! In case you weren't aware, Sanrio is the maker of Hello Kitty, which originated in Japan. Hello Kitty was HUGE when I lived in Okinowa in the '80's. They had little pocket books and stationary and pens and pencils and tasty lipgloss and backpacks and wallets and little toys and stuffed animals and more.

They also had something I haven't seen before, at least that I can recall. The little shopping baskets that you would normally carry on your arm had long handles attached to them and were on tiny wheels. So there were quite a few people just walking along pulling their little basket behind them like a stiff, red plastic pet on a leash. It was amusingly unique.

I have to say that I just wandered around the store wide-eyed, taking it all in. I love stores like that and for some reason, they make me feel at home. I don't know if it's because the sights and smells bring back such delicious, warm childhood memories when life was happy and all was good. There were times when I felt like being emotional from joy, really, at this discovery that I have made. 

And, lastly, the discovery of this store, somehow, in some way, made life seem a little bit better for me. I am afraid to admit that try as I might not to, I have had a really horribly bad attitude about Albuquerque in the past few months. I don't know if it's the four plus times I've gotten run off the road (very frustrating when you have two babies in the back) or the encounters I've had with extremely rude (and thieving) people or the lack of greenery and rain (I really love and adore the rain and always have) or just missing my friends back in Oklahoma. Whatever the reason, I have not been adjusting well. I shouldn't have a bad attitude and I know that, but I do. Or did until I went to the this store. Or maybe it's just the timing of finding this store and my repenting of my bad attitude earlier today. Perhaps the Lord hadn't allowed me to find this wonderful place (I had in fact driven by it several times wanting to stop in but hadn't) until my heart was in the right place - wanting to change my bad attitude and realizing how wrong it was and how much it was poisoning my life. At any rate, I feel so much better. And I am so glad of it!

Sound off: have you had a similar experience in moving to a new city or finding some treasure that reminds you of home or childhood?

20 January 2011

Delta IV-Heavy First West Coast Launch Orbits NROL-49 Spacecraft

Rocket Launch

Here is a really neat article about a rocket launch that happened today as reported by Fox News. Isn't technology amazing? You can also go here to get more info.

By the way, I love my husband so much! He's been helping me clean lately and I'm so appreciative! :D

16 January 2011

A Decade in Review

I got this idea from the C.W., and I thought it was really great! :)

Basically, for every year I put an accomplishment, or major life event that was made in the last decade. I was going to start in 2001, but then I realized that would leave a big question, so I decided to start in 2000. As C.W. did, I will also include the age I was at the end of the calendar year.

2000 (18 y.o.) Got married, graduated high school after 3 1/4 years and moved to Oklahoma City, Oklahoma (yes, in that order).
2001 (19 y.o.) got a job working in GYN/Oncology medical records for the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center (after a few jobs a waitress/cook/horse trainer/stable hand.)
2002 (20 y.o.)  Started college.
2003 (21 y.o.) got a job as a Data Manager for the Center for Research in Women's Health at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center.
2004 (22 y.o.) got divorced.
2005 (23 y.o.) road trip from Oklahoma City to Richmond, Virginia in my brand new 2005 Ford pickup. Biggest ever: Jesus Christ became my Lord and Savior.
2006 (24 y.o.) graduated with an associates and a 3.9 GPA (darn statistics ruined my 4.0!) Started my own company and started working as an independent contractor in Clinical Research
2007 (25.y.o.) Started nursing school, got engaged, got married to a man in the Air Force. :D I love my husband so much!
2008 (26 y.o.) Dropped out of nursing school and switched majors because there's a baby on the way!
2009 (27 y.o.) Gave birth to my firstborn, a baby daughter: Sophie.
2010 (28 y.o.) Gave birth to my second child, 11 months 3 weeks after my daughter, a baby son: Edward. PCS'd to New Mexico when my son was 3 months old.
2011 - what's to come this year? Can't wait to find out! :D

14 January 2011

Light

After a storm, facing north, looking at Sandia Mountain, New Mexico

This magazine's fan starts young!

Mike subscribes to Signal magazine, which arrives, as most magazines do, in the mail.

Well, Sophie, being the avid reader and Daddy-lover that she is, wanted to see what exactly Daddy was reading on his lunch break. She got pretty into it!


 "Ooh, this is interesting, I'll take it from here Dad!"
Totally engrossed (and please, please ignore the mess in the backgound). :)

Blog design

If you come to my blog even semi-regularly, you might notice that I change my blog background rather frequently.

I am really having a hard time deciding what I like! I am a pretty indecisive person anyway, and there are always so many choices!! I really like the one I have now (the Japanese blossoms), but I really don't like the color. So guess what, I'm going to change it again!

Anyone have any suggestions out there? :)

MilSpouse Friday Fill-inI


It's that time again - MilSpouse Friday Fill-In. Thanks so much to WifeOfASailor who is the lady that does this every week. Head on over to her blog here.


1. What are you looking forward to most in 2011? from Jessica Lynn Writes
In 2011, I am most looking forward to, well, I'm not really sure. There is something that I am looking forward to, but it's a secret for right now. ;) I am definitely looking forward to warmer weather and getting outside to do stuff with Mike and the kids.

2. What is something random you do on a boring night when your significant other is away? from Loving Ma Soldier.
When Mike is gone, I like to cuddle up in bed with Missy the kitty and a good book. Usually it's a book that I'm reviewing and trying to finish on time!

3. What has been your greatest adventure as a MilSpouse?
My greatest adventure as a MilSpouse has been our PCS to New Mexico with a 15 month old and a 3 month old. Definitely an adventure!

4. What is the ugliest fashion trend that you ever bought into? (Please provide pic as well.) From More than an Army Wife.
Hmm, I haven't really ever bought into fashion trends, good, bad or ugly. When I was a child I had some really huge glasses, that were also as thick as coke bottles. Sorry, no picture though!

5.What was the high point of last month?
The high point of last month was finding out some really exciting news with my husband while my best friend Sam happened to be visiting. Yes, I am being vague.

Well, until next week! :) 

 



11 January 2011

Home made Pizza!

I got a recipe from Mrs. B for home made pizza and so I tried it tonight. It turned out pretty well!

 I did change the recipe a bit (as I always do) in that I did a red sauce and we used our favorite pizza toppings, pepperoni, mushrooms and pineapple (yummy!).

It was quite the experience making the pizza dough. I haven't made home made pizza dough before (that I can recall) and it was pretty fun. I was really glad I bought a jar of yeast the last time I went grocery shopping because of one of those little yeast packets isn't enough. I did manage to splash myself in the eye with the yeast and sugar mixture and had to take a break to go and take out my contact and wash it. (Never had that happen before either while cooking!)

Even with my lack of experience in kneading dough, I think it turned out rather well. It was as crispy as I would like, but I think I can tweak a few things and change that.
Mike and Sophie really enjoyed it too!

You should head on over to Mrs. B's blog and get the recipe. She has a lot of other great recipes too! :)

Because I had flour, sugar, salt and yeast on hand already, this meal cost me $3.06 to make! Yeah! (I like to save money.) The ingredients altogether cost more, but I didn't use all of them. If I had made 2 pizza's, it would cost a total of $6.01 (that's using all the spaghetti sauce, cheese, half the pepperoni, 2 cans of pineapple, mushrooms for 2 pizzas).

Thank you so much for the recipe Mrs. B! :) I really appreciate it!