NaBloPoMo – Nov 16th

25 Things About Me

I know I’ve done this before but there is one of those annoying “Like My Status And I’ll Give You A Number”. I’ve seen some people do it 4 times. 29 facts later, I know all but their shoe size…That’s just a lot of information for FB to handle. But I decided

1) I wear a size 5.5Y workboot. I have ridiculously small feet. It’s abnormal. I’ve heard all of the jokes. “Did you break into TRU and steal GI Joe’s combat boots?” and “How do you not trip more?” and my personal favorite, from my old supervisor on the ship “We can’t find you boots from this distributor so I’m going to need you to go stand in shit and hope your feet grow”. I’ll get right on that.

2) I’m a Car Rockstar. I’ve attracted a LOT of attention and have had people outright point and laugh at me as I drive by because I sing (and sometimes dance) while I’m driving down the road. Sometimes I’m Carrie Underwood, other times I’m Jessica Simpson. I’m even part of the TSO during the holiday season. It depends on my mood.

3) I ran a 5K, a 10K, and a Half Marathon in 2013. I know this seems like it’s not a big deal at all but to me, someone who was 217lbs at delivery, having packed on a substantial amount of weight during my pregnancy, this is a huge accomplishment for me. I call myself an “accidental runner” because I never intended to fall in love with this sport. I started the C25K as a resolution for Feb through April and it skyrocketed from there.

4) I’m deathly scared of water I can’t see the bottom of. I know, I know. “But Lara, you’re in the Coast Guard”. I understand the confusion. I just don’t go in water I can’t see the bottom of, whether it be a lake, river, ocean, etc. I did go into the ocean while I was in Hawaii because I could see the bottom, but even then, I didn’t go past my knees. I wanted the option to run if I needed to. This started during swim call in 2001. I jumped off the side of the ship, into the Caribbean Ocean. I got some goggles and, under me, a school of hammerheads. I made like Jesus and walked on water. No Thanks.

5) I entered the Coast Guard when I was still 17 yrs old. I didn’t know what I wanted to be when I grew up but I knew I needed to get away from my mother and sister so I signed up. My mother had to sign the papers so I could leave since I was still, legally, a minor. I turned 18 during the last week of Basic Training.

6) I’m taking college classes and working towards a BA in Hospitality Manangement with a concentration in Event Planning. Yea. I don’t know why but I love planning parties. I don’t really like dealing with people, especially when they are at a particularly shrill time in their lives but seeing the faces of people who are impressed makes it totally worth it. I thrive on pleasing people. Even though I don’t give a shit what people think of me, I like to see people pleased.

7) I’ve driven across the Bridge Between The Americas. It’s just like any other bridge except it connects North America and South America. I did this when I was in Panama. While I was there, I crossed through the Canal. It’s annoying and a pain in the ass because it took forever. And it rained the entire time.

8) I’m obsessed with the History Channel, the Freemasons in particular. E and I will DVR and watch any and all shows relating to the Freemasons. I actually know some members of the Masons and while they tell me a lot of these shows are propoganda, I still love them and find them absolutely fascinating. I love making the connections to how their actions created our country.

9) I am one of the most loyalest and most fiercely protective people you will ever meet. I’m hard to get to know. I don’t like people in, very easily, because I’ve been hurt by “friends” but once you’re in, I’ve got your back. I still have the same 3 best friends that I’ve had since kindergarten. We’ve lost touch through some years and my first marriage almost destroyed them, but they’ve remained by my side and I know, if I were to call them tomorrow, crying, one would ask if I needed her to come up to Maine, another would tell me the guest room is clean and to come back to MD, the third would ask me if she needed a shovel or cement. They get me. No matter how long between visits, we pick right up where we left off. If you mess with my family or my friends, I will come after you and make your life hell. I hold grudges for a long, long time.

10) I have OCD. It’s not awful. Like, I don’t have to walk in and out of a door frame 13 times before I can sit down but my DVDs are alphabetized, my CDs are organized by genre and then alphabetized, I have to count my daughter’s Little People before I can go to bed (once, Snow White was missing, and I tore our living room apart to find her), the TV or radio volume must be on an increment of 5. At any given time, the TV in our house is either way too low or way too loud. When I run, I have to end at an even time. I either have to run for 30 mins or 35 mins. I can’t stop at 32 mins. I try to time my mileage to my clock because it drives me batty to have 30 mins but only 3.32 miles. My mileage needs to be an increment of 5, as well.

11) I played the trumpet in elementary and middle school. I wasn’t fantastic or anything but I only started playing because I knew me practicing it would drive my mother bananas. She got the last laugh because she would send me over to a friends house to practice with him and his mother. Touche Ma. In hindsight, I wish I had played the clarinet.

12) I was the best parent I have ever met…before I had a child. Before I had Beanie, I used to roll my eyes at the parents that complained about being tired or how hard being a Stay At Home Mom (SAHM) was or how much laundry needed to get done, etc. I was all “dude, the kid sleeps. It can’t be THAT hard”. Then I had Beanie. She was an easy baby so I still got my “chores” done but the lack of sleep – that about did me in. I still don’t think it’s that hard to get things done with a child in the house but I rarely ever admit that for fear that I’d further fuel the Mommy Wars.

13)  I despise being called “Mommy”. I have called myself “mama” ever since Beanie was born. E refers to me as “Mama” when he needs Beanie to recognize me in some way, shape, or form. Beanie, in turn, has never called me “Mommy”

14) I think the “Mommy Wars” are the dumbest f**king thing ever. I think it all started from a mother who insisted she knew everything and when someone dared to differ from her way of thinking, it became a huge deal. Now, the people who continue the war, I think, are the most insecure. The people who will BF in public simply for a reaction, the people who stop others to tell them the carseat isn’t correct (when they aren’t asked), the people who tell people formula is poison. There are people from every department and, just once, I’d like everyone to STFU and understand that no one knows what’s best for any child but they’re own. And, for the love of all that is Holy, if you don’t have a child, you don’t have a dog in this fight so please keep your opinions to yourself.

15) I have 10 tattoo “pieces”. I have “Deifuir” on the top of my shoulder (it means “Sister” in Gaelic), “Nochtann Gra Noi” with a shamrock between my shoulder blades (it means “Love Reveals Beauty” in Gaelic), 4 Japanese characters on my lower back (they are supposed to mean: Courage, Beauty, Love, True” but they probably mean Chicken Noodle Soup), “There You’ll Be” with my uncle and grandfather’s initials under it, a Honu turtle on my stomach (under my belly button) with “True to One, Enemy to None” which is a play on Ben Franklin’s speech and also stolen from Dee, a hibscus on my right foot, a teal cherryblossom with Beanie’s name on my left wrist, a support ribbon on my left side ribcage with “Unbreakable Strength” over it and my maternal grandfather’s birth date (18) in roman numerals, and three sparrows on my right side ribcage. I’m planning on getting “V, X, XII.I” on my left calf to represent the races I’ve run (5K, 10K, Half Marathon).

16) I can touch my nose with my tongue. I’m pretty sure I was drunk when I figured this out but yea. I have a freakishly long tongue.

17) Some of my greatest friends are people I’ve met on the internet. When I was planning my first wedding, I joined the message boards on WeightWatchers.com. Now, 8 years later, I’m still FB friends with a lot of them and, a lot of them I’ve never met in person.

18) I’m extremely opinionated. I, often times, make a terrible first impression because I speak my mind but one thing I pride myself on is that I won’t ever say anything behind your back that I wouldn’t or haven’t already said to your face. I once threw someone off during an argument because I corrected them when they said “well you said…”. I interrupted them and said “no, what I said was…” and that was actually worse than what they thought I had said. It ended up ending the argument because I was truthful and forthcoming. Most people think it’s that I lack a filter. It’s just that I’m opinionated and have zero tolerance for the bullshit.

19) I hate birds. I hate them with a passion. I can’t eat outdoors because I am too distracted with where they are and how close they are to me. I have them tattooed to me for a Sailor tradition but actual, real life birds, I don’t want them near me. I was running once when three turkeys came out of the bushes. I screamed and took off.

20) I am a HUGE Ravens Fan.

I grew up, born and raised in Baltimore and I remember when the Ravens came to Baltimore in Aug of 1996. I went to high school with a guy that played for the Ravens (he's now out of the NFL due to a severe knee injury). I've met several players from the Ravens.

I grew up, born and raised in Baltimore and I remember when the Ravens came to Baltimore in Aug of 1996. I went to high school with a guy that played for the Ravens (he’s now out of the NFL due to a severe knee injury). I’ve met several players from the Ravens.

21) I’ve traveled to a lot of places but still haven’t hit the places on my Bucket List. With being on the ship, I was given the opportunity to travel all over the place. I can’t say “world” because it was narrowed down to North and South Americas but I had an absolute blast. I spent my 19th Birthday in NYC (after 9/11), my 20th birthday in Manta, Ecuador, in addition to hiking through the jungles of Costa Rica, seeing the drug slums of Colombia, the lush terrain (but shitty economy) of Haiti, Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, Jamaica, to name a few. I still have the clay fish that K stole for me in Costa Rica. He stole it to make me feel better after a monkey pooped on me. I still want to make it to England, Scotland, Ireland, Greece, and Italy. Someday, I hope.

22) I’m pretty positive that I’m addicted to York Peppermint Patties. I eat a ridiculous amount of them. I’m pretty sure those are the blame for my weight gain.

23) Contrary to my friends, I did NOT know I would be marrying E when I first met him. So many of my peeps have said “I knew I was gonna marry my man when I first met him”. That wasn’t me. I thought we would just be friends and I could take advantage of him and make him take me to dinner. That backfired. But in a good way 😉

24) Reality TV is my non-food addiction. If there is a reality TV show on, chances are I probably DVR it, unless it’s Big Brother. I don’t understand that TV show. I DVR The Amazing Race, The Real Housewives of Everywhere (except DC), Survivor, those godawful MTV shows, to name a few.

25) I’ve never not lived near the water. Where ever I’ve lived, I’ve never been more than 20 miles from the water, whether it be the bay or the ocean.

25 Rules for Mothers of Daughters

When I was that blog post about social media and the impact it has on today’s youth, I got to thinking about values and morals that I hope Beanie can learn from me. And then I found this list. It’s been passed around for a little while but I’m just now seeing it. To whoever wrote it : You nailed it!

1. Paint her nails. Then let her scratch it off and dirty them up. Teach her to care about her appearance, and then quickly remind her that living and having fun is most important.

2. Let her put on your makeup, even if it means bright-red-smudged lips and streaked-blue eyes. Let her experiment in her attempts to be like you… then let her be herself.

3. Let her be wild. She may want to stay home and read books on the couch, or she may want to hop on the back of a motorcycle *GASP*. She might be a homebody or a traveler. She may fall in love with the wrong boy, or meet Mr. Right at age 5. Try to remember that you were her age once. Everyone makes mistakes, let her make her own.

4. Be present. Be there for her at her kindergarten performances, her dance recitals, her soccer games… her everyday-little-moments. When she looks through the crowds of people, she will be looking for your smile and pride. Show it to her as often as possible.

5. Encourage her to try on your shoes and play dress-up. If she would rather wear her brother’s superman cape with high heels, allow it. If she wants to wear a tutu or dinosaur to the grocery store, why stop her? She needs to decide who she is and be confident in her decision.

6. Teach her to be independent. Show her by example that women can be strong. Find and follow your own passions. Search for outlets of expression and enjoyment for yourself – not just your husband or children. Define yourself by your own attributes, not by what others expect you to be. Know who you are as a person, and help your daughter find out who she is.

7. Pick flowers with her. Put them in her hair. There is nothing more beautiful than a girl and a flower.

8. Let her get messy. Get messy with her, no matter how much it makes you cringe inside. Splash in the puddles, throw snowballs, make mud pies, finger paint the walls: just let it happen. The most wonderful of memories are often the messy ones.

9. Give her good role models – you being one of them. Introduce her to successful women – friends, co-workers, doctors, astronauts, or authors. Read to her about influential women – Eleanor Roosevelt, Rosa Parks, Marie Curie. Read her the words of inspirational women – Jane Austen, Sylvia Plath, Emily Dickinson. She should know that anything is possible.

10. Show her affection. Daughters will mimic the compassion of their mother. “I love yous” and Eskimo kisses go a long way.

11. Hold her hand. Whether she is 3 years old in the parking lot or 16 yrs old in the mall, hold onto her always – this will teach her to be confident in herself and proud of her family.

12. Believe in her. It is the moments that she does not believe in herself that she will need you to believe enough for both of you. Whether it is a spelling test in the first grade, a big game or recital, a first date, or the first date of college… remind her of the independent and capable woman you have taught her to be.

13. Tell her how beautiful she is. Whether it is her first day of kindergarten, immediately after a soccer game where she is grass-strained and sweaty, or her wedding day. She needs your reminders. She needs your pride. She needs your reassurance. She is only human.

14. Love her father. Teach her to love a good man, like him. One who lets her be herself… she is, after all, wonderful.

15. Makes forts with boxes and blankets. Help her to find magic in the ordinary, to imagine, to create and to believe in fairy tales. Someday she will make her 5 by 5 dorm room her home with magic touches and inspiration. And she will fall in love with a boy and believe him to be Prince Charming.

16. Read to her. Read her Dr. Seuss, and Eric Carle. But also remember the power of Sylvia Plath and Robert Frost. Show her the beauty of words on a page and let her see you enjoy them. Words can be simply written and simply spoken, yet can harvest so much meaning. Help her to find their meaning.

17. Teach her how to love – with passion and kisses. Love her passionately. Love her father passionately and her siblings passionately. Express your love. She her how to love with no restraint. Let her get her heart broken and try again. Let her cry, and gush, giggle and scream. She will love like you love or hate like you hate. So, choose love for both you and her.

18. Encourage her to dance and sing. Dance and sing with her – even if it sounds or looks horrible. Let her wiggle to nursery rhymes. Let her dance on her daddy’s feet and spin in your arms. Then later, let her blast noise and head bang in her bedroom with her door shut if she wants. Or karaoke to Tom Petty in the living room if she would rather. Introduce her to the classics – like The Beatles – and listen to her latest favorites – like Taylor Swift. Share the magic of music together, it will bring you closer together – or at least create a soundtrack of your life together.

19. Share secrets together. Communicate. Talk. Talk about anything. Let her tell you about boys, friends, school. Listen. Ask questions. Share dreams, hopes, concerns. She is not only your daughter, you are not only her mother. Be her friend too.

20. Teach her manners. Because sometimes you have to be her mother, not just her friend. The world is a happier place when made up of polite words and smiles.

21. Teach her when to stand up and when to walk away. Whether she has classmates who tease her because of her glasses, or a boyfriend who tells her she is too fat – let her know she doesn’t have to listen. Make sure she knows how to demand respect – she is worthy of it. It does not mean she has to fight back with fists or words, because sometimes you say more with silence. Also make sure she knows which battles are worth fighting. Remind her that some people can be mean and nasty because of jealousy, or other personal reasons. Help her to understand when to shut her mouth and walk away. Teach her to be the better person.

22. Let her choose who she loves. Even when you see through the charming boy she thinks he is, let her love him without your disapproving words; she will anyway. When he breaks her heart, be there for her with words of support rather than “I Told You So”. Let her mess up again and again until she finds the one. And when she finds the one, tell her.

23. Mother her. Being a mother – to her – is undoubtedly one of your greatest accomplishments. Share with her the joys of motherhood, so one day she will want to be a mother too. Remind her over and over again with words and kisses that no one will ever love her like you love her. No one can replace or replicate a mother’s love for their children.

24. Comfort her. Because sometimes you just need your mama. When she is sick, rub her back, make her soup, and cover her in blankets – no matter how old she is. Someday, if she is giving birth to her own child, push her hair out of her face, encourage her, and tell her how beautiful she is. These are the moments she will remember you for. And someday when her husband rubs her back in attempt to comfort her, she may just whisper “I need my mama”

25. Be home. When she is sick with a cold or broken heart, she will come to you; welcome her. When she is engaged or pregnant, she will run to you to share her news; embrace her. When she is lost or confused, she will search for you; find her. When she needs advice on boys, schools, friends, or an outfit; tell her. She is your daughter and will always need a safe harbor – where she can turn a key and see comforting eyes and a familiar smile; be home.

Gay Marriage – why not just “marriage”?

pardon me while I laugh my ass off

pardon me while I laugh my ass off

1) show me an American (that doesn’t live in Alaska) that doesn’t appreciate A/C. Your suit jacket probably is a blend. And eyeglasses — have you been to Starbucks lately with their selection of hipsters?

2) I’ve been trying to get tall for quite some time. And I work with all men but I have yet to grow a penis. What the hell is up with that?? I’ve heard they’re fun.

3) Three words: My Strange Addiction. A man had relationships with blow up animals and pool floats. I’m more concerns about his intentions than that of a gay man.

4) Statistics have shown that the new trend is to remove “honor and obey” from wedding vows. I, personally, did not say “obey” to E, nor he to me. If divorce is illegal, I should be thrown in jail.

5) Britney Spears is your example?! Reese Witherspoon, Jennifer Aniston, Courtney Cox, and dare I say Kim Kardashian.

6) So you’re saying adopted kids aren’t legit kids?

7) I really do know someone (a couple people, actually) who was raised by gay parents. They are securely heterosexual.

8) Religion is the sole reason shit like this is posted.

9) Single Moms and Single Dads, death of one or the other. Enough Said.

10) God forbid America be adaptable.

FTR, I know this is a satire but these are all reasons that I’ve heard why people are opposed to gay marriage. And the most maddening argument: It’s against the Bible.

Ok, let’s break this down. The Bible, like the Quran/Koran, the Torah, and all other religious books were written by man.

the-religion-that-your-parents-taught-you-as-a-child-is-the-one-true-religion-what-a-coincidence

Everyone thinks they’re right. Do you think gay people wake up one day and say “hmm, think I’ll become gay and throw myself into a downward spiral of social awkwardness and take the chance on everyone hating me”? Doubt it.

Does the Bible not say “Love Thy Neighbor”?

Does the Bible not say “Only God Can Judge”?

Does the Bible not say “God Forgives Us For Our Sins”?

Pretty sure it does.

Not to mention having sex before married. Having sex during your period (gross but it happens). Lying – that’s a HUGE one.

One statement cracks me up. “Gay Marriage threatens the existence of straight marriage”. Really? How?

In the words of Mr. Belevedere on American Wedding “Not everyone wants to sleep with you, breeder”.

I don’t think people are scared of gay people (homophobia). I think it’s that they’re scared of what thoughts it might invoke in their heads.

Religion is taught. You are taught the readings of these books and you take from that what you want. Gotcha. But there is a reason there are two versions of the Bible. Someone felt that it needed to be revised. If you’ve ever sat down and read the Old Testament, it’s rough and rugged and very Old-School-Wyatt-Earp. The New Testament is much gentler and doesn’t include things like stoning your children to death.

I get that the Biblical sense of a marriage is for the man to be the head of the house and for the woman to submit. I understand that but here’s where the Christian upbringing and Feminist in me clash. I’m no one’s property (less the USCG’s). My husband and I are equals. Sure, he might pee standing up and can lift a little more than me but I can give birth and walk in high heels. The differences are what makes us unique. Love is what brings us, and keeps us together.

What is so wrong with two people loving one another, regardless of what’s between their legs?

Personally, I’d rather two women and two men love each other than to have this stupid ass war continue on and on.

gay marriage

I think this about covers it

I think this about covers it

Priorities, people. This country is $17 trillion dollars in debt and teetering closer and closer to bankruptcy. N. Korea is threatening us with rocket strikes. Homelessness is climbing. Unemployment is still high. Military benefits are getting cut.

And THIS is what you choose to fight about.

I’m pretty sure Jesus and God are shaking their heads.

Quotes

POTD Day # 30 – Quotes

I’m breaking the rules because I don’t have any pictures of these. And I’m warning you now, shit’s about to get deep in here.

I’m a huge fan of quotes. Inspirational ones, for the most most part.

America Ferrera said, at the end of the series “Ugly Betty”:

I’ve had to say goodbye more times than I have liked, but everyone can say that. And no matter how many times we have to do it — even if it’s for the greater good, it still stings. And though we’ll never forget what we’ve given up, we owe it to ourselves to keep moving forward. What we can’t do is live our lives always afraid of the next goodbye. Because chances are, they’re not going to stop. The trick is to recognize when a goodbye can be a good thing. When it’s a chance to start again”

This is one resonates with me. I was going through a particularly hard time with my divorce and I was lashing out at anyone and everyone. I wrote off someone who was a good friend to me. I thought it was the toxicity between us that drove me to cut her out but it was more about emotions. We recently reconnected and I think we’re both just getting to know one another again. I asked if our email conversation was going to be like an awkward first date. Thankfully, it wasn’t. I’ve already written off friends who I thought were friends but turned out, they were junk. I’ve also held on to friends that I’ve known all my life and I realize they are my true soul mates. (I’m looking at you, JNG and RLW!)

I’ve found out who my true, real friends are with my divorce. There were people who I considered friends but they turned out to be, very much, Team EXHusband. I don’t wish them ill-will. I don’t wish them harm. I wish them luck and maybe our paths will cross again some day. I think the same of my ex-husband. I don’t wish ill-will. I wish him nothing but the best. We didn’t work and not for lack of trying but we’re far better off now. At least I am.

Another quote that struck me was from “The New Normal”. If you haven’t seen that show (and aren’t all gross and homophobic), I highly recommend you catch an episode

Expectations are a funny thing. You waste so much time guessing what your life could look like but the thing is, you can’t really know until the day you open your eyes and see that, if you let go and lean into the unexpected, it may be something more beautiful than you ever could have imagined.

No, it’s not what you expected, it’s something even better

This quote came years late. I’m the person that wasted so much time worried about that my life could be instead of just living it. It took me having a daughter to realize what life really means. The simple things become the most fun. Playing with a plastic palace and matching Little People is far more fun than those of you out there, at bars, partying it up. To me, anyway. I’d rather teach my kid something new or watch her figure something out on her own. I can’t predict what tomorrow will bring for me or for E or for Beanie. I just hope that it means we’ll all still be together and happy.

2013 has started off as a tough year with this flu and some work issues (read: bullshit) but I’m determined to make it one of the best. Letting go of the negativity that surrounds people in every day life as been key for me. Sure, I still harbor some anger for some people in this world and I know it won’t go away but I refuse to let that consume me. To me, those people simply do not exist. If they want to exist in my world, an apology is where they need to start. Once that’s achieved, we’ll talk. E is the passive one of us. He’s the one that says “hell with it, I’m all good. Let’s be friends”. I’m the bitch. I’m the one that holds grudges. I fully admit and understand that. But I’m working on it 🙂

I leave you with this one song verse, sung by Jason Aldean

I use what I got
Take what I get
Until I ain’t got nothin’ left
Then I give it some more
Keep on climbing up that mountain
Keep truckin along, work up a sweat
Pass every no, after no, after no, till i get a yes
I don’t worry about what i’ve done
I use what I got

If you are a country fan, listen to some of these lyrics. They aren’t all just about your wife leaving, your dog dying, and your truck getting wrecked 🙂

Random Facts

I read a lot of different blogs and I find it fascinating to learn about the person behind the screen. In reading Meagan over at The Cheesefries Stand Alone, she takes us all over the place (much like I do) with her puppies, WLJ, and outfits. I actually “know” her from an online source, as a bunch of us were all planning weddings at the same time.

She posed these 11 questions:

1. Have you been naughty or nice this year?

I’d like to say nice. I have a naughty/mean streak but for the most part, I’d say nice. Of course that might change depending on the person you ask 😉

2. When was the last time you did something for the first time?  What was it?

I hate to admit this, but it’s been years since I’ve done something for the first time. Life has become so different in the last 8 yrs. Before 2004, I could be found traveling, white-water rafting, hiking through the mountains, etc but between work, my first marriage, my divorce, my second marriage, and my child, my time has been pretty occupied.

This will become a number on my 2013 Bucket list.

3. What was the last concert you’ve been to?

Jason Aldean, Sept 2010 at the York County Fair. E and I went with my BFF J and the jerk she dragged along. He was fantastic.

4. Tell us about your favorite holiday tradition.

At some point before Christmas, my family would sit down and watch Emmett Otter’s Jugband Christmas and then every Christmas Eve, the family gets dressed up and we go to Christmas Eve service at our home church. I’m not religious and, in fact, this is something I find myself struggling with because I know how I was raised, but there is something about this service that I love.

5. If you could pack your bags for an all-expenses-paid trip right now, where would you go?

European and Mediterrean tour, for sure. I keep telling E, for our 5th or 10th anniversary, I want to go on a Med Cruise. I want to leave from Italy and go to Greece and Turkey, swing back through and hit Spain, Ireland, and England. I really have no desire to go to France, it doesn’t interest me and all encounters I’ve had with French people have left me with a sour taste but if it was all expenses paid, I’d be willing to give it a go.

6. What would be your last meal?

Bread Sticks and Alfredo Dipping Sauce from Olive Garden
Iceburg Wedge Salad from Outback Steak House
Filet with Bleu Cheese Crust from Longhorn
Macaroni and Cheese from White Chocolate Grill
Chocolate Lava Cake from Chilis

(Unless I can just set up shop at Smith and Wollensky’s and eat my way through the restaurant)

7. Are you making any New Year’s Resolutions?

I always do and I never seem to keep them, except this year. I said I was going to lose weight (whomp, whomp) and surprising enough, I have. I’ll make the same resolution, along with create a 2013 Bucket List of things I want to accomplish.

8. What is your favorite book or series?

Book: Jewels by Danielle Steel
Series: Stone Barrington by Stuart Woods. (#25 comes out next month!)

9. What was the best thing that happened to you in the last week?

I finally got an entire day of hanging out with E and Beanie. We’re rarely all home and awake at the same time so it was nice to hang out and catch up on family time.

10. Do you have any tattoos?  What and where?

I do. 9 to be exact.

Upper Back

Upper Back, between my shoulder blades. Words me “Love Reveals Beauty” in Gaelic

Right Lat

Right Lat/Top of my Shoulder. Word means “Sister” in Gaelic. Fun Fact: My sister has the same tattoo in the same place

Right BicepUnderarm

Right Bicep/Underarm. “There You’ll Be” and the initals of my step-paternal grandfather and my uncle, both of whom passed away.

Left Ribcage – Roman Numerals are the birthdate of my maternal grandfather, who passed away

Right Ribcage - Sparrows. One for every 10K nautical miles I've traveled.

Right Ribcage – Sparrows. One for every 10K nautical miles I’ve traveled.

Hisbiscus - a symbol of change and calm

Hisbiscus – a symbol of change and calm

a Honu Turtle, a symbol of my travels to Hawaii. "True to One, Enemy to None" - a play on a quote from Benjamin Franklin

a Honu Turtle, a symbol of my travels to Hawaii. “True to One, Enemy to None” – a play on a quote from Benjamin Franklin

As you can tell, these were all pre-Beanie.

I actually have two more. I have a traditional “tramp stamp” which are 4 Japanese characters on my lower back. They are supposed to read: Courage, Beauty, Love, and True but who knows what they say. Not my greatest decision.

The most recent one I got was post Beanie, it’s a teal Cherry Blossom on the inside of my left wrist with Beanie’s name written in script, above it. Teal for “Girl Part Cancer”.

11. What do you have in the trunk of your car?

A Stroller and a backpack. I’m boring. The middle and front seat, however, are trashed with napkins, toys, and whatever work apparel I happen to be carrying around with me at that moment.

11 Random Facts About Me:

  1. I have to have all of my DVD’s alphabetized on the shelves. Even Beanie’s movies are by alphabet. I had a mini-breakdown that the Fast and Furious series weren’t in order, thus causing absolute chaos in the alphetizing order
  2. My closet is broken down my type of clothing piece, then my color, then by sleeve length.
  3. I currently own 157 pairs of underpants and 47 camis.
  4. I’ve traveled to countries/parts of countries that Americans are normally allowed in (namely Colombia, Haiti, and Cuba)
  5. I crossed the Equator, via CG Ship, on my 20th birthday and had to sing “Jeremiah Was A Bullfrog” as part of the iniation.
  6. I’m 5’6″ but wear a size 5.5Y work boot. I can buy my shoes at Kids Foot Locker
  7. I’ve been in the CG for over 12 yrs.
  8. I absolutely detest the words “Moist” and “Panties”. They make me feel as though I’ve just heard nails on a chalkboard
  9. I’ve moved residence 7 times in the last 12 yrs.
  10. I know a little about a lot, thus making me kill it at Jeopardy and making my MIL hate watching it with me. I’m pretty knowledge about stupid trivia too (i.e. CC Sabathia holds the record on most pinstripes on a Yankee Uniform, beating out Babe Ruth)
  11. I have eaten shark, alligator, rattlesnake, blowfish, and many other crazy foods that you would never expect to eat but I can’t bring myself to find meatloaf acceptable.

So now. My fellow blog readers/followers, tell us about yourself.

  1. What is your favorite Christmas song?
  2. If you went to college, what degree did you go/are you going for?
  3. Name a blog that you frequent that I might be missing in my daily blog reading.
  4. Favorite Song/Song Lyric?
  5. Favorite bath or body product?
  6. Stealing Meagan’s question: What would your last meal be?
  7. Favorite piece of apparel that you own?
  8. Most addicting app?
  9. Favorite Board/Video Game?
  10. Top item on your holiday wish list?
  11. Dog or cat person? And post a pic of your pet if you have one!

30 Days of Giving Thanks – Day 18

18) A Saying/Quote/Scripture:

I have two.

I am proud to be a United States Coast Guardsman.

I revere that long line of expert seamen who by their devotion to duty and sacrifice of self have made it possible for me to be a member of a service honored and respected, in peace and in war, throughout the world.

I never, by word or deed, will bring reproach upon the fair name of my service, nor permit others to do so unchallenged.

I will cheerfully and willingly obey all lawful orders.

I will always be on time to relieve, and shall endeavor to do more, rather than less, than my share.

I will always be at my station, alert and attending to my duties.

I shall, so far as I am able, bring to my seniors solutions, not problems.

I shall live joyously, but always with due regard for the rights and privileges of others.

I shall endeavor to be a model citizen in the community in which I live.

I shall sell life dearly to an enemy of my country, but give it freely to rescue those in peril.

With God’s help, I shall endeavor to be one of His noblest Works…

A UNITED STATES COAST GUARDSMAN.

This was read at my Basic Training Graduation, 12 yrs ago. It is our creed to live by.

The second quote:

“Be civil to all; sociable to many; familiar with few; friend to one; enemy to none.” – Benjamin Franklin

I actually have “True to One, Enemy to None” tattoo’ed across my stomach. It’s a reminder to be true to myself but to create no enemies.

Crossing the Bar

Sunset and evening star,
And one clear call for me!
And may there be no moaning of the bar,
When I put out to sea,

But such a tide as moving seems asleep,
Too full for sound and foam,
When that which drew from out the boundless deep
Turns again home.

Twilight and evening bell,
And after that the dark!
And may there be no sadness of farewell,
When I embark;

For tho’ from out our bourne of Time and Place
The flood may bear me far,
I hope to see my Pilot face to face
When I have crost the bar.

Rest in Peace, Poppy
We have the watch now ❤

Nov 6th can’t get here quick enough

Just as the title states: Election Day cannot get here quick enough. I’m so sick and tired of seeing stupid signs everywhere  I go. Who honestly votes for someone after seeing a sign on the side of the road? Are people really that naive in this day in age?

On top of that, I’m so over seeing those signs that are forcing peoples religious beliefs onto others because they feel it’s necessary.

Case In Point

Please, someone tell me, how two men or two women being legally married affects taxes, the war, the deficit, or foreign policy?

I distrust those people who know so well what God wants them to do because I notice it always coincides with their own desires. – Susan B. Anthony

For Real.

The Big #1

When I found out I was pregnant with Beanie, I started writing letters to earmark tales of my pregnancy with her and for something for her to look back on and read. I’ve (been trying to) email them to her via her email address, kind of an electronic baby book.

This was written the day I found out we were expecting Beanie.

**********************************************************************************************

21 Jan 11

Dear Beanie:

Today is a huge day. Today, we found out that we are expecting you!

When Daddy and I moved in together, we decided we would eventually get married and start a family. We both agreed that we wanted kids. Being in the Coast Guard, I wanted to wait to start a family because I didn’t want to move you over and over again. After a few months ago, we decided we didn’t want to wait so we tried and tried. I was told that the likelihood of me getting pregnant was slim, due to a bout of cervical cancer.

Finally today, we learned we are pregnant with you and we couldn’t be more blessed. We definitely have an angel looking down on us. The look on your Daddy’s face, when I told him we were expecting a baby, it’s a look I’ll never forget. He is so overjoyed and full of emotion. He actually thought I was joking at first but then he saw the pregnancy test and we both knew, we were having a baby and we were so excited.

We told Mommom, Gammy, and Poppop about you. They couldn’t be more excited! We also told Aunt M, Uncle B and they can’t wait to have you play with Cousin T. Aunt T and Uncle S are also having a baby! They are due with a baby boy and he’ll share your birth year! We’re going to find out if you are a boy or a girl but that will have to wait until May. For the time being, I’m hoping and praying for stickiness and that you stay put. I want to meet you more than words can say. I already know you’re a fighter and you want to be here with us. I’m so excited 🙂

Love, Mama

PS. Always Remember, Mama Loves You

**********************************************************************************************

One year ago yesterday, I remember being 4 days overdue and quite ready. I laying in bed and around 0715, the contractions started. They were manageable so I didn’t wake E up. He stayed home that day and we walked around everywhere we could think of. Imagine walking through the Disney Store at the mall while in labor. That was super fun 😉

I didn’t want to go to the hospital because I wanted to be med-free and I didn’t want to be chained to a bed so we walked and I stayed home until we hit the 17 hr mark. After that, I realized I needed a break. It was mostly back labor and that was what hurt the most.

17 hours after the first contraction, we were on our way to the hospital. We got there around 0030 (through the detours and the bumpiest road known to man) and I got to sit in Triage for another 9 hours. Around 0900, the midwife says “lets get you set up”. By this point I had been in labor for over 24 hrs (my water hadn’t broken but they considered me in “active labor”) and I broke down and asked for some medication. I had gotten a dose of Stadol while in Triage and dear barbara, that was funny enough that E still talks about it.

With the epidural started, I started to feel better. Enter the Pitocin.

I’ll save the boring details of the next 12 hours but suffice to say, there were emergencies and one big argument with the midwife and OB but finally I had a c-section.

**********************************************************************************************

27 Sept 11

Dear Beanie:

Well, you are finally here and Daddy and I couldn’t be more excited. We never thought this day would come, that we would get to hold you and tell you how much we love you and how long we waited to meet you. You are definitely our miracle baby.

We went through the doctor appointments to make sure you were healthy and growing and thank Heanves, you were perfect looking. There were times you scared us but thanks to the modern day medical marvels, everything came back normal.

I labored through today and finally, at 9:55p, you were here, yelling and kicking and carrying on as though any pissed off woman would do. You are in the NICU and will be for a little while due to some complications (all from me, nothing to do with you) so itll be some time before I get to hold you and snuggle you and tell you how much I love you.

I can’t believe you are finally here, Beanie. I love you more than words can ever express and I can’t wait to hold you.

Love, Mama

PS. Always remember, Mama Loves You.

 

Love has nothing to do with what you are expecting to get, it’s what you are expected to give, which is everything.
– Katharine Hepburn

Defining Yourself

I live by a few simple rules.

The #1 rule: Never let anyone or anything else define you or who you want to be.

Unfortunately, that’s a tough thing for people because life happens. Life often gets in the way. People lose themselves in their marriages, their jobs, their relationships with others, their parenting, etc.

If I were asked what  I could or would say to someone who was having a rough time with redefining themselves, I’d ask them one question: At the end of the day, do you lay in bed and rehash your day and think “I’m exactly who and where I want to be?”

If the answer to that is NO, then I’d suggest taking a step back and figure out what you could do differently to become the person you want yourself to be.

Prior to Beanie, I would rethink my day through and think “this is where I’m supposed to be”.  I was married, I had a house, I loved my job, I thought I had it all. Then I got divorced and I couldn’t stop thinking “what did I do wrong?” I couldn’t stop overanalyzing.

One night, while out with my BFFs, they told me “it wasn’t that you did something wrong, it was that he wasn’t who you should be with.” And they were right. I kept trying to make myself believe that I was who I wanted to be but it was painfully obvious to everyone that I wasn’t with who I should have been with and at the end of the day, I wasn’t the person I wanted to be.

I’ve since transferred from where I was and I’m in a totally different place in my life. I balance between defining who I want to be as a member of the CG and who I want to be “in the real world.” Then I stumbled upon this picture:

If I could tell Beanie about my childhood, my early adult years, and my time in the CG, I would tell her “be the person you want to be.”

But it goes deeper than Beanie. I want to be the wife that my husband brags about. I want to be the mother that my kids adore and want to become just like. I want to be the best possible friend to my gals. I want it all. And right now, in my life, I believe I do.

I’ve spent quite a bit of QT with my bestie, talking her through some things and in talking to her about issues in the world, I’ve found out more about myself. It’s almost like “hey, take your own advice”. Like Beanie, this chick has saved my sanity. She has shown me that I need to take a step back and while life isn’t always the prettiest or greatest or easiest, it’s liveable at your own pace. Life will knock you on your ass. It will kick you in your non-existant balls. It will punch you in the face so many times, you think you need to buy a new one.

But that’s all ok. Because at the end of the day, you can crawl into bed, think about what you can change tomorrow, and then go forth and conquer. Sometimes you won’t conquer the world the next day but you’ll be a step closer. Even when the next day throws you two steps back, you pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and keep going. Other days, you don’t want to get out of bed and that’s ok too. However, always look at your mom/your BFF/your “person”, and know that they’re saying, even if not out loud:

Pretty, pretty please Don’t you ever, ever feel Like your less than perfect. Pretty, pretty please If you ever, ever feel Like your nothing You’re  perfect to me.

I have a handful of great friends that I would go to the ends of the earth for and I hope they all know that I think this about them ♥

rachelkern152

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