NaBloPoMo – Nov 21, 22, and the weekend

Day 21: Describe an outfit that makes you feel good. (It can be from any period of your life.) Double points if you post a picture of yourself in the outfit.

Oct 12, 2013 - the day I ran a Half Marathon

Oct 12, 2013 – the day I ran a Half Marathon

I’m not going to lie. I felt pretty badass in this outfit. Nike Dri cropped capri pants with an Under Armor Heat Gear t-shirt. Champion Socks and New Balance running shoes. I also look sort of thin in this picture and that’s a major plus.

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Day 23. How important are book covers in getting you to read a book?

Extremely important. I totally judge a book by it’s cover. If it looks fun and flirty, and like it might be an easy read, I’m going to try it out. I deal with some much serious BS at work and on a regular basis, I want to get lost in that chick-lit, “only in a fantasy world” book. I want to read the fiction that makes two people fall in love and live happily ever after. Sounds lame, I know. But I dig it.

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I was going to post a “30 Things I’m Thankful for in 2013” post but in all honesty, I don’t know that I’m thankful for 30 things that have been a part of my 2013. Granted, thinks at work are going smoothly, E and I have adjusted to living in Maine, and Beanie is thriving after some health issues but I’m ready to see 2013 become a part of my history and I’m ready to look forward to 2014.

I wouldn’t mind if 2014 brought some changes. I’ve already started making some changes.

*Those women in my life that perpetuate the Mommy Wars — Gone.

*Those family members and friends that just want drama — Gone.

*Schooling — back on the list and ready to knock out some credits and put a serious dent in that “Credits Needed” column.

Those are just a few.

I look forward to seeing what might come of this and here’s hoping I still remember to blog 😉

NaBloPoMo – Nov 20th

Day 20: Tell us about your first friend.

My first friend. Well, I have three. I think of them fondly. Especially since we’re still best friends to this very day.

My first friends, K, R, and J.

K has been my bestie since pre-k. Funnily enough, our parents when to school together and got in trouble together so it was only natural that we did the same.

K and I on her wedding day

K and I on her wedding day

I was dreading telling K that I was pregnant because I knew my due date was 2 days before her wedding. After POAS, I did some quick math and thought to myself “oh shit…” I figured I’d come right out and tell her so she could find another bridesmaid. I sent her a text, I still remember this, telling her if she was half the aunt to my child has she was best friend to me, my child and I were the luckiest people in the world. She immediately called me and was “ARE YOU SERIOUS!” (at a very high decibel). I knew she would be ecstatic for me but the bump. I was afraid it would attract negative attention so I told her I’d bail. She almost fought me. Thank god I was pregnant LMAO She said she wouldn’t have it any other way and the only way I would be sidelined is if I was in labor. You can imagine the shock when I showed up to get my hair down, 2 days overdue, ready to rock.

I mean, seriously? How awesome is this chick to dedicate a portion of her reception to me with a dance for my birthday?! A friend would just be all “hey, happy birthday”. This chick. She went above and beyond. Best birthday party ever, K! LOL

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K, Beanie, and I at Beanie's Baptism

K, Beanie, and I at Beanie’s Baptism

Funny story on the baptism — K showed up at the church, after driving for 40 mins, getting turned around, and having a sick boy at home. She still showed up and still made my day. Seriously, I don’t know where I would be without this girl.

R and J are sisters, our mothers worked together so we were destined to be BFF.

R, J, and I at my wedding

R, J, and I at my wedding (we totally did not plan to all wear ruffles. That’s how in sync we are ;)) 

These two are my sanity. If I’m having a bad day, need to laugh, need to tell someone about a Person of Wal-Mart I’ve just seen — these are the two I come to. It sucks because my first husband wasn’t too social and our friendship suffered. No matter what, they were always there for me, they always shows up at parties, they always sent Christmas cards. But still. During my divorce, they took me out and said “NO MORE!” and we’ve been inseparable ever since. We’ve been through break ups, New Years, Pregnancies, Babies, everything together. When R told me she was pregnant with twins, I cried. I can’t imagine a more perfect mama. When J’s heart was broken, we rallied together to find dog poo to mail to the jerk. (We didn’t. But we wanted to). These two, I just can’t say enough about them.

New Years 2011

New Years 2011

I’m the luckiest girl in the world to have friends like these three. I would do anything in the world for them and I know they would do anything in the world for me.

NaBloPoMo – Nov 18th

Day 18: Tell us about a blog post that you didn’t publish.

There are several but two, in particular, come to mind. One is about politics and one is about parenting. The two single most irritating topics for anyone to endure. These are two topics that people will literally (figuratively) kill themselves over trying to prove you wrong. You can’t simply “have an opinion”. There has to be a black or white side.

Not for me.

Because, frankly, I don’t give a damn about anyone’s opinions.

I’ll do with the political one though. I usually don’t get political so this might be long. It might make Marney drop dead while cursing but hopefully she’ll still love me in the AM.

Back before this Obamacare bullshit started, I was already pissed. I voted for Bush in 2004, which I freely admit. I have a feeling it cost me a few friends but I just couldn’t bring myself to vote for a man who got himself a purple heart due to a self-inflicted war wound. No, admittedly I have not found any real evidence that supports this theory but he wasn’t exactly forthcoming when the accusations were made. Sorry but if someone were accusing me of something this heinous, I’d copy and print every single piece of documentation I had to prove you wrong. He didn’t do that.

Obviously Bush won. And then went on to make sure Katrina happened. And the Mississippi flooded. And the debt continued to rise. And every other issue that people STILL blame him for, to this day, in 2013.

Next up – McCain vs Obama. I voted for McCain in 2008. My reason: neither of these men had what it took to run this country. We were fighting an uphill war with seemingly no end in sight. But I didn’t feel that Obama could run this country without having served it.

I think I was right. More and more every, single day.

I don’t get wrapped up in this “where is he from” nonsense. Do I think he should have been more forthcoming with his birth certificate and all that? Absolutely. Why not shut everyone down from the start? Don’t you know, in the good ol’ United States of ‘Merica, you are guilty until proven innocent. Duh. That’s why there are investigators who investigate, detectives who detect, and people who pick and dismiss juries basked on the amount of info you already know. People are gonna find this shit out.

Anywho — so Obama has never served in any Armed Force. That bothers me.

The military is comprised of the different branches, this we already know, but to really REALLY understand what happens behind closed doors, you have to serve. You have to experience first hand, in my opinion, to really hold any weight and merit to attempt to run it.

I get it. The POTUS is merely the lightning rod. He will take the fall for the decisions that 150+/- congressmen make. He will receive the praise and the blame. Well to that, I say:

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I mean, really?

If I could speak before congress and the POTUS, I would ask one simple question: Would you want your sons or daughters working for people like you?

They have it so incredibly easy. They sit in their comfy, high-backed chairs and play poker and candy crush all day while we’re struggling. I know it was my choice to be in the military. I chose this life for myself. My husband, bless his heart, is ok with us moving. We understand the issues that can arise. But we weren’t, at all, prepared for the $1600 a month pay cut that we’d take (just from my salary, alone), because we were told to move from Maryland to Maine. Or that we were being sent to a place where it would take almost a year for my husband to find any type of job. We get it. That’s what we signed up for. Now, for the record, I do live in military housing so yes, I have a pretty good set up. I have a roof over my head and the heads of my family, my electricity, heat, and water are provided by the military. What isn’t covered is any means of communication (phone inside the house which I could see both sides of them paying or not paying), and any amenities. I can’t complain about that.

What I didn’t sign up for, however, was to have my pay to be used as a bartering chip.

This is our livelihoods, gentlemen and women. This is how we pay our bills. This is what keeps me from having my car repossessed and what keeps my credit in tact, which is what I need to continue working because I have to be eligible for a security clearance. This is what I use to put food on my table, gas in my car, and diapers and clothes on my child’s back. They have never had to worry one day of their lives about potentially not having enough money to stop and grab milk on the way home, or wondering if we can possibly make the last bit in the bank acct stretch because there are 19 days between pay checks. They don’t have to worry about advancing to a certain rank by a certain date to ensure they get some type of decent retirement.

People say I have no right to complain because I have free healthcare. It’s true. I do. But what people fail to see is that the health insurance that they so publicly cover is nothing more than a glorified HMO. I have to beg and plead with my PCM (PCP to you civilian folks) to go to an ortho to get my knee looked at. And if that PCM doesn’t see the need, I don’t get to go. I can go but I’d be paying out-of-pocket. And really, who can afford that? Sure they paid every last cent of my hospital bill to have my daughter. But I was sent to the lowest bidding OB/GYN and the care reflected it. Only one, ONE, out of NINE of those OB/GYNS didn’t make a comment about it must be nice to get my stuff for free.

Why does my pay, the money I work hard to earn, the money I get paid for being on call 24/7, have to get called into question? No, I don’t think I should have to pay federal taxes because federal taxes pays my salary. SALARY, I don’t get overtime. The days where I miss my daughter’s bedtime, I don’t see my husband for 2-3 days at time, or the missed time with my visiting family, I don’t get compensation. It’s called “doing my job”. I don’t get to just work remotely because it’s more convenient. I can’t rush my workday so I can make it on vacation. I can’t send my family to the Bahamas with the promise of signing a bill over the phone or via email.

My hard-earned paycheck is being brought into question because some grown men can’t relinquish their stubbornness to see the greater good of the country. Everyone said Hilary wouldn’t be a great POTUS because she’s too emotional. I’m willing to bet that bitch can balance a checkbook. Just Sayin’. I was told I’m lucky because we received word that the MIlitary Pay Act was signed. Until when? When is the next time we have to worry about checking our bank accounts and not seeing a deposit on the 15th or last day of the month?

I invite Congress and the POTUS to walk in our shoes. Some of Congress has. But I invite them to do it again. Let go of your fancy sports cars and your 6+ figure pay checks. Forget that you’ll continue to earn that much money when you’re retired. How well will you work when you don’t know if you’re going to make it home that night because you might be on a SAR case or you have duty or, God forbid, you’re deployed to an undisclosed area of the middle east?

We all signed an oath, to protect this country from all enemies, both foreign and domestic. However, sometimes I have to wonder, how “domestic” are the domestic enemies? We signed up for this life. We signed up for the trials and tribulations. We signed up to defend and honor the Constitution. But I find myself wondering, is there going to be anything left to fight for and defend when you all are finished fighting?

I find it amusing, I was watching an episode of “10 Things You Didn’t Know” on Discovery and it was about the White House. I, personally, learned the First Family is charged for their meals and anything that they need, personal wise. I find that fascinating. I find it even more fascinating that some of our former First Ladies were “appalled”. Why? Why should you get a free ride? Some of your husbands weren’t all that great. Why should we foot the bill for you to live completely free?

Now we’re onto Obamacare.

This was a brilliant idea, he said. This will change America, he said. This will be what America needs, he said.

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I don’t think he knows what he wants. But he refuses to admit he might have been wrong.

Instead, Obamacare is causing insurance companies to drive up the cost of premiums, kick people off plans that they were completely ok with being on, employers are having to drop people back to PT work so they won’t have to pay for their insurance because it’s too dang high.

Yet, I’m still sitting here, asking myself: Would Congress and the POTUS be ok with their children living in this kind of world, trying to make it on their own?

NaBloPoMo – Nov 15th

Day 15: If you could quit one bad habit instantly without difficulty, which would it be?

Oh. Ma. Gawd.

The Hair Twirling.

I’m a hair twirler and I seriously need meetings to stop this shit. I will find a chunk of hair and I will run my fingers down it over and over and over and over. It’s almost like a nervous twitch. If I wear my hair down, you can guarantee that I will have one chunk of greasy hair by the end of the day. I’ve had people threaten to cut it off if I didn’t stop.

Now, my p0or daughter. She’s inherited this from me. When she gets stressed or overwhelmed or tired, she will suck on one thumb and play with her hair with the other. She will twirl it around or simply “tease” it (pick it up and drop it, thus creating a rats nest).

This is what I saw upon the small human waking this morning

This is what I saw upon the small human waking this morning

It drives me batty because, to wrastle it in the mornings, it creates WW 15 or 16, I can’t remember which one we’re on. It’s awesome if she were to leave it alone and be cute but, well, she’s two. She also has a perpetual Snooki bump.

I can't tame it unless I weigh it down

I can’t tame it unless I weigh it down

She has fairly longer hair, for a 2 yr old but it’s curly. I’m talking Shirley friggin Temple curly. She will never have to do her hair for a dance or fancy occassion if we can teach her to leave her hands out of it.

The Curls

The Curls

So far that’s my OCD and my hair issues that she’s inherited. How much worse is this going to get? That chapter is unwritten.

NaBloPoMo – Nov 14th

Day 14: Are you a morning person or a night owl?

I missed a day. Don’t tell on me.

Based on my last post, I think it’s safe to say I’m a morning person. I wake up no later 6:30 every morning. I physically cannot sleep any later. I don’t mind it, it gives me time to relax before I start my day.

On the same token, I rarely stay up past 10pm. Ever. If it’s a work night, I’m usually in bed by 9. Seriously. My parents have called before, at 9:20pm, and I’ve slept through the ringing phone. Or if I do answer, my dad is all “sorry to call so late”. I’m an old woman, I won’t apologize for my life. I’ve always been like this, though. I need sleep.

It kind of worked out that my kid’s sleeping adjusted early on. I got lucky and she started STTN around 7w old. She would get up around 5p and go to bed around 10p. That worked for me. I could hand her off to E around 9, go to sleep, and see her in the AM. We became much better friends when she started that.

Now that it’s friday, it’s technically not a work night, I might live dangerously. I might actually stay up until 10. I don’t know though. WWE Smackdown comes on at 8, Modern Family is on, my DVR has some stuff on it that I need to catch up on. I might just go to bed early and wake up to a wonderfully full DVR. Seriously, I DVR shows that come on at 8, “just in case”.

I’m not ashamed of my Old Person Status.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I need to prep for my afternoon nap.

NaBloPoMo – Nov 13th

Day 13: What is your favorite hour of the day?

Hmm. I wake up at the butt crack of dawn. I’m talking, if I sleep past 5 am, it’s considered a waste of my day. I once slept until 7 and I was so dang disoriented, I felt like I had wasted my day, sleeping. E laughs at me because he thinks I have to “conquer the world” as soon as I wake up. I need to get my day in order. Dishes, laundry, cleaning, wrangling the child, etc. Whatever is on the list for that day. Saturdays and Sundays are my day for conquering.

But my favorite hour?

I’m going to say, for weekdays, 3pm. I get off work, I can go home and just sit for a min. I can decompress and just really chill, for the first time all day. I can change out of this monkey suit, put on sweat pants, and maybe even read a chapter of my book. I say that because, once Beanie gets home, I can only read if I retreat to the bathroom. And even then I fall victim to the constant “MAMAMAMAMAMA” coming from outside the door. If I’m really lucky, I get little fingers under the door.

For weekends, I’m going to say 6am. I know that’s a crazy hour for most but it’s the time the sun is coming up, I can enjoy a cup of coffee, the dog isn’t spazzing out yet, I don’t have to run around, rampant, packing the small human’s lunch and making sure she has all her junk in one bag, and I can just sit. I give myself an hour in the AM to sit and chill and then Beanie usually gets up, demanding food and a clean rear end. E gets up shortly after that, demanding the same (I only oblige one of those items for him, though). And then I begin my world conquering.

I’ve been on this same schedule for the last 13 yrs. I couldn’t sleep past 5 in Basic Training, had to be up by 7a for work, and my body is just trained for early mornings. I don’t mind. Sometimes I can score a nap when Beanie is napping or I can catch a chill day at work where people aren’t going nuts over the dumbest little things. It’s all a daily rotation.

NaBloPoMo – Nov 12th

Day 12: Name five things inside your refrigerator right now and how you feel about them.

1) Milk (whole and skim)

2) Grape Jelly

3) Teriyaki Sauce

4) Bleu Cheese (both block and dressing)

5) Shredded Cheese (mozzarella and cheddar)

How I feel about these? Well, they’re food. I adore love food. It’s one of my most favorite things in the world. For these 5 things though, this is how the Coastie household exists.

Milk – I can kill a gallon of Skim in about a week. Beanie and E will down a gallon within 3 days. We are a very calcium-healthy family, to say the least.

Grape Jelly – We like our PB & J’s. Now that Beanie has entered her 2-year-old-hunger strike, PB & J is really one of the only things keeping her alive.

Teriyaki Sauce – I love a good teriyaki marinade. I prefer to mix this with honey and garlic and make it a little sweeter. It also is less salty then soy, which it good for the scale.

Bleu Cheese – If it was socially acceptable to swim in a vat of bleu cheese, I would. I use bleu cheese for everything. Broiled on top of steaks, topped on Buffalo encrusted chicken, dressing for dipping carrots into. It’s a mah-velous creation.

Shredded Cheese – Mozzarella for homemade pizza and Cheddar for homemade anything else. Homemade potato skins have become a family favorite during football season and cheese is a must for those.

I feel constricted narrowing this down because, now that my husband has become a fan of the kitchen, we’re acquiring more and more food/seasonings/sauces. I think these are my 5 favorite and the 5 that I’m most likely never to run out of.

NaBloPoMo – Nov 11th

Day 11: If you had to be trapped inside a movie for 5 days, which movie would you pick?

My all-time favorite book was made into a movie. A book called Jewels by Danielle Steel. Before you roll your eyes, yes. It is one of her typical mushy love novels. But I feel like it most feeds my life.

The scenes start with a marriage, doomed from the start. Her dad swoops in and saves her. But here’s where it differs and here’s why I would want to be in that movie.

The main character ends up on a trans-atlantic cruise from New York to England. Once there, she meets this Duke. They fall in love and they live happily ever after, having several children and a wonderful life. However, they are not without their challenges. WW1 is looming. She has a home birth with their first child, which almost kills her. They have a second child, the child passes away. He is taken prisoner of war but finally makes it home, losing use of his legs. They go on to have 3 more children.

While the war is happening, many folks bring their jewelry to her, in exchange for money. She eventually goes into business, creating this jewelry empire.

Overall, her children and her husband are her greatest pleasure. I understand that. For me, my husband and my child are my world and I would do anything for them.

But marrying a Duke doesn’t sound too shabby either 😉

NaBloPoMo – Nov 10th

On this Veteran’s Day Eve (and free writing post day), I decided to steal a writing prompt for BlogHer and answer this question:

Are you part of the armed forces?  What moved you to sign up for the military?

I am. I’m currently Active Duty Coast Guard. I’ve been active duty for over 13 yrs, having reported to boot camp on Aug 08, 2000. I left 2 months after I graduated from high school.

Why I joined? Well, that’s an interesting tale.

I didn’t take an easy road, growing up. I was in The Sibling’s shadow and my mother flat out said there was no money for me to go to college. I figured. There wasn’t too much investment made into me. I understand why. I didn’t know what I wanted to be when I grew up, I didn’t want to work towards any goals. I just wanted to survive high school.

I found out about the money situation around Oct of my senior year of high school, around the time all my friends were finalizing their applications and getting ready for acceptance/rejection letters. I was out with friends and we were, umm, not really unimpaired and we ended up watching WWE (wrestling). I saw a commercial for the US Coast Guard. I saw little boats, racing through the water, people dropping out of helicopters, big boats coming to the aid of others. I thought – Shit, I want to do that! So I sobered up and I contacted a recruiter soon after that.

I entered the DEP (delayed entry program) in April of 2000, signed my contracts (had to ask my mother to sign since I was still only 17), and I set up my date. I left 2 months later.

Since being in, I’ve learned a lot. I’ve grown up. This experience has taught me that there is more to the world that my small hometown. Sure, I liked living there and all but I was excited to leave. I was excited to get out of people’s shadows and to make a living on my own.

Having been in for 13 yrs, experiencing many migrant interdiction cases, seeing dead bodies, experiencing 9/11, and moving around the country, I’ve learned that I’m a part of something that is bigger than me. I’m a part of an operation that is around for the better of the country and, in some cases, the world. We’ve been a part of training operations with other countries and have seen some fantastic sights. My only regret: not moving around more.

I plan to retire when I hit my 20 yrs (2020, funnily enough) and I hope to land a job as a wedding/event planner with a hotel chain, or even start my own business. I still have some time to work on my master post-service plan but hey, I’m just living the dream until then 😉

NaBloPoMo – Nov 9th

See? No prompt and I forgot a day so I’m making up for it today with two posts. Bear with me.

There was an article going around about how marriage isn’t for this guy. Ok fine. Except I think this guy is way out of left field.

When I got married the first time, I could have totally written this post. My ex husband asked me to marry him and make him the happiest man in the world. I obliged. But I shouldn’t have. That’s not to say I didn’t love him but I wasn’t completely convinced that that was the road we needed to take. However, we already had the house, the car, and had pissed the grandmothers off because we were living together before marriage so we figured, that was the next “logical” step.

Marriage isn’t logical. It often times doesn’t make sense. Two people get together, fall in love, and get married.

But it’s not that simple.

I still say “everything was perfect until we decided to live happily, ever after”.

That was true. Before he put a ring in it, things were great. We were committed, happy, loving. He put a ring on it and everything changed. I felt like I owed him something. I felt like I was obligated to play a part in a movie that I didn’t sign on to do. I didn’t like that feeling. Then, when everything imploded around us, I felt obligated to stick by him and make things work. I felt obligated to fight for a marriage I knew was dead.

I hate feeling obligated.

I want to do something that *I* want to do it. I want to WANT something, someone. I didn’t want to feel like I HAVE to do something.

It’s true, marriage is a full time job. But, with the right person, it’s effortless. Yes, it takes work. You have to work on your marriage and make it work. There are days you’re going to feel like you made a horrible mistake. There are days you’re going to look at this person and think “I’m the luckiest person on the planet”. There are days you’re going to wonder where you could possibly hide a body and hope your BFF will help you dig. It takes work.

When I first met E, things were relaxed. We laughed a lot. We spent hours texting and talking and being real with one another. He realized, with me, what he saw was what he got. We had our arguments, we had our disagreements. We worked through them and, fortunately, we came out on top. He doesn’t love me for my quirks, he loves me IN SPITE of them. He puts up with my crazed obsessions and we find ways to balance one another.

I often get criticized because I say I’m a wife, first, and a mom second. Now, don’t get me wrong. Don’t, for one second, think I wouldn’t stop a speeding train and cut the juggler and heart out of anyone who wrongs my little girl. She means the world to me and I would do anything for her. But. God willing and the creek don’t rise (WTH does that mean?!), she will grow up, become even more independent, and create an adult life for herself that doesn’t include living in my basement. I’m raising her to stand on her own two feet.

What happens when she grows up and leaves, if I dedicate all my time to grooming her for this day? I’m left staring at a man that I don’t really know, except as “Dad”. That’s when couples of 20 years get divorced. You have to know who you married. You have to know that you can be a couple again, once the kids leave the nest. You have to be sure that, at the end of the day, you see yourself, in a rocking chair on the front porch, with this person and you’re going to be happy.

And if you don’t want to have kids? I applaud you. I know couples who get married and their plan is to just live their lives together with no kids. And that’s a great plan. They should never be made to feel guilty or to feel as though they’re doing it wrong. Being married does NOT mean you have to have kids. You should never get married simply because your partner wants children. For some, that is a deal breaker and that’s ok. That means those people are smart for not throwing away their beliefs and wants out of life.

Marriage is equal parts giving and receiving. There are times E walks in front of me, makes the decisions and wears the pants. But there are times I walk in front of him and I wear the pants. However, at the end of the day, we make the big decisions together.

People often ask us if we got married because I was pregnant. The answer: absofrigginlutely NOT. We planned to get married because we loved how the other made us a better person. Do we compromise? Of course. Do I give up what I believe in simply to make him happy? Not a chance in hell.

In short: Marriage is not for others. It’s for you. People ask others to marry them because they love how that person makes them a better person and how they make them feel. You should never get married because you feel obligated to.

The only “Happily Ever After” you’re guaranteed, is the one you create.

rachelkern152

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