Saturday, October 27, 2012

Politics, BE DONE!

Can I just say how fucking TIRED I am of seeing political bullshit on Facebook? I am almost ready to start deleting people from there! I am on Facebook to connect with people, and I don't mind people expressing their opinion... hey it's their right, but there is a certain line that gets crossed that makes people want to rip their hair out and run in circles like one foot is nailed to the floor (not like there is any escape to the political bullshit anyway).

I have posted my share of political memes and videos, just because they made me laugh. Like this one:

This is mainly because I have watched the debates, and I see Mitt Romney dodge direct questions with nonsense. Quite frankly I see Mitt Romney as a shady liar who has NO FUCKING IDEA what it is like to be as part of the lower and "middle class". Why is middle class in quotes? Because I don't think there is a middle class anymore, I think it is poor and poorer (and of course the rich and richer). Don't tell me to blame President Obama for that either, because what is happening in this country goes way beyond anything our current President has TRIED to do in his current term.

While I am on the topic of President Obama, can I just say how much it pisses me off that people don't give the man the respect he is due? I don't give a shit if you do not like him, I really don't, but as an adult, an American, and again as an ADULT, STOP WITH THE DAMN NAME CALLING! Seriously, I have seen this in my Facebook feed, people calling him "Odumma" or some shit. Really, are we 4 years old now? Also, I can pretty much guarantee that the man is a FUCK TON smarter than those that are slinging childish names at him. Ugh...

Now I am seeing religious bible quotes aimed at the elections. It does not phase me any, not like I am religious or anything, but it DOES bother me when I see people using the Bible for political reasons. It reminds me of when I was in a foster home years and years ago (I was 15 or 16 years old) and my foster mother was ranting and raving that Bill Clinton was the Anti-Christ. When Bill Clinton was elected President my foster mother flipped shit because "It was NOW the END TIMES!" To be fair she said there were a lot of things that were a sign of the end times, like video phones... as hard as I tried I could not find anything about video phones in the Bible. 

One Facebook post says (and this is a direct quote) : "SO SICK OF HEARING ABOUT ABORTION! Is that really ALL we're focused on in these elections? Come on people..pretty sure there are other things that are very important than just the rights you think your uterus should have!"

Really? I really have no words for that... at all. More important issues than women's rights? Ugh... it is just as important as any other issue in my humble opinion. 

I am TIRED of seeing ignorant Facebook posts about the elections! Only a few more weeks of this shit, then a few months of bitching and complaining about whoever gets elected. I just hope that the person that gets elected isn't so far removed from reality that it spins this country in a deeper hole than it is already. 

On that note, I leave you with an uplifting video.







Friday, October 26, 2012

Aurora Borealis

I hate saying that I have too busy to post, but it is true. The weather has been cold as hell, but it is going to get colder. Right now the coldest I have seen it was -11 F (I think that is -28 C), but it can get to -50 F or more further on in the winter. Lovely placed we have picked to move to!

The awesome thing about living in Alaska is the Northern Lights. Getting to see them and start to learn to photograph them has been awesome! I know I have a lot of learning left to do, but I have improved little by little with each photograph.

For example: take the first photos into consideration. No tripod, and me trying in vain to hold the camera still... EPIC FAIL! But it was still an interesting shot. Would have been a lot nicer if the picture was focused and the camera was still...

Then I decided I HAD to get a tripod... this made for an interesting show; meaning watching me running all over the house from the front door to the backdoor carrying my camera on my tripod trying to get the best pics. Not wearing shoes, but at least I remembered to grab my coat!

Get ready for a slightly blurry pic overload, but I love the lights and cannot wait for more to come out (when I am awake) and give me more chances to improve my technique. I did order a remote shutter release, so maybe that will help a tad?












Oh, and by the way... if anyone has tips to share to help me improve it would be most appreciated!

Tales from the Trip...

Back in June we left Germany and came to Alaska. The entire process to get out of Germany was a pain in the ass and I am quite surprised that I did not kill anyone before we left. Sorry, there are no pics this time, just because I am working on another blog with pics of the Northern Lights... and all my pics of the drive to Fairbanks are on another computer.

So... Once my husband FINALLY got his orders (just a few weeks before we had to leave the country) we were able to start the process of getting the hell out of there. Don't get me wrong, I LOVED Germany and being so close to so much history and other countries, but I hated the area in which we lived and the unit that my husband was attached to (morale was horrible, as was communication and organization). My husband was miserable and I just wanted to get out of there and get to a place that would help his career rather than being with a bunch of fuck-nuts that would hold him back for their own selfish gain.

It started with having to set up appointments to have all of our furniture, clothes, etc moved out of the townhouse so it could be shipped to Alaska. The initial appointment was easy, and the actual appointment was even easier (though longer due to the amount of paperwork that had to be done). We left Transpo with dates that our household and vehicle would be picked up and shipped, though the time it takes to ship it all left me a bit depressed. 52 days for unaccompanied baggage, 65 days for our vehicle, and 88 days for household goods (household goods consists of the majority of the house- unaccompanied baggage was just clothes, towels, blankets, and the kids bikes). By the way, as I am typing this we still do not have our vehicle or our household goods.

Next was SATO travel. This is where we went to arrange our flights out of country and into Alaska. I had been hearing a lot of horror stories from others in Baumholder that they were having issues with SATO when it concerned shipping their pets. I was shocked and ANGRY at the amount of people who were getting rid of their pets because they were told there were no flights for their animals, or did not want to pay what it costs to ship them. I went in there with the conviction that I came to Germany with my kitties, and DAMNIT I was leaving with them!!!

SATO tried to give me the same run around, they even said to me that I might have to find another home for them because "there were no flights out that took pets". My husband thought he was going to have to restrain me. I asked the woman if she would leave her child behind, when her mouth dropped I told her that my kitties are my babies too and she was going to find a flight that would allow me to take my pets WITH me. There was no other option. I could not ship them before me since we knew no one in Alaska, and I did not want to risk leaving them in the care of someone to ship after we left. Besides, how many people want to take on the responsibility of three cats?

After three days, THREE FUCKING DAYS, of going to SATO to figure out a flight plan because they refused to call PET SAFE and arrange our flight with the cats, which left me running from SATO into the Java Cafe to call PET SAFE via Skype to make arrangements numerous times (you know, if they would have called PET SAFE while they were making plans they could have saved us BOTH a lot of time and bullshit), I FINALLY got a flight for all of the family and the cats into Anchorage. We could not fly into Fairbanks because they do not have any certified pet handlers or some shit, and apparently if people are not trained to deal with animals they will throw pet carriers of the plane like luggage because they have no clue what "LIVE ANIMAL" stamped on a crate with a furbaby inside means or some shit.

WAY before we got orders I had arranged the hotel for us, which started out as a nightmare because I went in, called to make reservations, asked for a confirmation email or something and was told "Honey, if I say you have a room, you have a room." only to be called less than five minutes later telling me that I have no room because the person that had called to cancel before I called called back to say they MEANT to extend rather than cancel. Uh, FUCK NO! I went to the hotel and asked her how she finds that situation even REMOTELY acceptable! I told her that she should have told the people that canceled that she is very sorry, but they canceled and she already had the room rented out. By the next day she called me back and we had a room. I really hate having to tell people how to do their jobs.

Pretty much, once all of the details and arrangements had been hammered out the rest of the time there went smoothly. I arranged a shuttle bus to pick us up from the hotel to take us to the airport for €195, I got the cats their pre-flight physicals, and I just had to sit and wait.

The day of the flight we got up at 4am, the shuttle bus was there at 5am, and our flight left at 10am. We got the cats checked in with minimal fuss, though I got slightly clawed from having to take the cats out of their crates and stuff them back in for TSA. I learned my lesson from the flight over and packed WAY less so it was less burdensome to haul luggage around, and we flew on Lufthansa to Houston. They fed us somewhat edible meals and gave us Toblerone chocolates for a snack (YAY!!!! I stole the husband's and youngest son's  chocolate). Arrival in Houston was... um.... horrible. I had to get the cats and take them to the cargo area of the airport to have PET SAFE ship them for the rest of our flight (by the way, because we flew on two different airlines, we had to pay twice for our babies to get to Alaska, about $1500 thank you very much). It was HOT AS HELL and HUMID in Houston... I about died! I got a cab and asked the cab driver to wait for me so that I could get back to the main terminal, he refused so I had to call ANOTHER cab that charged me twice the amount of the first cab!

We flew from Houston to Seattle, then flew from Seattle to Anchorage where we rented an SUV and drove up to Fairbanks (but not before we stopped at McDonald's). It was midnight (in Alaska- 10am in Germany), we were hungry and tired, and I wanted to get to our hotel in Fairbanks. We had about a 7 hour drive ahead of us. It was not too bad since it was daylight out still (love the land of the midnight sun), and we had slept some on the flight over.

On the way up we saw three moose (no pics of that because much like in Minnesota when I saw the bear I was too excited to remember to grab my camera) and so much beautiful scenery I marveled at how it was like Colorado, Minnesota, and Germany all wrapped in one up here!

We got to Fairbanks at about 8 am, went to the hotel and begged them to let us check in early. We made it!!!

We went to Wal Mart to get us phones and went to a dealership to pick up my new Jeep that we purchased when we were still in Germany. I bathed the cats before we did that because they were covered in urine (after a 36 hour trip wouldn't you be too?), and on the drive up to Fairbanks Soxxy decided to go exorcist and vomit all over the crate and herself. Has anyone ever told you that bathing cats is an adventure in itself?

Saturday, September 29, 2012

So sorry, here are my days...

I thought I would have more time to blog, but I have realized that it is not as easy to make time when I have been so busy! I have been having a hard time managing my time. I sit here and wonder how I was ever able to work on my associate's degree, work full time, and take care of my family 5 years ago.

Five years later I am working on my master's degree in psychology, working full time, trying to make time for my family, and trying to make time for ME. It is not that easy when you think about it.

I wake up every day at 5:30 and wake up the daughter (who is now officially a teenager) for school. I get my coffee and try to wake up for the next hour. At 6:30 I make the kids their school lunches, make sure the daughter is out of the house before 7 to catch her bus. I then wake up the youngest son for school. I make sure he takes his medication so that he will not drive his teachers nuts during the day.

The husband comes home from morning PT not too long after the youngest leaves for school, and I am usually running around the house helping him to find the stuff he needs, then I have to get ready for work.

I am at work a little before 10 and spend the day running around there, helping people, and dealing with indecisive, bitchy, or sometimes nice people. I stand/run for over 8 hours straight then come home to either eat dinner if someone cooked it, or make dinner if no one did anything.

I then come upstairs to my room to work on school work, which can take all night (the two to three hours I have before I need to sleep) before it is time to go to bed and start it all over again!

On my days off (lately) I have been unpacking, cleaning, and running errands. I foolishly think that on my days off I will have time to relax, but it never happens, and before I know it my "weekend" is over and I am left with a long list of things I never did that I either need to find time during the week to do, or save it till the next weekend.

Pretty soon it will be winter in Alaska... like within DAYS! I am scared of how I will handle -50 weather coupled with snow and ice... I am afraid of wrecking my new car.

I have taken a few pics since my camera got here of the sunrise, or the sunset. I got to thinking about when I mentioned on my Facebook about how I can't wait to see the northern lights; how someone said it will be "like vanilla" after a while to me... but does anyone ever get bored of it? Does one ever grow bored of a beautiful sunrise or sunset? I know I don't....
Sunset

Sunrise

Friday, August 3, 2012

Health Crazes and the Shakeology Cult

I am in Alaska now, the trip up here was for the most part uneventful, but everything up to that point was a royal pain in the ass. I will write about that later (I have some awesome pics), but today I want to talk about an encounter I had at Wal Mart and some other health "encounters".

I ended up yelling at a Wal Mart cashier yesterday, nothing bad, she just saw my Alli and she asked me if it worked. I told her that combined with eating healthy, portion control, and exercise it had helped me lose almost 80 lbs. She asked me if I ever tried the HCG diet (I think that is what it is called). I told her no, she says "It works great! You can lose 10 lbs in a week! You can only eat 500 calories though..." My jaw dropped.

"That is SO UNHEALTHY!"

"Well, it depends on what you eat."

"NO! No matter what you eat, that is UNHEALTHY! A body cannot function normally on that, it cannot sustain itself!"

"Well, the thing is, once you are done you gain it all back... quick."

"Uh, yeah, because it is not healthy and you never learned to eat right!"

It amazes me what people do to try to lose weight. I guess the newest craze is body wraps. People who offer this service or sell the wraps claim that it detoxifies the body and helps you lose inches, but the reality is that it only helps to maybe detoxify the SKIN (making it soft and smooth and help with blemishes), and any inches lost are a temporary thing. They can not help you lose weight, they can not detoxify anything within the body.

I know, I know... I understand the mentality of these people. I have been there before. They want to lose weight and look better, but they do not want to do the work and discipline that is necessary to lose the weight. They want the miracle, or the quick fix. They want to lose weight and do nothing but pop a pill or some other dumb shit. Even gastric bypass or any of the other weight loss surgeries will not work (permanently) if the person does not learn to eat healthy and portion control. You can not go to the gym and exercise and continue to eat bad and expect to lose weight! I don't know about anyone else, but when I work out I am STARVING afterwards. People who work out without changing their diet will go work out, then eat something bad for them, more than likely ridiculously high in calories, and get upset because they are not seeing any results!



I did not intend for my blog to be all about eating healthy and weight loss, but I see and hear what other people are doing to themselves and get angry. I want to shake them and yell at them when they complain or act confused when they cannot lose weight. WHAT DID YOU EXPECT???? My husband had gained weight, he was not happy. I FINALLY got him convinced to try my diet. He rarely (if ever) drinks soda, practices portion control, and is eating healthy without complaint... he has lost eight pounds in 2 weeks. Uh, see? I DO know what I am talking about!

In my personal opinion, people need to stop looking for the easy quick fixes, and either commit to what they need to do (knowing it takes work and is not easy) or SHUT THE FUCK UP! I don't want to hear your whining, crying, and complaining if you ignored my advice and continued to do what you did before that was not working. If my advice does not work then we can re examine what you are doing and figure out what we can do that is different to get things going in the right direction.

New pet peeve? People that are SOOOO healthy, never eat meat, dairy, etc, and tell everyone else they are wrong for what they eat and are poisoning their bodies. They turn their children into vegetarian snobs who refuse to talk to children who eat meat or drink cows milk. FUCK OFF! The picture of the vegetarian dinner you had last night? Yeah, it did not look delicious, it looked like vomit. Your Beachbody/Shakeology (I think I will abbreviate it to B.S. from now on) shit? I DON'T want to try it!!! I refuse to have something that is a necessity in my diet that I can not easily get in any store. If I need added vitamins or minerals I will take a fucking vitamin! I am happy if it worked for you, but don't bad mouth me because I am not joining you on your damn bandwagon! Don't friend me on Facebook, and never talk to me other than to send me an invite to some B.S. party, summit, whatever the fuck you call it. I do not want to be a mindless B.S. zombie that does nothing but talk about how "OMG! B.S. IS SUPER AWESOME!!! ASK ME WHAT IT CAN DO FOR YOU!!!!"

My brother recently started doing that stuff (B.S.), and of course he is selling it and wanted me to try it. After three phone calls he finally got it to click in his head that I did not want to try it and he backed off. I appreciated that, but when we were in Germany it was annoying for him to IM me, ask me to call him, then listen to him try to get me to try that shit. My brother has been skinny/scrawny all of his life (asshole), but he wanted muscle so he started the whole B.S., combined with the Insanity workout and has started to gain muscle and fill out. I asked him how much of that change came from the B.S. and how much came from him exercising and changing his eating habits to eating healthy? He agreed that he thinks the majority of it came from his change in the way he ate and his workout regimen (which is really difficult for him since he drives a truck for a living). I am happy for him, but what he does is not right for me, just as what I do may not be right for others. I get it, I just wish other people would too.

What kind of health nuts or health crazes piss you off? Share with me!!!

Sunday, June 3, 2012

I didn't call my Blog what I did for Nothing!!!

Through my Insanity, that sure is what it is right now! The orders came and we have spent the last week or two trying to make arrangements for our move. Simple, right? Not exactly.

I was preparing myself for a fight with everyone I encountered, mainly because I had stupidly added myself to a Facebook page someone here had created specifically for the mess that the Army, congress, whoever created by disbanding the Brigade and moving thousands of soldiers and families out at the same time.

I had heard "They aren't flying pets out! There is no room!", "We have to stay in our homes till the last day because there is no lodging at the hotel!", "They are not shipping anyone's Household Goods and Unaccompanied Baggage right now because they are full up until after June 15th!", "There are no commercial flights available for people with pets!". I was freaking out, we have pets, 3 of them. We came here with them, we are not leaving with them. We have to have our things out of our home before June 15th because we are LEAVING! I NEED a hotel for my family, we cannot stay in our home until the last day... we do not live on post!! I realized that page was freaking me out more than I needed to be, and that just because other people were having issues did not mean I would. I removed myself from it. 

My husbands orders came in and we went straight to transportation to arrange shipment of our stuff in the house. We got an appointment right away and our things will be picked up and shipped before we leave. We will have to live without our things for a while since it will take 65 days for our vehicle to get to Alaska, 88 days for our furniture and other stuff, and 52 days for the unaccompanied baggage. I got a hotel room reserved for us a few months ago, and rechecked our status; the room is still waiting on us to move into on Tuesday. The only headache I encountered was getting our plane tickets. 

It took me three days to arrange our flight. "There is no way we can fly you guys and your three cats out at the same time, they will have to go before you (or after you), or you need to call pet shipping companies." I was told United and Continental do not fly pets anymore. I argued with them, told them they were wrong. They were adamant about it. I asked them to call and clarify, she called someone and spoke to someone in German so I had no idea what was being said on either end. I told her "I am American, I do not speak German. I do not appreciate you speaking German when it concerns me because I have no idea what is being said", she insisted that she was trying to help but there was still no way I could get the cats on a flight with me. I went home in tears to call the airline myself and get answers. 

When I called they stated that they would fly my pet, that military families on PCS orders were an exception. OK, got it... I went back and told the people at SATO Travel that I could fly my pets on United no issue. They made arrangements for me and I called PetSafe to make the cats flight arrangements and I was told they cannot fly the cats straight into Fairbanks because there is no one there that can take responsibility for getting the cats off of the plane, like certified pet handlers or something (Seriously? Like if a baggage handler saw a cat carrier they would throw it off of the plane like they do the luggage??? Hmmm... maybe). Ok, so we have to fly to Anchorage and then drive to Fairbanks... a six hour drive. Wow, ok... we can do it. Originally I was going to have the husband and my daughter fly to Anchorage, and the youngest son and I would fly to Fairbanks, but the husband threw a minor hissy fit because of driving with jet lag, blah, blah, blah... so I said I would do it. He replied no, I can't drive (whatever makes him feel special) he would do it but continued to complain. So I changed the flight to all of us flying into Anchorage and driving to Fairbanks. Then we found out that we were going to have to pay twice to have the cats flown out with us. Once on Lufthansa and again on United. This was going to cost us around $1300 or $1400 just for the cats! The husband pitched a fit about that and after I had FINALLY got all of the arrangements made and aligned between SATO and Petsafe said he was going to go to SATO in Ramstein and start all over again. He thought he could get us a flight from Frankfurt to Fairbanks with the cats and only having to pay once. I knew this was not going to happen unless we paid for the plane tickets for all of us on our own and risk not being reimbursed by the Army later. Sorry, not gonna happen... I flipped shit and yelled, cried, and screamed at him just to LEAVE IT AS IT WAS. He was even talking about just sending the cats to his mom... uh... no. It is bad enough she has our DOGS. I REFUSE to part with my kitties!!! Especially with THAT WOMAN! 

Three fucking days of fighting to get a flight, and calling between the two companies because SATO refused to call themselves and make it easier on all of us. Didn't they realize that if they called to begin with that it would have saved us ALL a lot of time and work???? Fuckers... After the 2nd day I went home and got drunk. I bought two bottles of wine, one for that night, and one for later down the line because I KNEW I would need it. Since I have not drank in over a year I knew one bottle would get me drunk.



Nom, nom, nom...
We decided to try to purchase a car to be waiting for us in Fairbanks, that way we would not have to rent while we waited on the Envoy to get there. We applied and were told we were approved for a loan. When we went to the bank to finish the paperwork the stupid bitch there started us from scratch to apply for a loan, even though we were told we were already approved. She kept arguing with me on what pay was what and what we get. HOLY MOTHER OF SHIT! I am NOT a stupid blonde, nor am I a stupid Army wife. I am an educated woman and most of the time I am right about what I say!!! If I am not sure I will say so, but I will not pretend to know about things that I don't. The looks she gave me on top of the arguing set me off. I got up and walked out of the bank. I sat in the Envoy and read my Sony eReader (Sookie Stackhouse Series if you were wondering). 

The husband called me on my phone asking me to come inside. I yelled "NO! You know I hate more than anything to be treated and talked to like I am stupid! I know for a FACT I am more educated than that stupid bitch in there and I will NOT have her talk to me in that manner. I refuse to go in there, you can do whatever without me." Just because I am blonde, just because I have pink in my hair, just because I have tattoos, and just because I have a pierced tongue does not mean I am not educated. Looks can be deceiving people!

To top it all off, some stupid German cut some line with more than 100 cables doing construction. We (along with all of our neighbors and the majority of people in Baumholder) had no phone and no internet for DAYS! I still do not have phone, but now I have internet, but I was flipping out. How do I call who I need to? How do I research what I need to??? How do I play Castleville?????? The internet is my life blood. At least I can make phone calls on Skype if I have no phone, if I have no internet I slowly shrivel up and die.

Another added stress-er is that my oldest son has flown the nest and begun his adult life on his own. He left a week ago today back to the United States. While I know this was something he had to do, it has been hard for me. I had my son when I was 14. He and I have a bond that I do not share with my other children mainly because we kind of grew up together. My oldest is like my son, brother, and best friend all in one. I still have moments when I think he is still here for a split second. I still have moments where I will shed a tear or two. It just makes it so much harder not having him here with me.

Right now I am focused on trying to clean, get rid of unnecessary shit, sell all of my appliances since they are all 220v and will not work in Alaska, and keep what little sanity I have remaining. Today I need to go clean and detail the vehicle so that it is ready to be shipped. I also need to continue cleaning everything in this house. I feel like I am doing it alone, but sometimes it is better that way because I know that it is getting done right if I am the one doing it.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

The Fun Is Over

Spain was fun, Paris was a blast... now we are home.

The husband re enlisted in the Army for another 4 years and we are on assignment. We are leaving Germany and moving to Alaska. Yes, I am happy and excited about the move, but at the same time I am freaking out and my head is spinning. Why? Let me explain...

The brigade here in Baumholder is disbanding, which would be the same as a company or factory closing down. Some people are being transferred to other locations, some people are getting out of the army, and some are being kicked out of the army.

The majority of people that are staying in the army are moving to other locations. All at roughly the same time frame. Over 4000 families all trying to get out of here at the same time. Most of everyone here do not even have their orders yet. The orders are what is needed to make things official really. Without orders no one can get their belongings packed up and shipped out, no one can ship their vehicle to where they are going, no one can get their airline tickets. There are not enough personnel to assist everyone with this process to make it smoother. It is really frustrating, and at this moment I am feeling very overwhelmed.

I am doing everything that I can do without the orders, but the other issue is that the date we are eligible to return overseas (DEROS) is almost two months BEFORE the date my husband is supposed to report to his new duty station. He asked me if I wanted to go Stateside first and travel... no. We have three cats that will be traveling with us and that would make things way too stressful on us and them. So we are going straight to Alaska. Fine. So where are we going to stay? I checked military lodging and they are booked solid for the time frame in which we are leaving here. That leaves us having to get a hotel room off post. Fine. That will deplete some of our funds that I wanted to use for first months rent, deposit, utility hook ups, etc for our new place (wherever that might be).

Our DEROS is also just barely over a month from now... and still no orders. We leave in a month and a half (roughly) and all of our belongings are still here, our car is still here, we have no tickets out of this place... I just want to cry.

In addition to all this I have to take the cats to the vet next week, take my daughter in to see a doctor to see if she has depression or not so that they know whether she needs to be on EFMP (Exceptional Family Member Program), take my son to the doctor for the same reason but for his ADHD. I am highly annoyed right now. DON'T FUCK WITH ME! Just get what I need done, DONE, and let us be on our way!!!

I am normally able to handle stress, but sometimes there is so much that all happens at once and you need to be reminded to just take a step back and breathe.


Saturday, April 21, 2012

So much chaos!

Yes, I know it has been a while since I posted a blog, no excuses... well a few... I was working, and then quit my job so we could go to Spain; they would not give me the time off since "I just took a week off to spend time with my hubby post deployment", never mind that I only took one week off of work when he was home on R&R and worked the entire last week he was home (out of town) before he went back downrange. I politely told them I would be resigning to spend time with my family before we leave Europe. I did not want to look back and regret anything!

When the hubby got back from Afghanistan, we took a trip to Garmisch and while we were there went night sledding in Austria. Here is a video from that experience... just me on (and off) the sled! That night I got so bruised it took me days to recover... it hurt so bad just to sit down my butt got so bruised! Next time I try something like that I am sticking a pillow in my pants.


We also went to Innsbruck, Austria where I felt like I was transported back in time. Such a beautiful city!!!

We went back to the Neuschwanstein castle and  saw Hoenschwangau instead since we had seen Neuschwanstein already. We also went to Weiskirchen, a beutiful little church out in the meadow...

This is also where we got the most delicious donuts in Germany!


We went back to the monastery in Ettal just because the hubby wanted his beer cheese... and beer....














We also hit up the hot tub to relax a bit.


Not too long after we spent a week in Bavaria the hubby, the oldest, the daughter and I went to Calella, Spain. That was awesome! I saw a beach for the first time EVER in my life, saw a medieval show, flamenco dancers, went to the Montserrat monastery, and traveled to Barcelona. The down side was that the souvenirs were pretty pathetic. I got what I could for me and for friends.

The day after we returned from Spain the hubby and I went to Paris. Just him and me. It was so much fun, we walked over 10 miles and got lost in the Louvre (I SWEAR I thought we were going to end up an exhibit in the Egyptian part...).


 


 

The time we have spent together has helped our marriage, and made us stronger as a couple. I feel truly blessed and thankful for the time we have spent recently working on our relationship.

In other news, the brigade here is being disbanded and everyone is being sent elsewhere. Our date to leave Germany has changed to less than two months from now... problem is we have no orders... so no idea where we are going yet!! We have somewhere we would like to go, but we won't find out if it was approved until next week. I am not saying anything until we know for certain, and I am even refraining from posting that our date to leave has been moved up in order to avoid an interrogation from everyone until I can answer their questions with more than an "I don't know".

Saturday, February 18, 2012

How I Lost It

I figured it was time for me to explain in depth how I went from 225lbs to 147 lbs (so far). Yes I have lost 78 lbs so far in less than a year. It was NOT easy, I worked HARD for this!!! I will tell you how I ate, how I thought, how I exercised... I will tell all, but I have to say that while this worked for me, it might not work for you but I sure as fuck hope it does!
This picture represents 100 lbs of fat... so take just 22lbs away from that and you see what I lost! OMG!!!
 (picture used from http://gastricallychanged.blogspot.com/2010_07_01_archive.html)

OK, so April of 2011 I decided that I HAVE to lose weight. I was tired of being ashamed and embarrassed of how I looked and wanted to be thin and healthy again. So I decided to diet...
I looked online to find out my ideal weight. I found Web.MD and eventually Sparkpeople.com. Both sites are awesome to help you find where you are, where you should be and how to get where you need to be. You log food eaten (calories, fat, etc), calories burned, weight, inches, etc. It is an awesome tool and I highly recommend either sites.  




 






At first I combined the Slim-Fast Special K diet. I had a shake or meal bar for breakfast and lunch, a 100 calorie snack in between, and I ate a "sensible dinner" which for me consisted of something less than 500 calories from the frozen food aisle. I had my own foods, my children had their own foods... we ate separately. I do have to say that I did take medication, I was (and still am) on Metformin for my blood sugar, and I started taking Alli to help with whatever fat I was eating. Alli is NOT a diet pill, it is an aid. You must still eat healthy and low fat, Alli is not a "free pass".



**Taking Alli does NOT mean that you can pop a pill and go eat at McDonald's and you are OK... it means you can pop a pill, go to McDonald's and have a salad and maybe a few nuggets unless you want greasy farts**

Slowly I started changing the way I ate. Replacing the Slim-Fast or Special K snacks for fresh fruit or veggies and then finally finding new recipes and learning how to cook healthy. I made EVERYONE eat healthy in my house. You cannot eat healthy while everyone in your house is eating junk and processed food. Once in a while I would get them a treat, but I made sure I got my own treat... something low-fat or sugar free. I started eating like a diabetic. I stopped frying foods. I started using wheat bread, whole grain pasta... I learned to READ FOOD LABELS!!!! In the beginning I would use measuring cups to measure out portion sizes... it helped me to learn what a portion was and how much I should be eating; it also helped me to log my food better when I knew exactly how much I was eating.

I stopped drinking soda and started drinking water. Soda is sooo bad for you! Diet soda or not, no matter... it is bad. Just look at the amount of sodium in one soda! So take that and multiply it by how many you have in a day... think you might be retaining a bit of water? I allowed myself one diet soda a day, and today I don't even want soda anymore!

I had lost about 38 lbs before I plateaued. I had lost almost 40 lbs on diet alone, but my body stopped losing... I realized it was time for me to start exercising. Now anyone who knows me knows that I HATED to exercise, it was a 4 letter dirty word for me. I would make all kinds of excuses why I could not do it... but because of the plateau I had to do something! I started going to the gym and working out for at LEAST 30 minutes a day. Eventually I started to actually LIKE exercising and gradually built up the time I spent at the gym. I actually got crabby if I did not exercise for 3 days or more! We have an XBOX 360, so I bought the Kinect and purchased Zumba. I had a Wii and started using the Wii Fit. I admit I did not use the Zumba for a while because it was hard and within a few minutes I was winded, but after I had built up my endurance at the gym on the treadmill and bike Zumba was bearable. I started taking Zumba classes twice a week as well... all by myself... and that was scary at first, but there is one thing I learned throughout this experience is that I could not rely on others to motivate me, I had to motivate MYSELF! If I had a gym buddy that pussed out on me I had to go anyway...

Here are a few more tips:
  • Weight loss buddies are good to have, but it does not always work out... you need to make yourself responsible for your weight loss
  • Buy a good digital scale. I got one that is accurate within .2 lbs... so even when I only lost .4 lbs I could see it and it motivated me to do more
  • Make mini goals- I had my main goal, my goal weight, but I also had mini goals in between. My first was to hit below 200 lbs, 2nd was to reach 175 and weight less than my husband, and I also had goals to not be obese, not be overweight... be a HEALTHY weight! Going from 225 to 142 lbs seems a long way off, but mini goals in between make it a bit easier. 
  • Do NOT set yourself up for failure. Don't do more than you can handle. If you fall off the wagon get right back on it! Don't over exert yourself at the gym, you will only hurt yourself and then you won't want to go back!
  • Take a full length before pic. No matter how ashamed and embarrassed you are of how you look you will want to look back and see where you started. I regret not having that...
  • Measure yourself from the beginning! I started measuring myself halfway through and I still wonder "How many inches have I REALLY lost?" Take measurements once a month.
  • You should not weigh yourself daily... some say once a week is good. I am obsessive, so I weighed myself daily... it kept me on track.
  • Don't deny yourself. If you want ice cream, have some! I would have ice cream every now and again, but I would spoon some into a teacup. It kept me in check. I still have my coffee with flavored creamers... I NEED that! 
  • NO EXCUSES! Never say I can't or I do not have the time. You can always find the time to exercise. That time you use on Facebook cut it down by 30 min and work out! Think you are too fat or out of shape? No money for a gym? NO EXCUSE! Walking on the treadmill, or just WALKING ANYWHERE is still exercise, burns calories, and IT COUNTS!!!
You are your only reason for failure, you are the only one holding yourself back. You have no right to complain about being fat if you are doing nothing about it! You cannot say "I want to lose weight" while stuffing your face with fatty, salty, fried foods! I have PCOS, and for a while I used it as an excuse for why I was fat and why I could not lose weight, but I proved that it can be done... you just have to really want to... and I mean REALLY want to!

April 2011 I was 225 pounds and SQUEEZING into size 16 jeans. Now (February 2012) I am 147 pounds and wearing between a 4 and a 7 (depending on brand). Seriously, if I can do it, so can you... the biggest challenge is retraining your mind. 

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Facebook Rant... SMH

I get so annoyed every time I log into Facebook lately. I see people that I grew up with, or went to school with writing statuses that make me cringe. Do these people ever grow up? Do they ever learn anything?

One person posts pictures of her daughters (that are around the same age as my daughter) posing with "duck face", wearing makeup, and wearing skimpy clothes. Not only are her daughters posing with duck face, some pictures they are posing in a provocative manner; you know, hand on hip, hip slung out, push the chest out dear!!!!
OK, is she BEGGING for her daughters to give her twenty grandchildren before they even reach adulthood??? I know I was a teen mom, but the LAST thing I want is for my daughter to become sexually active before she is ready. My oldest son is almost 21 and he hasn't done anything yet *crosses fingers*.
I just do not understand how a mother can seem PROUD that her daughters are looking like mini tramps.

I see adults threatening to fight someone over WORDS. I see adults actually fighting over BULLSHIT! I see adults having stupid Facebook arguments and airing their dirty laundry online. Come ON PEOPLE!!! You are in your 20's and 30's... FUCKING ACT LIKE IT!!! You have children and THIS is what they have to look up to? NO WONDER OUR SOCIETY IS FUCKED!

It is NOT COOL for a person in their 20's and 30's with child/children to be out partying all the time like they have no responsibilities! And stop fucking WHINING when your world falls apart in front of you! You are an adult, and if you acted like it maybe things would not have turned out like they did!!!

OK, I know this is small and maybe trivial to some of you, but I am so sick of seeing people LIE on their status updates. Come on... really? Who are you really trying to lie to? Yourself? Don't say you have the best child when you have no control over them. A three year old that speaks to you like YOU are the child? Oh real cute... *rolls eyes*

I am not saying that people should not have fun sometimes, but take responsibility for your actions and BE RESPONSIBLE! Stop blaming everyone else for your problems and take a hard look at yourself. What kind of world are we creating for the future generations when we are raising a bunch of selfish heathens that expect everything to be handed to them? Where is the competition in school and youth sports? This EVERYONE WINS thing is bullshit. I remember on field day in school it was a competition. There were first, second, and third place ribbons... not "participation ribbons" for everyone. You may think you are creating a sense of teamwork or something, but the children still see it as a competition (especially the ones who know they won). Instill that sense of competition in them! Show them they have to work to earn a reward! Show them that hard work pays off!!!!

One last thing, I wish people would stop trying to pretend that their lives are perfect with no problems. Everyone has problems, no one is perfect... your attempts at trying to convince everyone that your life is perfect is eye rolling and gag inducing bullshit. Be real. Stop pretending you are someone you are not! Don't be nice to someone's face then talk shit about them behind their back. We are not in high school anymore. If I do not like someone I do not talk to them... plain and simple. 

Ugh... I am just so ready to get back to the States, away from all of the drama that Baumholder has.. the fake ass people, the high school antics.... but unless I start making cuts to my Facebook as well a lot of the bullshit is going to follow me. It is not just people here... and I need to realize that just because I knew them way back when, or just because we USED to be friends, does not mean they are friends now. Some people never change... and that is not always a good thing.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Old Year- New Year

Well, it is 2012... so much happened last year, and I am thankful that it is another year behind me. 

I want to go over the things I am grateful for from 2011...

1) I lost over 70 pounds. I weighed over 200 lbs last year. I felt disgusting, looked disgusting, and my marriage was having issues because of it. Here is a comparison picture from me exactly one New Years eve to the next:


I am so proud that I was able to do something I never thought I could do! But with a lot of self control, determination, and motivation I was able to almost accomplish my goal! I only have 10 pounds to go :)

2) I am grateful that I ran a 5k... well, I did not run it, I walked/jogged it, but I DID IT! This is not something I would have even considered doing in the past!

3) I am grateful that this deployment is almost over. Almost a year ago my husband deployed to Afghanistan, and I know that with the new year comes my husband- home to us again... sometime...

4) I am grateful for my friends... without them I would not have been able to make it through this deployment with my marriage in tact.... I swear it. The biggest source of strength for me was this woman:

Here she is with her tin foil hat and garlic... no she is not insane, she is the right amount of crazy. She would do crazy shit like this just to get a laugh- and it worked. She is really an awesome woman! Besides... she got me footie pajamas for Christmas!

My friends are the best people I could have ever allowed into my life. They are supportive, loving, fun, and all around awesome. I love them.

So with the new year comes resolutions, right? SURE! OK, so my resolutions for this new year are:
1) To continue to eat healthy, and work hard to improve on that- since I do fall back now an again to the old ways (though I feel sick later for it). 

2) Continue to hit the gym and build my strength and lose this last ten pounds!

3) Become more motivated to keep up with my housework. Oh the never ending pile of laundry and dishes that sway my motivation to the computer and Facebook....

4) Maybe quit smoking??? I was able to lose weight, maybe I can do that too.... 

So what are your new years resolutions? What are the things that you look back and treasure from 2011?
To everyone who is reading this: May you have a wonderful and happy 2012.