My high school reunion was this past weekend.

I didn’t go.

I spent Saturday morning at a farmer’s market with my family. Spent the afternoon grilling fresh cut steaks and baking fresh veggie with my husband. Saturday night was full of Doctor Who episodes and snuggling with my husband.

I had planned to submit a photo or two for the slideshow since I wouldn’t be in attendance, but, unsurprisingly, I never heard back from the slideshow coordinator. I’m used to that and given the attitudes of those on the Reunion Facebook page, I haven’t missed much and most haven’t matured much in the past ten years.

In honor of my ten year high school reunion, I’m going to share the post I originally wrote on the topic, last summer. The irony of having my reunion “pass me by” is that I was in Florida for a week just this month, just nowhere near my “hometown”…


You knew me when?

Soul Mates

The amazing thing about knowing you’ve married your soul mate is when thousands of miles apart, separated by continents and oceans, and having gone months without seeing each other, you still manage to get each other the exact same thing for Valentine’s Day.

That is the status update I posted to Facebook just moments ago. You see, that package, the one my husband sent from Afghanistan for Valentine’s Day, it finally arrived today. I waited all afternoon, just like he asked, so that he could see my face on Skype when I opened it. It’s not a large envelope. Maybe seven inches high, nine inches wide, but it had my name on it and a post mark from an APO and that’s all that matters. Opening the envelope, I pulled out a letter. Just a small slip of paper, carefully torn out of the little green notebooks he meticulously writes everything down in. I know this by the size and line layout on the page.

Along with this tiny, hand-written note is a block of Post-It sticky notes. My husband has been putting these on his computer monitor when he needs to remember something important, like when to call home or something I’ve told him that I want him to take a look into. This block of Post-It notes is about 100 or more thick. At the top of each sticky page is a date, beginning with Feb 14.

From my husband to me.

From my husband to me.

Hand-written on each of these 100 or more notes is a Bible verse, a song lyric, or other writing to show love, encouragement, appreciation or support. Some of them are silly, like the one that reads “Be Sexy (That is all)”, some are more thoughtful and some are serious. But the greatest gift I think we could have given each other was this support, and what are the odds that we both thought of the same thing this year?

My husband and I have always joked and said “Get out of my head!” more times than I can count. If you remember my Valentine’s Thankful Thursday post, I made my husband a book with a deck of cards and two pieces of rope. A list of 52 (well 53) reasons that I love him. Things like “You look hot in your uniform!” and “You kill the SPIDERS”. Again, some silly, some serious, some thoughtful.

From me to my husband.

From me to my husband.

I love my husband so much.

The amazing thing about knowing you’ve married your soul mate is when thousands of miles apart, separated by continents and oceans, and having gone months without seeing each other, you still manage to get each other the exact same thing for Valentine’s Day.

Ash Wednesday, Lent Begins

Well folks, to be honest, I’ve never done this before. I’m not Catholic, so there is no Ash Wednesday mass to attend. I had already committed to wearing my headcovering for the 40 days of Lent, but last night something occurred to me.

My husband and I had started a study on the Book of Joshua last November, and the holidays got crazy and so we put it on hold and haven’t gotten back to it. I was creating a sweater design for Valentine’s Day and it struck me. If I can spend an hour making a stupid sweater, surely I could better use my time.

I was kneeling beside my bed to string yarn through safety pins, but can’t remember the last time I was in that position in earnest calling to God. So I made the decision last night, very last minute. In addition to my headcovering, I am giving up DIY projects for the next 40 days. That is time I could better spend in prayer and being a better spiritual leader to my children in my husband’s absence.

Admittedly, this has already been difficult and it might mean that I avoid the my own blog at times in effort to keep from surfing all the DIY blogs out there. I don’t want to be tempted to take that time away from my goal for these 40 days.

This is my first time observing Lent, but I really think it will help me grow on my spiritual journey and be a better mother to my children and a better wife to my husband.

Off I go, into a new adventure, closer to my kids, closer to my husband, closer to God.

Family Fitness, Pt 1

I want to start this blog by saying, I am in NO way as “fit” as I would like to be. I am a working in progress on the get healthy boat.
BUT, I am also a stay-at-home mom to two very physically active children with special needs. My son has speech issues and my daughter is autistic. I, myself, have Aspergers. I know how hard it is to stay fit while chasing children and you don’t always feel like working out and certainly, I don’t have time for a gym membership, or the money for that matter and I’m sure as a busy parent, you don’t either.

Being busy doesn’t have to mean lazy though. As always, you should consult your doctor before starting any strenuous exercise or diet program. Making sure you start healthy is the best way to determine your future health and if there is anything you should stay away from in terms of impact aerobics. That being said, there are plenty of simple ways to increase your calorie burning effectiveness without going to the gym or really making huge life changes all at once and most parents can do this stuff easily!

The first thing I started to do when I decided to use my current deployment to get my family healthy was to stop buying junk food. If I want my kids to eat fresh fruits and vegetables, to drink juice and water instead of kool-aid, then I need to realize I am in control of the shopping list. I am the one buying the groceries. If the junk food isn’t in the house, we can’t eat junk. My kids already love fruits and vegetables (some fruits and vegetables), but they want to eat them more often and will choose them over cookies and junk if they see ME eating them more often. I went to the commissary last Friday (today is Thursday). I spent $112, mostly on produce and dairy! I did buy one package of Halloween Oreo’s for the kids to have as desert a few nights a week. By the way, a serving size of Oreo cookies is TWO COOKIES! Get a paper towel, eat your two cookies and leave the rest of them in the kitchen. I recently read a blog about junk food and she wrote that just 3 extra cookies a day can lead to 100 extra pounds over eight years! That may seem like forever, but look at all you’ve done in the past 8 years, would you have been able to do that weighing 100lbs more? What would you be doing today if over the past 8 years you have gained 100lbs? That’s three times the average weight of a three year old! Could you imagine living life while carrying around three preschoolers?


Stop making excuses and start making a list. To be precise, and a bit of a smart ass, I actually inventoried and emailed my husband a list (and photos) of everything I bought at the commissary last week:
Fresh Mushrooms
3 Avocados
2, 3lb bags of apples (one green, one red)
8 bananas
2 cucumbers
2lb of carrots
1 bag black grapes
1 bag green grapes
1 bag of spinach
honey ham lunch meat
2 gallons of milk
6 bottles of V8 juice
2 containers of yogurt
2 loaves of bread
Club crackers
Kix cereal
Cheerios cereal
Pretzels (for Sissy’s lunch)
2 large cans of tuna
great big box of goldfish colors
craisins trail mix (to put in oatmeal :D)
Trail Mix bars
– cranberry and pomegranate
– fruit and nut
muffin mix:
– 2 blueberry
– 2 Apple cinnamon
– 2 banana nut
– wildberry
– strawberry cheesecake
– chocolate chip
Halloween Oreo’s
100ct Ziploc sandwich bags
20ct dish washer tablets
A cream soda…

Last weeks trip to the Commissary!

And to be honest, the cream soda sucked! I had a coke the other day for the first time in three weeks and got sick to my stomach. It was so disgusting. Stop buying things that make you sick. Stop buying things that will make your children sick. Be the grown-up!

You might be thinking, “but my kids really like (insert random junk food here)” or “My kids wont eat vegetables when I serve them.” Mine didn’t either. In the past week, alone, my daughter has tried oatmeal AND created her own (dry) spinach leaf and shaved carrot salad! This is a child that took six months of one on one work before she would eat macaroni and cheese! If she’s eating the fruits and vegetables, you’re kids will too. Not all kids like the same things. Did you notice my list includes two types of apples AND two types of grapes? My daughter wont eat green apples, my son wont eat red ones. They are both eating apples though. My son will eat any color grape, but my daughter only eats green ones. They are, again, both eating grapes! Make it work for your family, have fresh fruits and vegetables on hand and your kids will eat them. Use dipping sauces if that keeps your kids entertained. My kids don’t particularly like them, but do what works for your family. And don’t worry about Organic. It’s more expensive, but doesn’t have any proven benefits over “regular” produce. If it’s pesticides and chemicals on the food your worried about, WASH THEM! For heaven’s sake, you’re supposed to rinse and scrub your veggies before you eat them anyway!
The key to family fitness and health starts with YOU!
You are the parent!
You are the grown-up!
You are the example your kids will turn to for this kind of stuff. Be the right kind of example. Your kids will thank you later in life. When they are in their 60s and have few risk factors for high cholesterol, high blood pressure or diabetes, they may not actively say “Thanks ma, for making me eat spinach when I was three.”, but getting the chance to live a full and healthy life well into their golden years will speak volumes for future generations!
Think about that one! Making your kids healthy eaters now, will help shape the health of your future grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
Next Time:
Using your children and their never ending mess to your beef your workout.