Monday, June 21, 2010

New Swimsuit & Stressed out doggies

I've been back in Virginia for almost a week now and it feels great. Everything is starting to feel normal. I still cant believe I have to go back to work in a week (I would rather crawl a mile through broken glass). I am dog sitting at my friends house until she gets back from Hawaii, yes it is hard not to hate her right now, as I would love a vaca, but I did spend 8 fabulous days in Seychelles not long ago, so I guess its ok. I still would like a weekend away or something, but thats not going to happen any time soon.

I celebrated my return home and my new found love of crossfit with a new swimsuit from Everything But Water, which is just the most awesome swimsuit place ever!!! I love, love, love my new suit, by Trina Turk!! Its comfy and super cute!!!

My doggies are adjusting to life back in virgina. Evander is easy to move, he has been a Navy brat his whole life, I have moved him here there and everywhere. Its a little harder for him now as he lost most of his sight while I was gone. He barks a little more than he use to because he just cant see. He will be 11 next month and I am just so lucky that I have had my best friend for so many years!!!

Here are my super stressed out doggies. Try not to feel too bad for them!!!

Monday, June 14, 2010


I have been back in the US for 3 days now. Everything just feels so strange. I've never been away from home for so long before and so many things have changed since I've been gone. Driving is harder than I remember and everything is just overwhelming. Traffic, and people, and shopping, its all just nuts.

I am back in Ohio for a couple of days now just picking up some clothes and my crazy animals. My boxer, Evander, will be 11 next month and I was so very worried that he wouldnt be here when I got home, but he looks fantastic and hes happy and healthy, I couldnt ask for more, unless anyone knows where I can find the doggie fountain of youth!! The crazy little alien dog, Katy, hasnt changed a bit and both of the doggies just went crazy when they saw me. Even my extremely aloof horse, Sydney, ran to me in the pasture and damn near pushed me down. I spent the entire afternoon yesterday clipping her whiskers, shortening her mane, and giving her a bath (the first one in almost two years).

Today I will do some more packing, get a workout in (I skipped yesterday), and take Sydney to the vet to get her shots so we can head back to Virginia at the crack of dawn tomorrow. I am dreading pulling my horse trailer that far. I am still so uncomfortable driving, but it will be fine, I just have to take my time.

Its great to be home in alot of ways, but I do still feel like a big part of me is still in Africa.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Deployment Goals

Well, I guess I should update everyone on the status of the deployment goals I set wayyyyy back before I left. Here they are...

1. Lose 25 lbs (weight loss makes me cranky, so keep my coworkers in your prayers!! hee hee) - Update, I have lost a total of 22lbs, and I have never felt better, so I consider this goal COMPLETED!!!!

2. Swim 2 days a week (every cross their fingers and hope I dont drownd)- I was doing this for a while, then they closed the pool because it was so over chlorinated it was UNSAFE... So glad I swam almost everyday prior to that :-(

3. Do yoga 5 days a week (must find center while in high stress environment)- SCREW YOGA!!!! I CROSSFIT!!! goal completed, I dont like yoga anymore :-)

4. Beable to do 100 push ups in a row (not any of those stupid girly ones either)- FAIL!!!!! new goal is 40 chest to floor pushups in a row... Up to 13 right now.

5. Beable to do 200 situps in a row (say it with me..6 pack, and I dont mean of blue moon)- I havent tried this because I have changed up my workout routine, but I am sure I could do it if I tried. And the 6 pack is well on its way... COMPLETE

6. Run 15 miles on my long day - NO more long days for me... Bad tootsies (I will be posting about this soon)

7. Blog at least twice a week - Didnt always do this, but I'm back at it now

8. Pay off all of my debt - This didnt happen, but I am happy to report that my husband is now debt free

9. Save enough for all my bills for 6 months - Not even close!!!

10. Learn about the Steelers so I can wow my honey with all of my football knowledge for next season - I decided to toss this goal cause it was dumb and not worth my time

11. Plan out my garden for spring 2011 by reading about what grows well up here in the North Pole - No more moving to Ohio for me... Tossed this goal out the window with the steelers goal.

12. Get fully qualified on all available watch stations - Complete

13. Get my EXW qual (work stuff) - Complete!!

14. Get accepted to OUE for fall 2010 (I hope all of my random 100 year old credits transfer) - Not gona happen since I reenlisted

Well there we have it, I did not complete all of my deployment goals, but I accomplished some things that werent even on the list, so I consider it a pretty productive 9 months :-)

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Top 10 things I WILL miss about Africa

1. Doing a job that I love where it has direct impact.
2. The sun, yes, I could do with the weather being a little less like hell, but it is really nice knowing that the forecast for the most part is sunny with a chance of sun.
3. Being able to walk to work in 30 seconds flat!! Of all the things I love to do, spending hours in traffic is NOT one of them, especially when I have to spend a bazillion dollars filling up my truck.
4. The simplicity of my routine. No outside interruptions, few distractions, and rarely any surprises. It might be a little monotonous, but its simple and thats always good for me.
5. The animals. Just last night while walking the fitness trail I saw a romantic moment between camels, yup, camel love fest right in the middle of my walk, followed by a herd of about 200 rowdy little goats. I mean come on, how often do you see random camel sex while doing your walk in the US?
6. Free Coffee!!!!! The only thing better than the awesomeness that IS coffee, is access to FREE coffee 22 hours a day (no coffee from 0200-0400 cause the sandwich shop is closed). I LOVE COFFEE!!! Plain black coffee, completely unmessed with. I could never get into complicated sugary cream filled carmel coated catastrophes from SBUX and the like. Sorry complicated coffee drinkers!!!!
7. The dinning facility. Yes, it will be nice to beable to pick what I am going to have for dinner, but I will NEVER complain about a meal that I dont have to cook :-)
8. Made to order EGGS, working the night shift has its advantages, like having made to order eggs twice a day!!! Eggs scrambled with all of the veggies please!!!! YUMM YUMMM, having that at midnight and 6am everyday is AWESOME!!! Maybe I can take one of the egg cooks home with me.... hmmmmmmmm
9. My friends. I have made some great friends here, and I will miss them an absolute TON!!! Omar and Jules made this deployment bearable for me. We had so many good times and I will miss them.
10. Cult-fit DJ, its many members past and current, and the countless hours I spent at our awesome gym getting my ass kicked by the barbell, the rower, the gym rope, the climbing rope, the pull-up bar and everything else. I will miss you B, Giant Guy, LG, Greg, and Coach Schef. Thanks for the support, the good times, and changing my life.

The fact is that deployments are hard. Your life doesnt stop for the 9 months that you are away and not living in it. Many things change. I changed, my circumstances changed, my home changed, and I am sure several other things that I dont realize yet. I have lost alot during this deployment least of which is the time that I will never get back. But this is what we do. This is what we love, and this is who we are. I am as always endlessly grateful for the opportunity to serve my amazing country in anyway, but especially grateful to be apart of something that is challenging, rewarding, and humbling, there is no other life for me.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Why its different

For those of you who checked out my @me blog you have already read this post, but I wanted to repost it here because it means alot to me. CROSSFIT really did change my life drastically, I just wish I could accurately express how completely different I feel, but honestly, there are no words. I will be forever grateful to my Coach who introduced this phenomenon to me. Coach Schef you did change my life and it is the most amazing thing that you could ever do for anyone. So here it is again... Why its different...

Today I realized something about my new found love in CROSSFIT. There is a big difference between a passing phase and a lifestyle change. I have gone through several diets and workout programs in my life, as I know most people have. Some of them lasted a little bit longer than others, but until recently I hadn’t found anything that interested me enough for it to stick long term, with two exceptions, running and riding, even my dedication to those two things is for very different reasons.

Running has also been a part of my life for over 20 years, and I do love it for lots of reasons, but the challenge isn’t there. I dont really care if I run much faster or further, with running I just want the result of what doing it for longer SHOULD bring. I never really thought of being able to run 8 or 9 miles as some miraculous feat, I just wanted the calorie burn and hopefully the weight loss that went with it. I run more out of habit than anything else, its familiar and comfortable to me, but thats NOT what I’m looking for in a workout. There is no challenge and there for no success or even failure. No highs and lows, and that gets BORING. Which is why I am sure Im not too heartbroken that I have moved away from it a little bit.

I have been riding as long as I can remember, my earliest memory is of a horse. With riding, I’ve always wanted to get better and be better, not just to win (although Id never complain about winning), but it wasn’t just that. I love the challenge of it, figuring it out, working at it, and I mean working HARD to fix problem horses and my own bad habits. In all my years of riding I’ve never felt “accomplished”, the fences could always be higher, the times could always be faster, the conditioning more complete. There was always something to work on, and it is my love of the challenge that keeps me going year after year, fall after fall, failure after failure, I just want to be better. When I’m 80 I will still be working at it, I’ve had tons of great rides, but to me that just doesn’t seem like enough, so I will continue to work at it.

CROSSFIT feels like riding to me, its the challenge that draws me in. Its knowing that EVERY time I show up to the gym for a WOD that I will be challenged in a different way, just like getting on a different horse or jumping a different course of fences. In the past few weeks I have really stopped thinking so much about my weight and how I look, it has been more about the work, more about the WOD and mostly about the challenge. I know the results are there, but to have such a sense of satisfaction just from FINISHING a workout is a great feeling, much better than getting on the scale and seeing the numbers go down but not really feeling any different. The challenge and the feeling I have when the WOD is over are the kinds of things that will keep me coming back for more. Its the difference, the difference between a passing fitness craze and a commitment to a lifestyle change, I know CROSSFIT will still be challenging me in years and really, thats all I want.

Check out Coach Schef and all his propoganda, I mean knowledge at

Friday, June 4, 2010


One of the great things about spending my entire adult life in the military is that I am extremely accustom to change. Normally we cannot control what is changing in our lives, but what we can control is how we react to it. I prefer to take change in stride and look more toward the future, because with every change, no matter how confusing or exasperating in the beginning, there is opportunity. The other great thing about change is that we never truly have to start over, we get the added benefit of having experiences and being able to carry those lessons with us. So for me, change, no matter what the reason, is exciting. I don't sit back and idly HOPE that I will do things RIGHT, because there is always room for improvement, I just try and do things differently. As long as we don't make the same mistakes when we are afforded another opportunity we can consider ourselves productive and worth-while. So I just wanted to thank everyone in my life who has caused change, I welcome it, and will NEVER miss an opportunity to do things differently.

Top 10 things I will not miss about Africa

  1. The complete and total ban on alcohol worth drinking. 9 months without a Ciroc and diet tonic is almost too much to bear!!!!
  2. The lack of sidewalks. If I see one more piece of gravel EVER Im going to lose it.
  3. Sweating through my underwear in 5 minutes flat at 6 am. There’s hot, then there’s just flipping ridiculous. Djibouti falls into the flipping ridiculous category... hands down
  4. The smell... As my boss once described it... Its like someone wrapped dog poo in hair and set it on fire, yes, its just like that.
  5. The male to female ratio... NO, I don’t appreciate the constant LEERING.
  6. The lack of radio stations... I miss my annoying morning radio shows terribly, and who knew that I am so attached to my AM talk radio (sad, and dorky, but soooooo true)
  7. The mud that falls from the sky when it “RAINS” here. It doesn’t RAIN in Djibouti, it MUDS, and its GROSS, then it turns into this nasty gooey stuff that sticks to your shoes FOREVER.
  8. The brown-ness, this place crushes the horsie part of my soul, as I haven’t seen one blade of grass let alone a pasture since I’ve been here. A place without pastures is NO PLACE FOR THIS CHICK!!!
  9. Bottled water... I’ve probably had 10-12 bottles of water a day since I’ve been here, so over a 9 month period I have thrown away about 2700 plastic bottles... Multiply that by the 2500 people who are stationed here and thats 6,750,000 water bottles AKA... TOO DAMN MANY!!!!!!!
  10. Being surrounded by the people I HAVE to be, instead of the people I WANT to be.