Saturday, April 16, 2011

N - is for New Things

The concept of trying something new is hard, it really is. In my experience people like to say that they love new things, but really they have a hard time trying them. So today my post is going to list a few things that my family and I have tried recently that have turned out awesome, and also to issue you a challenge to try something new that you have been avoiding.

1) Asparagus - I love asparagus, and I eat it all the time but I never could get anyone in my family to eat it with me. About 3 weeks ago there was an amazing sale on asparagus at the commissary so I stocked up. The girls thought about sharing a few times (I had roasted asparagus for 5 nights in a row) and then the last night they each tried a piece. They LOVED it, in fact they liked it so much that I didn't get to eat any that night.

2) Zumba - This is a little old for me but I really wanted to share how happy I am that I tried this. I have been hearing about Zumba and being encouraged to go for almost a year. I kept putting it off with my normal "I can't dance, I have no coordination" arguments. Well I finally went right before Christmas and not only did I manage to make it through without falling on my face, or the other end, I love it. I love that it is an amazing cardio workout that is fun! I will not ever go back to only doing the treadmill or the elliptical. I still use those machines on occasion, but it is no longer  a staple of my workout.

3) Spinning - DH tried this one a few weeks ago, and he had the same reaction to it that I had to Zumba, well in his stoic male sort of way. It was nice for him to have an option that broke the run, push-up, sit-up mold that the military had drilled into his head.

4) Water - This one is the girlies again. My girls have insisted since they could make an opinion known that they hate water. They would leave a cup untouched for days, even if they were thirsty. So for years I have been mixing one part juice and 3 parts water for them. About a month ago we put a 5 gallon water filter in the fridge that they can use to serve themselves and low and behold they now drink water all day. I have actually had one bottle of juice in the fridge for 3 weeks, that has never happened before. I guess I just needed to make it fun!

So think about it, is there something that you have dismissed without even trying it? Go and try it, you never know you might find out that it isn't as horrible as you think, it might even become a new favorite.

Friday, April 15, 2011

M - is for Major Freakout!

No matter how many times I travel, it never fails. The morning of the trip I wake up in a panic. Is everything ready and packed? Do I have all of the paperwork that I need? Will everything go smoothly with the connecting flights? Will my children get lost? My sources of panic range from the mundane to the outlandish and hit everything in between.

I always hope that all of my careful preparation will help to calm me down, and it does a lot, but it cannot help with those first panicked thoughts in the morning. I am feeling much better today since I have all day to prepare. We usually try and take the first flight of the morning, but this time we opted to fly the Red-eye so we have until late tonight to check and re-check my packing lists.

I hope that you are all having an amazing day!


Thursday, April 14, 2011

L ~ is for Lists

I love lists. They make my life so wonderful. I make lists for everything. Grocery Lists, meal lists, to do lists, packing lists, wish lists, everything. It's great.

I didn't used to make lists, I used to think that the people who made lists were stogy and over organized. Once I had kids I realized that lists are not a sign of being anal retentive, but a sign of desperation. Lists keep you from forgetting things. Which is really important once your kids suck all of the brains you once had out through your ears. (Here's the proof, not that I needed it)

So what do lists have to do with the travel theme that I have going on this week? I make lists of every single thing that I pack in each suitcase, especially for the kids. This is helpful at both the beginning and at the end of the trip. At the beginning I use it to make sure I don't forget anything. If my list doesn't say underwear I know that I have a problem. When it comes to the end of the trip the list serves the same purpose, am I packing everything I brought to take home? It would be a tragedy if I left the Barbie shirt at Nana's house, the list helps me to avoid the problem. It also make sure I remember things like phone chargers, shampoo and books.

So the next time you travel, with kids or without, try making a list and see if it doesn't help to make you trip a lot smoother.


Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Hodgepodge Wednesday brought to you by the letter K

1. Would you rather talk to everyone at a crowded party for a short time or have a significant conversation with two people? This one is actually hard for me. If you know me and my husband well you know that we are party people. We have people over to our house to hang out more often than not, sometimes as many as 4 nights a week. I try to keep my mingling both ways. I try and make sure to talk to everyone and make sure that no one feels ignored, but I also love to use the time to have some real adult conversation with the ladies that come around.
2. What objects do you remember from your parent's living room? Ok, in my first house I remember all sorts of things, I have a great memory for stuff, but the two things that stick out the most are my dad's beer stein collection, it covered an entire wall. My Brother and I share that collection now, well sort of, we both really need to get them out of storage at Mom's house. The other thing I remember is the brick/rock surround on the fireplace. It had a kachina picture worked into the rock it was pretty cool.

3. Do you hog the bed? Steal the covers? Snore? Me? Nope. When DH is deployed I can slide out of the bed and it looks made. Snore, maybe, especially when I am having an allergy attack or am really tired.

4. Speaking of Easter dinner....what is your favorite way to cook/eat lamb? Or does just the thought of that make you squeamish? If you're not cooking lamb what will be your entree du jour on Easter Sunday? My favorite way to have lamb is cooked by someone else. I have never made it myself because... well I don't know why, but I haven't. I don't dislike it, and I don't have problems because it was once a fluffy white baby. Although when we lived in England I drove past a bunch of lamb farms, ranches, what do you call them? Anyway, they were on our way every single day. On Easter Sunday we do ham, mostly because my husband doesn't like turkey, or roast.

5. Let's throw some politics into this week's mix-oooohhh...Do you know the whereabouts of your birth certificate and when was the last time you had to produce it to prove you're you? My birth certificate is in the front coat closet, in the firesafe in the 4th hanging folder from the front, it's the second birth certificate from the front. The last time I used it.... hmmm. I don't remember. I got both of the girls out last month when we renewed their passports.

6. As a child, how did people describe you? I don't know. Anyone? I was a smart, somewhat shy, non-athletic child. That's how I would describe myself I have no clue what others would say about me.

7. What do you complain about the most? I make an effort not to complain about things I think that it is unproductive. I'm sure that DH could tell you what it is though. I would say probably right now it would be the school systems here where we live. They are horrid, not just bad, horrid.

8. Insert your own random thought here. K - is for Keep it Simple.... As a continuation of the A-Z blogging challenge and in the theme of this week with travel today I will talk about the best packing advice I ever received. Keep it simple. With the cost of checking baggage now days we see more and more people traveling out of their carry on bags. This change has been really hard for some people because they can't figure out how to downsize their luggage. So here is my recommendation. Keep it Simple. Don't pack 3 outfits where 1 will do, having options based on your feelings is nice, but not necessary. Pack your outfits with shoes and accessories in mind. If you are going for a week or less try and keep the shoe needs to 1 or two pairs, you don't need to pack outfits that need black shoes and outfits that need brown shoes, pick a pair that are comfortable that you love and only plan outfits that work with those. Pre plan your outfits. Actually lay them out, underwear and accessories included. I then list everything that I packed on a paper. That way when I am finished with the trip and re-packing to come home I know that I am not leaving anything behind.


Tuesday, April 12, 2011

J - Is for Journey

We have another trip coming up, it seems like April is our month to travel. We will be headed across the country to spend time with DH's family and see our new niece. I am really excited for this trip, not only because I enjoy spending time with my husbands family and friends but also because I know that both of us need a recharge.

When it comes to getting ready for a trip I am a firm believer in planning ahead. I have found that taking your time in the week leading up to your departure and really packing and planning thoughtfully makes the trip much easier and more enjoyable.

I will be using the letters this week to talk about the steps that I take to help myself prepare for a trip. Today's letter is J for the Journey. The first step in planning a successful trip is deciding how you will get there and getting any necessary reservations made. Will you drive? Fly? Take a train? If you will be going by plane or train how will you get to the airport/station? What will you do for transportation once you get to your destination? Generally the further in advance you can buy your tickets the better rate you will get. If you plan on driving look for a good selection of hotels along the way and either predetermine your stopping points and make reservations, or have enough hotel names along the way that if your first choice is full you have other options.

Happy traveling!


Monday, April 11, 2011

I - is for Inconvenience on the Interstate.

This weekend was AMAZING, it was so much fun! AJ and I went to my home town for a ladies tea with a group of my female family members. P-nut stayed home and had a weekend with Daddy. The tea was so well done and I had a great time.

As AJ and I got ready to head home on Sunday we heard about a HUGE accident that had the Interstate shut down, for HOURS. I cannot imagine how bad the accident must have been and I pray for all of the families and people that were involved in that. My brother drove past it in the opposite direction and said that it was miles of over turned semi-trucks. The interstate was actually backed up from the accident all the way to my home town, that was a 40 mile traffic jam.

For those of you, like DH, who are not from the Western United States, closing the interstate is more than a minor inconvenience. There really isn't another way to go. In order to go around the accident, closure, and traffic jam I would have had to drive an extra 5 hours (on a trip that should be 3.5 hours) DH kept asking me why there wasn't a frontage road or state road to divert traffic to, nothing. So while this closure was inconvenient for me I felt for all of the truckers who were stuck for the 15+ hours waiting, especially the ones who are penalized for being behind schedule.

A link to an article about the accident

AJ and I got on the road first thing this morning and made it home almost in time to have her go to school for the whole school day. As it was she only missed the first 30 minutes which I don't think is too bad at all for leaving 18 hours later than planned.