Fell down

So I am not off to a good start on my badass challenge. I have not been taking very good care of myself lately, late nights and drinking a little to much. When I am home and the kids are asleep, it has been my only chance to relax and forget about my day. Have a beer or glass of wine relaxed me a little too much.
I have been under a lot of stress, I am on a committee that has been troublesome. I have been feeling a lot of weight on my shoulder to do well and am getting nothing in return. I sacrificed a lot of family time to help out other people and by the end, I gave up. I love volunteering and will continue to do so. I love it and I learn something new from it all the time. But when I am involved with something and it doesn’t turn out they way it is suppose to, I get upset. And to throw in people who are ungrateful, I take it personally! I volunteer because I like to help.
So my challenge has started off not so good. I have not been good to myself and in turn not good to my family. Today is a reset, I will be drinking my water, going to bed early and learning to say no! I can’t volunteer for every organization out there. As my spouse says, “take an appetite suppressant” and devote my time to one thing. I get in over my head and I end up falling and realizing that I can’t do everything. Saying no does not make me a bad person, it makes me realistic.
I may have fallen down but I am picking myself back up and starting over. And getting back to becoming badass!

Bad Ass!

Okay so when I discovered Crossfit, I came across Christmas Abbott.  She is like the Crossfit Girl of all time!  Her story is very cool, she was a contractor in Iraq, that is where she discovered Crossfit, she was part of a NASCAR pit crew.  She has competed in Crossfit games, she is an all around bad ass!

She has recently published a book titled the Badass Body Diet.  I have only recently got my online, I have not finished it yet.  But it got me thinking, I need to put my big girls panties on and challenge myself.  I have a half marathon in September, I have been complaining that I am not working out enough and I have been getting sick a lot lately.  I do however, love to eat!  I am a big believer in not depriving myself and since we are stationed in Europe, the food here is so good!  She does discuss that what she is setting out to do is to have this method continue on through a lifetime.  No gimmicks, just hard work without the deprivation.  I am going to challenge myself to become Bad Ass!  A badass mom, spouse and friend, I need to challenge myself, get out of my comfort zone and do this.

I will post while reading the book.  There may be (MAYBE) a before picture of me, I still am not sure if I can bring myself to expose myself like that.  Fear is still an ever present thing in my life, fear of judgement and ridicule, the unpopular high schooler who didn’t have a lot of friends.  I don’t want to be judged yet, I know that it will help with accountability, I will get back to you all on that.  This is going to be interesting!  Let’s do this!  I will be posting pics and my thoughts during my journey to become badass.  I would like to post some vlogs, we shall see about that as well.  I also want to challenge YOU out there!  Let’s all be BAD ASS!  Try it!  I don’t want to do this alone, join me. Check out Christmas’ site and get her book, I am just starting out and I am nervous and excited.

My goals with this challenge; the main goal is to be healthier and more fit for my half-marathon in September.  I want to run well and do it in 2.5 hours.  My other goal is to feel better in my skin, to have a little kick in my step, I do not work out as frequently as I would like, this challenge is that kick in the rear to get me back on track.  With my half-marathon, I need to step up my training with this challenge I have a SOP (standard operating procedure) if you will.  I want to wake up in the morning not having to dread the day, I want to wake up strong and ready to face it.  My other goal, to be around and active for my kids, they are active and I want to make sure that I can keep up with them and be there for them.  And I am sure I will get more out of this challenge, but for now I will have these to work on.

I have a thing for challenges, sometimes they can be exciting and an excellent learning tool.  They are also hard, frustrating, and unwelcome.   I am accepting this, I will embrace whatever it is  (even if I may not like it.)  I have to get myself ready for whatever comes my way!  It is time to get Bad Ass!

Chip it away.

Tomorrow is Mother’s day!  It was created to celebrate the overworked and under appreciated mothers, we are to celebrate the women who raise us and take of us.  I as a mom, endure the fact that my kids are growing up far too fast, I have friends who finally have the families they have prayed for.  Being a mom is a badge of honor!  I proudly wear it!

But lately, it seems that there some moms out there who try to put other moms down because they are just not that great.  Mom-shaming is horrible!  What the hell!  First of all, I never, NEVER claim to be perfect.  I am not crafty, I get flustered when my kids where the same pair of socks three days in a row, I keep a clean house but it is not perfect, I hate doing laundry and I own an iron but it does not get used very often.  But do you dare judge me! My kids are healthy, they are well-mannered and are typical kids.  I love Pinterest but I cannot mimic what I pin, I try, and that is my best.  I use Pinterest as inspiration!  Again, I am not crafty, I try.

I do not have the best skin and I am not skinny, but I am healthy and keep up with my family.  I am special!  I am unique and dammit darn it, I am learning to love myself and so far I like what I see.  I do not think it is right to shame moms for not making time to work out, for not making time to be fit.  Not every mom is the same!  If you have time to workout, great!  I make time, sometimes I have only 15 minutes, sometimes an hour but whatever time, if I want to sit down with a cup of coffee and enjoy the quiet, I will do just that!  Some moms are taking care of other people’s children besides their own, stop being a bully.

I am not organized, I am but it is not nor will it ever be picture perfect.  My house is a place that is home for my kids and they can run around this place, chasing the dog and know that they are at home.  My home represents us, me and all the adventures we have been on.  Mi casa, my home.  Also, we love to eat!  I refuse to deprive myself and my family, we eat healthy, we eat what we like, I don’t serve junk food but every once in a while a piece a chocolate will not harm them.

I sometimes carry a chip on my shoulder.  I sometimes feel like I am not doing enough for my family, maybe if I did graduate college when I was supposed to, maybe if I tried harder to pretend I am the perfect Stepford robot.  I always wonder if I am depriving my kids of more.  But that is where I chip away at the thing on my shoulder, my sons are getting an amazing education and get to experience Europe!  They have people who love them, they have friends, they get to be kids!  I love my kids, they make me pull my hair out when I have to ask them to clean their rooms up, but they are my loves.  I hate how some other moms make me feel!  How dare they make me feel like I am not good enough, I am a good mom, so what if do not have a perfectly decorated home or children.  I live a pretty interesting life, maybe they should look at THEIR lives.  As moms, we need to unite, you breast feed great, you don’t, great!  As long as our children are happy and healthy and loved that is all that matters.

I am chipping away and I know that I am doing a good job with my kids.  More and more, I learn something new and they teach me something new as well.  They amaze me and every Mother’s day is just as important and special because they grow and are turning into these interesting young men.

I want to wish all of my fellow moms a Happy Mother’s Day!  I hope you all have a wonderful day, you deserve every second of it!  Wear your badge proudly! And know that the job you are doing is a good one, just look at your family!  You nurture and love with your whole heart.  You adopted, you birthed and you love!

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They’re Gone.

Saturday afternoon was a fun yet solemn.  My oldest was sick and could not attend festivities on post, so I took my youngest but he wasn’t into because his brother was not there.  So we ended things early and headed back home, while in the car he told me about a schoolmate that we know.  He told me that this kids father died.  I was shocked and heart-broken!  This kid, who came to my oldest birthday party, they were funny, very sweet.  I only met the mother and thought she was lovely and of course the schoolmate has a younger sibling.

This struck me hard because a) I know the child and b) my kids have to deal with this as well.  They have never dealt with death before and to deal with it in this matter, with someone they knew well, it broke my heart.  My oldest was sad, he almost cried, his friend lost their dad.  No one, no child, adult should have to go through that at all.  To love people you love is so hard and I can’t imagine being that young happening.  My heart hurts thinking about what this child is going through and it hurts even more when my kids mentioned it.

We haven’t spoken much about it, but when they do want to talk it, I want to prepare myself.  I never thought they would ever encounter a situation like this and it through me for a loop.  A child lost a parent and how do you explain that?  Explaining something like that is NOT easy.  I can talk about how God has a plan for everyone, but then my fear is the question why.  Why did their friends’ dad have to leave so soon.  Why did he die?  Why was this the plan?  Death is not an easy subject and one that I do not think anyone is ready for.

Death is scary, worrisome and sad.  It breaks hearts and does not discriminate!  It takes a toll on you and can consume you in a way you would never expect it.  If you let it, it will drag you down a deep and dark hole.  If you don’t the pain of it lingers but slowly goes away.  For child, I can’t even fathom what that feeling must be.  When a loved one is gone, the hole that it leaves takes a while to fill.  I was an adult when I lost both my parents.  I was able to grow and heal, I hope my kids friend gets the help they need to heal from this.

aecda6c1cda26b682596114bec20bed4I truly hope that my kids do ask questions as well.  I will not have the answers, all I can do is prepare myself for when they are ready to talk about it.  It will be hard, I am a talker and think  that they should let it out, I want then to know that no matter what they can come to me for anything!  (If I can be honest, I don’t think I can ever prepare myself.)  But all I want to be is the mom that they can come to, I want them to talk to me and not to a stranger.

I do pray, I will pray for the family, I will pray that their hearts heal.  I hope that they find comfort.  When I think about what happened, all I want to do is hug my kids and never let go.

Blog of the week!

I love reading other blogs, I like peeking into other people’s lives and see what they love to do.  This week I have been peeking in the life of my friend Laurie!  She has an amazing blog, she is a retired ballet dancer, she is beautiful, her daughter is beautiful, everything about her and her life is beautiful!  Check her out!  Click on her name!  You will love it and wish you were in Hawaii right now.

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Sun! Sand! Palma!

I am currently relaxing at home from a really awesome vacation.  The family and I went to Palma de Mallorca.  An island off the coast of Spain, the Balearic Islands are the place to go to when you want some sunshine and warmth.  We needed this and well Palma was perfect!  Palma is a port city as well, you will see cruise ships, cargo ships, yachts and the like sailing through.  The vision of boating coming in and out was quite fun.

The archipelagos were sight from the dreary fog and cold.  The palm trees looked lush and green along the coastline.  The sun warmed us and we knew that we would not want to leave.  Palma is the main city of the island, it is not very touristy (in my opinion) but we also did not go there during the summer.  We rented an apartment through Airbnb, which was awesome!  I highly recommend renting an apartment if you have kids, it will feel like home, you can save money on food and well, you don’t need to worry about leaving so housekeeping can come in.  We were able to relax and enjoy our awesome view!  SONY DSC

That is the Catherdral of Mallorca or Le Seu off in the horizon.  The sun is about to set, how lucky to have an opportunity to visit!

We got in late Thursday due to the strikes going on in France, but once we got to Palma and got settled, we were ready to settle in and get ready for the following day.

We got up on Friday and got ready, we had other plans but the kids kept seeing ads for the Palma aquarium.  So we changed our plans and went to look at fish!  The aquarium is literally across from the Playa Palma.  You saw some of the people that were at the beach walk over.  SONY DSC SONY DSC SONY DSC SONY DSCThese are just a few of the photos from our venture to the aquarium.  But these few show the great place this aquarium is.  It is also known to have the deepest shark tank in all of Europe and it partners with other aquariums in countries like Israel.

After a day of hanging out with fish, we ate some!  One of the things I love about Spain is the amazing food.  Known for their tapas (small plates), Iberico ham, Manchego cheese, sangria and Paella!  The food of Spain, reflects the vibrancy of its people.  We went to a local place near our apartment and we ate this:  IMG_0143

This was a seafood paella, it was yummy and had a ton of mussels, shrimp, langostines and calamari.  It was so so good!  As you could see, my sangria was gone, it was tasty!  The boys shared a pot of clams.  They loved them! La Mejillonera in Palma on the Avenida Gabriel Roca is the place!  But so is Chicory which is down the street, it is a whole in the wall place that was amazing!  Check out my Yelp about these places.

We were full and happy and ready for bed.  We needed our rest to head to one of the great beaches, Cala Mayor.  Cala Mayor is one of the larger beaches and one of the best.  This beach was what we needed!  It was family friendly and all you could see was water.  It was the most relaxing day!  I loved it!  IMG_0145 IMG_0146My kids loved the beach, they always do and never wanted to leave.  Sun and sand, just what the doctor ordered.  They have other beaches, but Cala Mayor was the calmest, most relaxing beach.  I did not leave my chair!

The next day was Sunday, we wanted to attend mass at the Cathedral and sight see along the wall.  The Cathedral is amazing, the architecture of the church goes with the Palace of Almudaina which is right next to it.  Inside it was grand and very solemn.  Attending the service was wonderful and brought me back to when I was little and attending Spanish mass at my local church back in Portland.

The altar piece of the Cathedral was designed by Antoni Gaudi who designed the Sagrada Familia in Barcelona.  The church was beautiful and I was so grateful to say I attended mass there.

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After mass, we walked along the wall.  This wall has been around for centuries but has been modernized while preserving its history.  The pool you see is to mimic the moat that once met the walls of the palace and cathedral.  It was a lovely walk with an amazing view of the port.  SONY DSC

We wanted to discover more of what Palma had to offer and went to the Arabic Baths.  This site was small but had an amazing garden with the prettiest lemon tree.  The Arabic baths are preserved well and show the Arab influence of much of Spain.

 

SONY DSC SONY DSC SONY DSCPalma is filled with history.  Pieces of a fortress from years past are up and around the city.  The modern with the old makes this not your typical beach city.  I liked that it wasn’t super touristy, you were able to experience the true Palma without anyone selling you anything.  The food (as always) was delicious and satisfying.   I will come here again and visit the other sites Mallorca the island as to offer.

The Balearic Islands are a unique place, you have Mallorca, Menorca, Ibiza and Formentera.  I can’t wait to plan trips to these other islands and see more of Spain.

To live in Europe and get the chance to travel within the continent is an amazing opportunity.  To get to experience Palma and all it has to offer is fantastic!  Every trip we take is an adventure.  This is our last chance to be here and I will take advantage of every bit!  If you are ever stationed in Europe, travel and discover the wonders of this continent and have a full belly while you are at it!  This was a great trip and I am beyond happy!  Will. Come. Here. Again!

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My first time and it was good!

It’s not what you think!  I made a pie on Friday, one that my oldest wanted to try after we watched an episode of Sorted Food on Tastemade.  I mentioned to him that Banoffie pie is a classic English dessert and well that started something!  He wanted it and I said yes to trying to make this dish.  Banoffie pie is a filling of ananas and Toffee with a biscuit crumb crust and topped with whipped cream and shaved chocolate on top.  It was first created at the Hungry Monk in East Sussex, England.

I never knew what the fuss was all about, but after watching that video and having kids going to school with British kids, I had to try and make it properly.  So I went to the boys school and asked, they gave me the exact things I needed, but my main concern was the crust.  Biscuits in proper English is a cookie for us Americans, since I was making something that comes from the UK, if I didn’t make it well, I know I would hear it from my child and he would hear it from his classmates.  So off I went to research Banoffie pie and I came across a lot of recipes.  Each recipe made its own way, which I liked because that meant that this recipe is unique.  The sweetness from the bananas, the richness of the toffee melds together with the biscuit crust and whipped cream to create this really delicious and rich dessert.

I came across a really great recipes from the blog Three Many Cooks, this recipe was simple and one that I knew I would be successful with.  But then again, can a screw this up?  It looked easy, a slight panic set in.  Time to make pie!

The recipe itself is super easy!  The only thing you really have to make is the toffee or dulce de leche.  In the pictures below you will see the process.  Cooking the sweetened condensed milk takes time, you want it to be the perfect and rich consistency.  Per the recipe, I cooked it for 3 hours, which was the correct amount!SONY DSC SONY DSC SONY DSC SONY DSC SONY DSCI was able to include the boys in helping with the graham cracker crust.  SONY DSC SONY DSC SONY DSC

SONY DSCThe end result was really cool!  I will say I did not make the whipped cream, I used ready whip which worked okay.  The next time I make this I will heavy whipping cream.  The dessert was delicious!  The banana and the toffee go so well together and it was not overly rich.  We all enjoyed it and I will be happy to make this again!  Do you have a new favorite dessert?  Share your recipe, I would love to try it!  And check out Three Many Cooks!  Their blog is excellent! Discovering new recipes is fun and sharing them with my family and with friends is a great way to learn new things and to be able to enjoy where are living.  It is all a part of this awesome adventure I call my life.

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Give it away!

The past two years I have become a product junkie.  I love makeup and what it does for me, it almost provides me a mask that protects me from the outside world.  I was never really a make up person, I wore it but not the way I do now.  I prime, conceal, contour, enhance and highlight my face.  I rouge, lacquer and powder myself away and present you with a flawless more fabulous image.  Make-up allows me to present a shinier me to people and it gives me a bit more confidence.  I don’t wear it everyday, there are days when I just don’t have the time.

So in my adventure into make-up, I (in my mid 30’s) discovered various products that make me feel good.  And because they make me feel more confident, I have accumulated a lot.  It is ridiculous to tell you the truth, to have oh so many bottles of foundations, tubes of lipstick and palettes of eye shadow is out of control and wasteful.  My collection of glamour products is out of control and there is no way I can use them all.  I don’t need all of this and it would be a waste of money to throw it all out. I began watching some of my favorite Youtubers such as Tati and Young Wild and Polished.  They decluttered and talked about their unused or gently used items.  I needed to do this so I turned to google to find where I could potentially sell items.

As I kept searching,  I kept thinking why do I purchase items, when I don’t use them everyday?  5 tubes of lipstick?  Come on!  Enough was enough!  And then it popped up, donating to an organization that helps women in need.  It never occurred to me to do that!  Domestic Violence shelters, where women and kids go to for safety, they leave everything behind after years of being beaten down physically and mentally.  My goal in donating is not to say that they need make up to feel better, but if it means that they can use these items for whatever their needs are then my goal has been accomplished.  In my search I came upon a  blog by Renee Rouleau Skin, they are in Dallas, Texas and talked about what to donate and where.  They donate to a local shelter in Dallas but they encourage to do research and see where you can donate locally.

After I read this blog, my research changed and I discovered two other places that I could donate to.  The first search brought up the Beauty Bus.  They deliver a little glamour to terminally ill men, women and even kids.  They have mobile bus that brings a sink to wash hair, scissors and razors for cuts and shaves and a place to pamper.  I can’t imagine being in a hospital 24-7, treatment after treatment.  Providing this service to them to make them feel better and to get them out of the hospital room.  I loved this!  What a great thing to do for people!  The other organization is the local Dress for Success in my home state of Oregon.  If you are not familiar, they help women with a professional attire to be able to have the confidence and go out and get the job that they deserve.  So I kept reading and reading, I decided that these organizations need stuff more than me.  I have donated clothing  and food many times, but never did I think that I could donate my plethora of products.  If I am going to collect these items for the sheer fact of having these items will make me better, prettier, likable then what is the point of buying a brand new primer when I have three that I barely use?  If whatever I can give, even for a little bit, can help someone else.

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So here are my boxes, it isn’t just make up, I have sponges, lotions, face wash and the like.  I am not excepting these items to be the be all for someone in need.  It is better that someone uses them than having them sit on my bathroom shelves just for the sake of boosting my self-esteem.  I am glad that these items will be put to good use by someone who will truly use them.  That makes me feel good!  I am removing a layer of the mask and exposing myself to something new.  I do not all of these items, I am ok with the little bit I have and I like that.  If you are like me and you have a ton of products, donate them to your local shelter or organization.

Just like me!

I love being a mom.  I truly do but there are days, the days in which you specifically remember asking your child if they actually searched for the overdue library book.  Or did they pull everything out of their backpacks, those are the days that even though in the grand scheme of things do not mean much, can ruin any chance of a good day.

My sons are a little older, they are at an age where they don’t need mom following behind them picking everything up.  They can grab the bowls from the cupboard, they do not need me in the mornings to get their breakfast.  But this morning, this morning was a particularly frustrating morning, I literally wanted to pull my hair out.  This month has been crazy, activity, after activity.  Everyone is tired except for my youngest and he lately has developed a thing for talking back.  I can’t stand it!  When asked if he did something, he says yes.  When it turns out it is the opposite, I am wrong!  Ugh!  Are you kidding kid!  It has been none stop and I don’t get it.  This morning he had to get his swim bag ready and complained that he couldn’t find his swim trunks.  So immediately the search began.  He cried that he hung them up on the towel rack, which is odd because if he did they would have been there.  In his world he does everything he is told, it is someone else fault.  Someone else took it, he did everything as he was told.  And so when it turns out that he was wrong, disbelief sets in.  What!  No fair!  Yeah, mom is not fair, she found your stuff where it didn’t belong.  Ouch!

And no sooner does that happen, I am reminded of something from the past, me at his age doing the same thing with my mom.  I saw it in his eyes, the look of “how is that possible!”  And I hear myself, in my mother’s voice, all of a sudden I jolt because of the weirdness.  The circle of mother and child is never done, it keeps going.  And I am sure that when my kids have their own family, they too will jolt in the weirdness.  Being a mom, a parent is a unique.  We often see ourselves in our kids at the best and worse times. It is cool to them do things you have done in the past and yet, the moment they turn, there you are back as an 8 year old!  Ugh!  But they are my kids and are a by product of how I raise them.

Part of me gets scared, because I always worry that my kids will become the adult version of me.  I have had a hard time adjusting and now in my late 30’s, I feel more adjusted and more mature and like an adult.  I am always scared that I will screw my kids up.  And there are those time where I see them, so happy, adjusted and so smart.  I tear up at the thought that I am doing ok, I do not ever want to fail them.  I want to give them a normal life, different from mine.

In a way it’s cool that they are in some way, just like me.