Friday, August 30, 2013

Through the Eyes of a Child

So, Marshall, being the crafty 2 year that he is, knows how to use the camera feature on my phone.  Well, a couple weeks ago, he got a hold of it without my knowledge and snapped a few shots.

IMG_1427 IMG_1428 IMG_1437 IMG_1440

We're thinking of getting Marshall his own little camera to document what he sees at his level.

What do your little ones see?


Thursday, August 29, 2013

My Story

I was recently invited to my first Origami Owl jewelry bar hosted by April Slipsager.  I had heard of Origami Owl before and had browsed their products and options in the past but had never purchased anything. Whenever one of my friends invites me to one of their parties, no mater what it is for, I always try to purchase something.  I would like to think that should I ever decide to host something that all of these purchases will invite some purchases in return :)

Orgami Owl's main slogan is "Tell Your Story" so I spent 2 hours looking through each of their lockets, charms, tags, and chains to find the perfect combination to tell my story.  My finished locket arrived in the mail yesterday and I couldn't be more happy with the final results.

And here it is!  I had to take the photo without the flash so it looks much darker than it really is.  The chain and locket are silver in color and the back plate is rose in color.


I chose the "Family" back plate because, to me, nothing is more important than family.  I've recently had to reevaluate a close relationship in my live and am now very focused on my family.  Marshall and Freddy are number 1 and everyone else comes after.  The dangling "O" charm is for our family name.

In the locket I have the following charms:

Birthstones:  It is hard to see in the picture, but I have 1 birthstone charm each for me (June), Freddy (November), and Marshall (October).  Marshall was 5 days away from being born on the same day of the month as me and Freddy as well as our anniversary :)  The good thing is should we add to our family, I can add another birthstone.

Cat Paw:  I'm sure this is pretty self explanatory :)  This is to represent our 4 fur babies who are just as much a part of our family as anyone.

Faith:  I have recently been exploring my own personal faith and how it relates to my family and how we will overcome our struggles in the future.

Yellow Ribbon:  I may not always support the "Why" but I will always support our troops.

American Flag:  Anyone who knows me knows that I am very proud to be an American.  I was raised to love my country and be proud of my roots no matter what.  That's what happens when you grow up on the back of a Harley in the Midwest :)

I also received the Postcard charm that says "I Love You" on it.  I plan to include that one in the locket whenever Freddy is gone.  I love that the locket opens and you can switch out charms whenever you want.

In the near future I may also purchase some of the holiday charms to switch out.

How would you tell your story?


Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Wordless Wednesday: What About Us, Dad?

What About Us?

Monday, August 26, 2013


Semper Fi Momma has been hosting a weekly link up to focus on the one thing that mommies seem to not be able to do... themselves. And I am probably up there at the top of the guilty list. So, I'm going to join her and others to try and do five things for me each week. They don't have to be big.... just for me.

Every Monday I will try to post what I want to do just for me and report on what I was able to do :)

For this week, I thought I would give myself an easy list to complete since we're heading into a holiday weekend.

1.  Clean off the dining room table.  Now I know what you're thinking... this seems like work!  Not for me!  I love decorating my house and, unfortunately, our dining room table has become a catch all of junk.  I have a nice centerpiece and table cloth that I want to use and can't until the blasted thing is cleaned off.

2.  Organize the Tupperware.  Again, you might be thinking this is work.  No way!  For some reason my husband can seem to properly stack our tupperware in the tupperware cabinet and just shoves stuff in there.  In addition, he has started a tupperware tower on our dining room table.  It is driving me crazy!

3.  Organize Pictures.  I recently (yesterday) discovered that I had over 300 pictures hanging out on my SLR camera.  I'm sure I have just as many on my little purse camera.  In addition, now that I have a MacBook, it will be easy to download and organize the pictures from my iPhone and iPad so I can keep the space free on those devices.  Plus, it will make it easier for me to catch up with my 365 Project for 2013 :)

4.  Print & Complete Picture Collage Frame.  I bought this giant picture collage type frame last year from Target that is still sitting empty in our basement.  I know where I want to put it, but I've got to get the pictures in it.

5.  Unpack 1 box.  So we moved into our house last September and we still have unpacked boxes in the basement, our bedroom, and Marshall's bedroom.  Just 1 box....

Look for how I did next week!


Sunday, August 25, 2013

Family Camp-A-Thon 2013!

Every year during the month of August (sometimes July), my mom's side of the family gets together for what we call the Sargent Family Camp-A-Thon.  We always plan our summer trip home to Michigan to coincide with the camping trip.  You see, I grew up camping and love it... Freddy not so much so I'm working on converting him.  We try to go to a different campground every year and, no matter where we go, have a lot of fun.

Last year was the first year that all of us cousins showed up with our own kids so we decided to go to Jellystone Park this year since it has a lot of activities for kids.  This was Marshall's 3rd year camping so we were all pretty excited to go.  The only sucky part was that Freddy had his Annual Training with the Guard during this week so he missed out on all the fun :(

Day 1

All packed up and ready to go!

Day1_SargentCampAThon1 Day1_SargentCampAThon2

And the trek has started.  And don't worry... this was taken before we left.  Marsh was secured in his car seat before we actually pulled out :)


After 2 1/2 hours, and a few wrong turns by Grandma we finally made it!

Day 2

The 2nd day was filled with wagon rides, playgrounds, arts & crafts, swimming and campfires.  Marshall was super excited to decorate his own cowboy hat.  I might add the theme for the weekend was "Wet & Wild West".  Marshall loved riding on the big kids bikes too.  Of course, with some help from Aunt Andrea and Cousin Jacob.

IMG_1324 IMG_1331

We also went swimming.  They had a little 1 foot deep kiddie pool that was perfect for Marshall.  He LOVES being in the water.  Did I mention he loves being in the water???


And, of course, the day ended with a cozy campfire.


Day 3

On day 3, we actually did something that I've never done before.  We went on a dune buggy tour.  The campground is near the Silver Lake Sand Dunes, which are between Silver Lake and Lake Michigan.  So we all decided to hit up one of the dune buggy tours.  To be honest, I almost didn't go, but then thought, when will Marsh have the chance to do this again so we tagged along!  The wait was around 45 minutes and every time they called out the last names of the parties to board the dune buggy, Marshall would yell "What about Marshall??"  Since we put the reservation under my brother's last name, which is Marshall, when they did finally call it out, Marsh got so excited because they called him to his dune buggy :)

As we were going over the dunes, Marshall kept raising his hands up like he was on a roller coaster ride.  I see visits to Cedar Point in our future!

DSC_0324 DSC_0356 

And what would a trip be without a picture of Marshall running around like a crazy person :)  The picture on the right is a good visual of how high the sand dunes are.  The brown trees that you see poking through the top of the dunes are actually around 50 feet high.  Silver Lake loses 3 - 5 feet every year because of the dunes that are blown in from Lake Michigan.  They have already covered 14 homes and a farm!  We saw one cottage that was already half covered with sand.

DSC_0344 DSC_0360

During the tour they stopped and let us get out to walk along Lake Michigan for a few minutes.  It was very calm and relaxing.


And this was our failed attempt at getting a decent picture of the two of us sitting by the campfire :)

Day 4

We were scheduled to leave after 3 fun-filled days of family and craziness.  Marshall helped Cousin JR tear down his tent.
IMG_1388 IMG_1391

And the ride home seemed to take forever, but we finally made it.  Marshall helped Grandma back the truck and camper into the driveway.


I mentioned this was Marshall's 3rd camping trip with the Sargent family.  Look for some posts for Flashback Friday on both trips as they were fairly eventful :)


Saturday, August 24, 2013

Not Done...

So I didn't get the post done about our camping trip today because I'm still working on getting the pictures uploaded and organized!  Turns out I had approximately 350 pictures hanging out on my camera spanning the past 8 months!  Talking about crazy mommy photographer fail!!

In addition, I recently purchased one of these bad boys:

MacBook Pro

I've never owned an Apple before so I'm suffering through a HUGE learning curve.  So add that on top of over 300 photos to sift through and organize needless to say I didn't get my post done.  Here's hoping for tomorrow!


Friday, August 23, 2013

Caught in Between

I've been reading Military Spouse magazine off and on for the past couple of years.  The articles and columns are usually geared toward spouses of Active and Deployed service members.  Every once in awhile I will find something interesting or that pertains to our situation.

Starting with last month's issue, they started a regular column that focuses on Reserve and Guard families.  The first article was about the difference in send off between Active and Reserve/Guard service members by a spouse who has done both.  It hit a little close to home as we are currently preparing for a deployment starting in February.

This month's column was titled "Welcome to the Civilitary."  It really put into words what I've been struggling with over the past 2 years and gave us a title.  When I say "us" I mean those connected to the Reserves and the Guard.  I never thought about it this way before, but one of the spouses interviewed (an Army National Guard spouse) put it best when she called it "Civilitary."  And she is 100% correct.  We don't really fit into the civilian world and we don't really fit into the military world.

Freddy was supposed to deploy last October for 11 months.  About 4 weeks before they were supposed to report, they scaled back from 48 guys to 15 and he wasn't selected.  BUT, we spent the summer preparing for this deployment.  Freddy and I have been together since 2005 and married since 2008, but it wasn't until I attended a Yellow Ribbon Event last August that I found out about a lot of military services and opportunities that were available to us.  As a National Guard family, we just aren't regularly exposed to a lot of information unless we seek it out.

In addition, there isn't the same support structure.  None of my nearby friends or co-workers are military.  I even had one of my close friends comment that I'm not the same as an Active duty spouse and why would I think otherwise.  Sure... we don't have the same struggles, but we still have struggles related to the military.  We have to balance our civilian responsibilities with our military responsibilities.  I work a fairly high stress IT job so when Freddy is gone, the stress is even higher keeping up with my work as the Director of a Project Management department (which involves evening and weekend implementations) along with double duty at home completing both Freddy's chores and my chores.  There are many nights I'm taking out the trash at 2:00AM because I couldn't get to it before then.  I am fairly lucky in that my boss is pretty flexible with me when Freddy is gone.  As long as I'm getting my job done I can telecommute a couple days a week if I need to.

I would love to be able to take advantage of the PX or the Commissary more often, but we live almost 2 hours away from the nearest military base.  I'm probably going to have to take a day off work just to get in there to get my ID renewed since they aren't open on weekends and only open until 4pm during the week.

Marshall starts pre-school in 2 weeks and I can guarantee he will be one of very few, if any, military kids in his class.  He is now getting to the age where he knows when daddy is gone but doesn't understand why.  What do you tell a 2 year old who lays in bed crying "I miss my daddy!" :(

And can we talk about my cats?  For some reason all 4 turn into holy terrors the second Freddy leaves!

But seriously, as I sit here thinking about the new deployment that is a definite for February and what needs to be completed before he leaves, I'm wondering if we'll be able to hold it together.  What I can say is the online Military spouse community has been priceless in the amount of information I've been able to absorb from them.  But the reality of the situation is we are caught in between the civilian world and the military world and expected to function full time in both.

All we can do is what any family does... power through!


Saturday, August 17, 2013

Wake Up and Be Awesome!

That is going to be my new motto from now on...  "Wake Up and Be Awesome!"

As you can probably see I have not done anything with my blog since January :(  Make that I haven't really done much of anything with anything since January.  I went through a bit of a funk that took a loooooooong time to start climbing out of.  I still have a ways to go to get everything in order, but I seem to be on the right track.  This little gem that I got at the last National Guard Yellow Ribbon event we attend has been coming in handy :)  Seriously... a stress ball in the shape of a grenade??  Genius!!


For those of you who have been following my blog for awhile, you know I have always struggled with my weight and, as a result, self esteem.  Back in April, I found Adventure Health and Fitness along with fitness instructors Mike & Laura.  They focus on small group training for women, most of who are busy moms with crazy schedules.  I was a little apprehensive since I had never really done small group or one on one training and, of course, didn't want to look silly while exercising or *gasp* not be able to finish a session.  In addition, I had hurt my heel last year when I started training for a 5K and hadn't done any exercise since.  I finally got up the nerve to go in for my introductory session.  What I found during my first class was what I needed to start moving forward again.  Mike was fantastic.  There are women of all fitness levels in the classes and because there are no more than 6 - 8 in a class, it gives the trainers the opportunity to work with people to ensure our form is right and we're doing what we're supposed to be doing.  As I had suspected, I couldn't finish the class :(  But, I did get through about 75% before I had to stop and take a break.  But, I felt good enough to continue!  By class #4, I was able to get through the entire 40 minute class without the need to take a break other then the water breaks.  On July 29th, 3 months later, I did 5 real push-ups (NOT on the knees) and a 20 second plank (NOT on the knees)!  First time ever in my life to do this.  Oh, and by the way, be a part of one of Laura's classes is a little like working out with Jillian Michaels... except without the yelling :)  BTW... my new motto came from a Facebook post from AHF!

I can I will

Another change that I've made is regarding my eating habits.  In January, I tried the Sonoma diet for a couple of weeks.  The food was great, but it was A LOT of prep and cooking.  Most nights we wouldn't eat dinner until after 8:00 PM since we usually don't get home in the evenings until almost 6:30 PM.  So it didn't really work with our lifestyle.  We need something that can be thrown together in 30 minutes or less.  I gave Weight Watchers another go, but this time online since it has been difficult to get to the meetings.  Not enough accountability for me and too many choices.  In March, I tried Jenny Craig for 30 days.  Now this was something I could do since most things were prepackaged so I didn't really have to think about what to make.  And a lot of it was pretty good.  In 30 days I lost 8 lbs so it definitely works.  The only problem is that it is so expensive.  You still have to buy your veggies and stuff to go with the meals.

Towards the end of June, one of my co-workers introduced me to Isagenix, which is a nutritional cleanse program.  It cuts out caffeine, sugar, gluten, and loads of other toxins that you put into your body everyday.  I was intrigued since I needed to do something to get myself back on track.  So, being who I am, I did a bunch of research.  A lot of the stuff they had in the program, my trainers also recommended.  So, Freddy and I decided to give the 30 day cleanse program a go.  We started on July 7th.  The program consisted of 5 days of 2 shakes, 2 snacks, and a meal and then 2 deep cleanse days where you are drinking a cleansing liquid 4 times during the day.  No food on the cleans days except for some small wafers in between drinks.  The cleanse days were surprisingly easy and I ended up losing 10 lbs on the program.  Freddy also ended up losing some weight as well.  We also ate much healthier for our dinners since we had a list of foods to choose from.  In addition, we started shopping at our Whole Foods store and ate more organic foods.  It is a little more expensive, but the combination of Isagenix AND my training classes was the same price as 30 days of Jenny Craig so I figure it all evens out in the end.  We are starting another 30 day cleanse tomorrow so I'm looking forward to reporting our progress.


AND, with all this motivation, I finally start moving forward on our house and making it a home.  We moved in last September, and then Superstorm Sandy happened, and then my motivation was gone.  Over the past 2 months, I've been making steps to get things organized and put together. I have big plans for our front yard next summer!


Oh yeah... this little guy is my main driving force for getting my behind in gear...

Project365 2013 - 1/365

So... for the rest of 2013 I'm going to strive to wake up in the morning and BE AWESOME!