Uncategorized

43 Weeks and a Detox Bath

   So, I went to the Fall Carnival at church, expecting to just play some games with the kids, watch them bounce around in the bounce house, and eat some BBQ chicken. We did all of those things, and the boys had such a blast, but then it happened. I was scooping up some of the coleslaw from Idan’s plate, about to shovel it into my mouth, when the lady sitting across from me said, “My husband and I have been married for 9 years, and things aren’t working out. I don’t think we’re gonna make it much longer.” She said it so nonchalantly. I wanted to just ignore her. I wanted to just get up, go to the the horseshoe game, and never let that random comment enter my mind ever again. But, no…how could I? I had to say something. I mentioned how no marriage is worth giving up on. It’s not ever a smart move to just split when it gets tough. Then she barked back, “He’s a liar and a cheater! And he thinks that I’M the one that needs to CHANGE?” I thought to myself,

‘Wow…I see your point. How could anyone be unhappy with such a sweet, tender, and kind-hearted woman?’ but instead, I said,

“Maybe he’s right. You know, most of the time, in order to live at peace with the people around you, the change has to start within your own heart. When you start searching your own heart, that’s when you’ll begin to see your marriage and all of your relationships through God’s eyes. God doesn’t want us to feel anger toward our spouses. He wants us to love them like He loves them. And to care for them like He cares for Him. It works for my marriage. It can work for yours too.” To which she responded,

“Well, I’m glad it worked for you. Have a good day!”

     Why the foolishness? So many wives waste their time searching for and pointing out their husband’s flaws and weaknesses rather than building them up and encouraging them on toward becoming the best man they can possibly be. It’s like they feel like if they make them feel crappy enough, then they’ll stay trapped in their marriage because there’s no way any other woman can possibly love them for how horrible they are. Newsflash: This is not okay, Wives! LOVE your husbands. ENCOURAGE your husbands. BUILD your husbands up. There are a few exceptions (now don’t go coming up with reasons why you’re that special exception if you’re not), but for the most part, if your husband is a “monster” it’s because either he was that way when you two married or you turned him into one by belittling his every move. Look at yourself in the mirror. Are you still that same sweet, giggly, fun, and flirty woman that he first fell in love with? If you have more wrinkles in your forehead and between your eyes, from anger and frowning, than you do at the corners of your mouth, from smiling, then you need to search within yourself. Tell me I’m wrong, just like your husband is wrong. Continue to stand there, lips pierced and eyebrows squished together, mumbling under your breath about how you’re a saint, an amazing wife and/or mother, and he’s a no-good, rotten, liar, and cheater. Then look at yourself in the mirror, smooth your forehead wrinkles, and save your marriage by changing your heart, because your heart is the one that is slowly rotting away, turning your husband into an unlovable creature, and forcing the demise of your own marriage.

Boom.

Activity #43: Detox Bath

So I saw this pin on pinterest the other day. It was a girl with her hair pulled back, laying in a bath of bubbles, eyes closed, and not a care in the world. Above the picture was the title “Detox Bath”. Underneath, it listed a few questions,

1) Are you extremely tired?     –Oh my gosh, yeah! 

2) Have you been moody?     –Yes, like super moody!

3) Are you experiencing coughing or wheezing?      –Yes, Yes! My asthma has been HORRIBLE lately!

4) Would you like to feel better without needing a prescription?   –Absolutely, I would! I don’t have time for the doctor!

It went on to explain how a simple, at-home detox bath could solve every single one of my problems. Sign me the heck up!!! So, I only needed to buy 2 ingredients, hydrogen peroxide and ground ginger. I hauled the kids off to the corner store and spent $3 on 2 bottles of each. After reading stories, singing songs, and kissing my babies goodnight, I started the bath water. I was so excited to lay down, relax, and let the toxins slip out of my pores as I drifted off into a sudsy coma.

That DIDN’T happen!

stinkin, flippin detox bath…I HATE you, detox bath!

just peroxide and ginger and soak for 30 minutes
pour the ginger into a running hot bath
add the peroxide..
and it looks like this…ew.
Start the clock!
5 minutes in, and I’m dripping sweat.
8 minutes in and chugging water
14 minutes in and I HAD to add cold water
the cooler water still feels boiling!
22 minutes in and I’m ITCHING like MAD!!
27 minutes in and I killed my water
30 minutes is up. GET ME OUTTA HERE

Guess what! my wheezing didn’t go away, I was still tired, and I went through about 50 mood swings during my entire 30 minute detox! I want my $3 and 30 minutes back, Pinterest! LIAR!!! …great…now I’m turning into one of those psycho, angry wives. I need to go moisturize my forehead wrinkles real quick.

Until next week, send your crazy to me, since I’m going there anyway!

Uncategorized

42 Weeks and Starbucks vs. Dunkin Donuts

     For a few weeks there, it seemed like my husband and I were losing ourselves in this new norm. He was one with the mission, and I was morphing into a character that was a mix between Blair Waldorf, of Gossip Girl, and Pam, from The Office. My lonely nights were spent clicking “next episode” on Netflix, trying to stop my mind from wondering,

‘Is he awake?’

    ‘How did he sleep?’

        ‘Did he sleep at all?’

            ‘Does he have anyone to talk to?’

                ‘Is he afraid?’

                   ‘Does he even know what fear is anymore?’

                       ‘Is he trapped in this new world just like I am?’

                           ‘Will this ever end?’

                               ‘God, stop my mind from racing, please…’

                                   ‘Next episode, Cathi…next episode.’

    It seems as though we’ve made it out of that slump and into our next “up phase”. We’re communicating a lot more often, and he’s been sharing more about his frustrations (without interfering with OPSEC, of course). We are each other’s best friends, and it hurts me to sense that he’s hurting, angry, or burnt out. It’s worse when there is absolutely nothing I can physically do to help him. These past couple of weeks, our prayer warriors have been on top of it! God has done what He tends to do, and He’s “healed the broken-hearted…” (Ps 147:3). My activities are wonderful coping strategies, and you should totally try one of them, or even some of your own, but nothing can take the place of talking your fears over with God. TV can’t cleans your mind, a good book can’t calm your fears, and listening to music won’t drown out the echo of the silence that is a constant reminder of your loneliness. Only the peace that comes from the gentle hushes of the Lord will calm you into sweet dreams and wake you with joy and gratitude. Take few moments to whisper to Him, and He will rock you to sleep as you talk, casting every care onto Him as quickly as you let the words slip out of your mouth. That’s peace, my friends. Ain’t nothing else like it.

Activity #42: Dunkin Donuts Coffee at Starbucks

     My husband’s Android-turned-iphone-buddy (sorry you had to find out this way sweetheart…he’s turned to the dark-side) joined me for this one! The boys got to be around a dude for a bit, and it would’ve probably been cooler if they weren’t stuck at Starbucks, but nevertheless, dude-time went down. I turned Nolan C. into a Dunkin Donuts believer! I picked up 2 cups of pumpkin coffee along with 2 hot chocolates for the boys. Next, I hopped over to Starbucks to buy one single pumpkin spice latte. Then, we drank and sat in the steel chairs with the sun beaming down on our faces…seriously, those umbrellas are useless. The only thing that could turn me into a Starbucks believer would be a playground. I’d sacrifice taste and cost for a jungle gym and some monkey bars for my kids…but please, no swings. I love pushing my kids on the swing, but not during the perfect coffee temperature time period.

Hey everyone, look! It’s NOLAN! Welcome to the blog, buddy!
Cole with his hot chocolate
Take THAT, Starbucks!

 

 

 

Why you should choose Dunkin Donuts coffee over Starbucks

…According to me

     Consider the Taste. I’ve had plenty of Starbucks pumpkin lattes from several different locations, and the “pumpkin” is more spice than anything else. What I love about pumpkin flavoring is pumpkin, not cloves. I’ve never thought to myself, “Boy, I sure could go for a spoonful of cloves this morning!” However, some people might actually wake up with the absolute necessity to have that very desire fulfilled. Those people go to Starbucks. Dunkin Donuts hits the pumpkin flavoring with a hint of spice so perfectly! I order mine with cream and sugar, and I can close my eyes and really believe that I am drinking a liquified pumpkin pie. Seriously, Clove lovers…you’re missing out on a real pumpkin coffee experience.

     Now, let’s take into consideration the price, shall we? A tall pumpkin spice latte, from Starbucks, costs $4.01, after tax. That turns into $120.30 a month if you drink it every day. A small pumpkin coffee with cream and sugar, from Dunkin Donuts, costs $1.70, after tax. That is $51 a month. That’s a difference of $69.30! That’s a tank of gas for some folks!

     “But Starbucks has free wifi,” you whine. Actually, they sell a “tall” pumpkin spice latte with a side of wifi for the price of $4.01 a cup. They don’t pay for their wifi and then give it away for free. Have they stopped teaching the concept of free lunch in schools? So, if you love Starbucks for their wifi and coffee, then you’re paying $120.30 for wifi access and a coffee cup with your name on it. Silliness!

I propose this idea:

     Buy your daily cup of pumpkin coffee from dunkin donuts, and spend $51 a month. Then, get the mobile hot spot for your cell phone provider; most start at about $20 a month. That comes to a total of $71 a month for delicious coffee (that actually tastes like pumpkin) and wifi. That’s still $49.30 less than the total cost at Starbucks. You can actually afford to treat your friends! Heck, you can buy a can of whipped cream and some cinnamon if you want. Set up at your own little table inside of Dunkin Donuts  wearing a beret and glasses if you feel the urge. Chat online with all of your friends from Starbucks. Put on your headphones, and watch youtube videos all day…or whatever it is that you Starbucks laptop users do all the time.

     Don’t forget to “like” 1weekatatime on facebook to get sneak peeks on my activities, random bits of encouragement, and to share your own thoughts and ideas! I’m always up for suggestions, so feel free to add your own in the comment box on my suggestion page. As always, Until next week, send your crazy to me, since I’m going there anyway!! 

Uncategorized

41 Weeks and Mud Butt?

How to successfully complete a 5K Mud Run

(notice I didn’t say “win”)

The Day Before Race-Day

  1. Plan ahead. Eat light and healthy meals to avoid any …issues during your race.

  2. Pick out your outfit, as well as your backup outfit (underoos included).

  3. Clip your toenails! Or you will end up with the worst cuts on your toes EVER!

  4. Don’t run or exercise. You’ll be too sore the next day.

  5. Pack your Mud Runners Kit Bag including the following:

    • shampoo

    • conditioner (if you have hair that needs it)

    • a wide toothed comb

    • baby wipes (you’ll thank me later, ladies)

    • deodorant

    • a ziploc bag filled with empty grocery bags (it’s amazing how many you might use after the race)

    • any emergency medications you might need

  6. Coordinate with any running muddy buddies about your arrival times, meeting places, along with back up plans, just in case cell service is rough.

  7. Pin your Race Bib to the front of your running shirt, and/or attach your shoe clips to your laces.

  8. If you need an inhaler, rig up a waterproof wristlet out of a ziploc bag and duct tape to keep on you during your run.

  9. Get a good night’s rest, about 8 hours will do you good.

Race Day

  1. Give yourself plenty of time to get going in the morning.

  2. Even though you’re going to get muddy, a shower might wake you up nicely.

  3. Take any medicines or vitamins you’ll need for the day, and take an allergy pill if you’re prone to allergies.

  4. Have a carby-vitamin C breakfast consisting of pancakes and a pear, toast and a banana, waffles and an apple, a bagel and grapefruit…etc.

  5. If you’re a coffee drinker, go ahead and down a mug or 2, but be sure to match your coffee intake with your water intake!

  6. Double-check your things to be sure you have all items needed for your race.

  7. Just before you head out the door, and this is absolutely important–GO POTTY! Do what you’ve gotta do, because most races offer porta-potties, and with all those mud-butts, you won’t be able to tell the difference between a muddy hand print and a “muddy” hand print.

  8. Make sure you budget the time to take pictures and walk from parking to race zone.

  9. Check your bags or have a designated spectator friend responsible for keeping your things safe.

  10. Say a prayer, thank God for your able body, and for giving you the chance to push that given body to its physical limits!

During the Race

  1. Pace yourself. Try to tune out the people around you, and just listen to your own footsteps and breaths.

  2. Listen to your body. Contrary to what others might believe, if you really feel like you need to stop, then STOP! It’s okay, no one’s going to shoot you. You might have a fellow racer encourage you, but that’s meant with the kindest intentions. Try not to make a complete stop unless you fear something is seriously wrong, in which case you’ll need to flag down another runner and ask them to call in some help at the next water station.

  3. Don’t take a deep, cleansing breath while passing or being passed…chances are that person wreaks.

  4. Don’t look back, and in the obstacles, don’t look down!

  5. Don’t be afraid of the mud! Yes, it’s cold, but you’ll live. Get in there and give it your all!

  6. Don’t go hugging spectators or other racers who have already rinsed off after the race is over unless they ask for it.  They don’t like it very much.

So, instead of writing about my feelings this week…because who wants to hear about my opinion on stupid, petty arguments between husbands and wives, and how it just aggravates me to the core when they flash the “D” word around to punish each other and get their way? And who wants to hear about my 7 year-old son’s questions about God and the Birds and Bees and how he now believes that kissing can get you pregnant (because I’m avoiding the subject until Daddy gets home to help with that)? Who wants to sit around and listen to me talk about what crazy thing happened to me in the line at Publix this week (seriously y’all…so weird. I can’t even create a fancy one-liner quip out of it…that weird)? No one wants to hear that stuff, right? So, I’ve decided to skip over all of that this week and offer some friendly advice to any future mud run racers because…..

Activity #41: Mud Run 5K

…my girlfriend, Jennifer W. joined me on my weekly activity for a mud run! We’ve been encouraging each other since the beginning of the Summer, when she, so selflessly, volunteered to take a dive onto the mud pavement with me. I’ve been working out extra hard and taking in lots of extra protein in efforts to beef up my upper body strength for the obstacles, and it totally paid off! My legs feel like jello right now, and I’ll be cleaning mud out of my ears for the next week, but it’s okay, because this was so much fun! If you’re sitting at home, waiting on your spouse who might be TDY or deployed, check out any mud runs that might be coming to your town soon. There are so many out there, constantly circulating throughout the year, so you’ll always have one coming up. Have a group of friends join you or do it with your spouse if he/she is home! My husband and I did it together last year, and that was awesome too! If you’re competitive, then do it for the prize, if not, then do it for the laughs! But either way, you should totally do it!  If you’re a beginner runner, here are a couple of links to help you get started :

Learn to Run

Learn to Run

5K Training Plan

5K Training Plan

2012: The Year I participated in a Mud Run…again.

Looking classy in my racing outfit. Hello little Idan!
My boys came out for moral support (and…because I take them everywhere with me 😉
had to zoom in on this guy…

Miley Cyrus, Justin Bieber, Quiet Riot, Queen, and Neon Trees were on my race-day pump-up list.

We DID IT!!!!
The boys had a blast in the mud too!
Got our swag on with the mud run T-shirts!
Cole wrote a letter to Dad at the Operation Gratitude Tent. God is going to put this in the hands of a soldier that really needs this message, I’m sure of it.
My boys and I had an awesome day hanging out at the muddy festivities, but we were ready for NAPS!!!

I’d like to give a special thanks to the Hero of the Day, Marcus W. who kept my boys and his 2 boys throughout the entire duration of the race morning/afternoon. What a trooper! And he did it all with a humble smile. Thank you so much, Marcus! You’re so very appreciated!

If you missed last week, I created a facebook page to keep up with my readers throughout the week. Please, take a quick Like Me! moment to hop over there and like my page for inside peeks, to add your own suggestions, or tell me how you’re turning your own separation time into something neat to look back on, rather than a dark cloud hanging over your head. I’d love to hear from you!

Countdown to the Spartan Race has officially begun…

 

Until next week, send your crazy to me, since I’m going there anyway!

 

Hey, if you have a moment, please say a prayer for our good friend, Cheech. He’s been stationed overseas too, and got some difficult news that his mom is in need of a transplant. He’s flying home within these next couple of days to see if he’s a match. He would appreciate all of the prayers we can pray. Please lift his mother up and pray that he is a match! Thank you guys! Y’all are awesome!

Uncategorized

40 Weeks Nutella, anyone?

 

     My husband and I often tell a joke about how we “almost got divorced over a poker game.” It sounds silly now, and when we talk about it, we both laugh so hard. But, there was a time when the sight of a deck of cards would throw us into a full-on word-slamming, hand-waving, grunt and groan war, all because of an incident that happened out of 2 clashing
personalities.

It was a beautiful December night, and his parents were babysitting our new baby boy so we could have a night out at a friendly poker tournament. I was a self-proclaimed professional, and he…well, he’s intelligent in far too many other ways to crowd his mind with poker rules and strategies. I was ready to win the $200 pot and get a couple of last-minute Christmas gifts, and he was excited to wear sunglasses and shout “All in!” I was serious, and he wanted to have fun. The night ended in a heated argument with us sleeping in separate beds. I laugh about it even now as I type it, because it sounds so stupid! Bless my little heart for flipping out over poker chips! You couldn’t tell me that back then though…oh no. I knew it all, and no one was going to change my perspective.

     I took the boys to the park yesterday, and while I was lounging in my chair and smiling at my boys running wildly through the wood-chips, I was interrupted by a young Chinese Mom with an extremely thick accent. She walked over to me with her waddling 1 year old and asked, “Are you married?” I was a little taken back by the question, but realized I still had my wedding ring around my neck from a rash on my ring finger.

     “Yes, almost 8 years now,” I answered with a smile.

     “Does your husband chew tobacco?” she quickly asked. I replayed the question a few times, in my head. Surely, there’s some confusion in her accent, I thought to myself. But, after asking her again, she repeated, “Does your husband chew tobacco?” What a weird question to ask a stranger.

     “No,” I answered with my eyebrow raised, but trying to keep on smiling.

     “Does he smoke tobacco?”

     “No…no my husband does not smoke either.”

     “What bad habit do he have?” She asked. I thought about that one for a while, and I couldn’t really think of any “bad habits”. He drinks energy drinks, and that’s unhealthy, but it’s not a bad habit. He exercises a lot…but that’s not bad either. That’s actually a good thing. He likes bread! No…wait, that wouldn’t be good if he was a Celiac…which, he isn’t. Oh gosh…I can’t think of any bad habits. Oh my…quick, think of something fast or else it’ll sound like you’re a fake Stepford Wife!

     “He works too much!” I blurted out. As if he has a choice. He works too much? Such a stupid answer. That’s not a bad habit either. That’s a man providing for his family, even to a civilian household. I didn’t have to worry too much about it though, because she began to complain about her husband’s chewing tobacco habit (so that’s where that came from…still totally random to share with a stranger, but she must know I’m totally open to random) and his grumpy attitude in the mornings. I tried to speak some sense into this young bride about how his habit isn’t a deal breaker for their marriage, and grumpy mornings don’t necessarily make a person a horrible human being. The man loves her, loves their baby, and works hard to provide so she can be a stay-at-home-mom. She should just work through the tough integrating of lives through these first few years of marriage, and then worry about the tobacco. I tried to explain how the more she loves him and embraces his grumpiness, the less his 6am-crank-face will offend her. Just like my 1-year-seasoned-wife self from poker night, she was absolutely not open to any of it. How could love and tenderness and compassion be the wrong answer? How could I have not seen all of this back then? Selfishness. That’s the answer right there. I wish I could go back in time and flick 19-year-old Me in the nose and say,

     “Shut up, you stupid, selfish, and whiny girl,” and then walk away into the time portal, flashing a peace sign.

Activity #40: Homemade Butter and a “Nutel-latte”

     For the past couple of months, I’ve been getting raw milk from a farmer down the street. I get it on a weekly rotation, in glass jars. Cole made butter in his class this week, and I remember doing it as a kid with a container of heavy whipping cream, so I thought…I wonder if I can do it with the cream that rises to the top of the raw milk? Well, I tried it, because I tend to do that sort of thing, and it worked! I can’t wait to get my weekly milk tomorrow and make more! I hope I don’t ever have to go back!

1.) Let the milk sit in the fridge for a day to let the cream rise to the top.

2.) Scoop the cream out, carefully, and put it into a blender or food processor.

3) Blend until chunky on the sides and bottom of blender.

4.) Pour out the buttermilk. (I used mine for pancakes the next morning)

5.) Using a wooden spoon, break up and smash the butter to get all of the buttermilk out.

6.) Pour ice-cold water over the butter, and continue working with the wooden spoon to break up and “wash” the butter. Do this a lot until the water is running clear. If you leave buttermilk in it, the butter will spoil from the milk.

7.) Add a few sprinkles of salt, and work it into the butter.

8.) Store in a closed container in the fridge.

 

  Like many other women (and the men who aren’t ashamed to admit it), I am in love with Nutella. It’s a delicious food that must be from Narnia, produced by tiny droplets, poured from the magical flask of the White Witch…except not in a creepy ice-queen of evil sort of way. I had a craving for coffee and a craving for Nutella, so I blended the two worlds, because that’s what people in interracial marriages do. Well, at least that’s what I do…and my friend Stephanie M, who had the same idea, but with hot chocolate instead of coffee.

1.)   Start with 2tbs of Hazelnut coffee grounds in a  stove-top espresso maker  filled with water.

2.) Add 1 heaping spoonful of cocoa powder , not mixing.

3.)While it heats on the stove,  mix together 1tbs sugar and 1tsp nutella.

4.) Slowly, pour coffee over sugar and nutella, stirring gently.

5.) Pour over a half-mug of steamed milk.

6.) Take pics, post it on facebook, and taga all of your girlfriends to make them all drool!

Please leave your love in the comments section below, and if you have a suggestions for my next weekly activity, leave it in the suggestion box to the right.

My girlfriend, Meagan, convinced me to create a facebook page for this blog to help me connect with my readers. Please, take a moment to “like” my page by clicking the picture below. Thanks! Can’t wait to see you on there!

Like Me!As always…until next week, send your crazy to me, since I’m going there anyway!

Uncategorized

39 weeks and Mar-eye-lean has Red Thumbs

    Oh, the confusion…it can be so overwhelming and so depressing if we allow it to be. It’s so important to allow yourself to feel emotions as they come in, but we don’t want people to become uncomfortable because of our needs. I had a refreshing talk with a girlfriend tonight, and the simplicity of just talking through all of my mixed emotions brought about the most weight-lifting sense of clarity. It may have looked like I was a mess of tears inside of a McDonalds corner booth, but I assure you, tonight was the most free I’ve felt in a long time.

   When people ask what we need, whether we need a break from our kids or not, if we need a meal cooked, or how to help through this tough time of separation, the best answer is their time. Going to the grocery store or mall alone, getting a pedicure or massage…those are all very nice things, but they aren’t our needs. Prayers are so powerful, and my girlfriend helped me to see that knowing that we are in their prayers can be so encouraging. Sitting and talking with us…not the “hey, how you doing’s,” but getting past the funny stuff, past the regular every day stress, and into the heart is what we’re missing from our spouses while they’re away.

   A couple of weeks back, I mentioned how I’m missing my “flesh” so to speak, and how the pain of missing my husband is natural and normal for me to be feeling. God didn’t mean for the marriage relationship to be spent apart, but he did create the military minded man, and he created a Help Meet for the military man. Often times, I fight that common perception that we, military wives, are “so strong,” but I guess we are. I don’t feel like I am, and I don’t feel like I’m doing this right, but I guess the mere fact that we keep trucking along makes us appear super-human. Maybe we are super strong, because God created us to meet the needs of our military counter-parts, but we do have our Kryptonite. I think I can speak on behalf of all military wives when I say our weakness is night time, after the kids are in bed, and after the TV turns off (if it ever does turn off), when the lights are out (if we ever do turns the lights off), and there is no one to share stories with. We talk to God, and He is so tender and so sweet when we open up to Him during this time. He is more than enough, but that missing-him-ache is there. We’re human, and that ache reminds us so. I guess we appear to be so strong because no one  is around to catch a glimpse of our Kryptonite’s affect…until we let it pour over smoothies at McDonalds. Thank you, sweet friend, for being exactly what the spouse of a deployed soldier needs.

Activity #39: She’s Baaaack…

Do you remember our good friend, Mar-eye-lean? If you have no idea what I’m talking about, then you should skip over to week 24 “The Ultimate Walk of Shame” for a refresher real quick. It won’t take long, and it’ll make more sense this week if you do. Anyway, she proved to be such a hit, and I got so many questions about her since then. Everyone wants to know what happened with Roger. Did he ever take her back? What’s up with the Fake Baby? This week, back by popular demand, I give you Mar-Eye-Lean!!!

Please leave some love in the comments section below. If you have any suggestions for future activities, please leave a comment in the suggestion box on the right. Until next week, send your crazy to me, since I’m going there anyway!

“It’s a Love Tree!”