Life · Military Spouse Life

Run, Talia, Run

Trying to raise well-rounded children is tough! When they are so little (Liam is 1.5 and Talia is 3) it’s hard to know what they will enjoy and excel at….so we try different things.

Talia didn’t exactly take to the ice at hockey like we thought she would (the kid is obsessed with watching hockey, but when you put her on skates, she stands there and cries on ice until someone helps her….)

While we are still working on the ice skating (when we pull her off the ice, she wants to go back and do it again…..so we keep going with it)….we also saw the chance to do a Healthy Kids Running Series started by one of my yoga students in town. It’s meant for younger kids to get them interested in running.

Talia

Loves

Running.

It ended up being a perfect fit for her……and I’m worried she’s going to be disappointed next weekend when we don’t have her race.

She only ran 50 yards, but she loved every second of it. Yesterday she got her medal for participating! She was pretty proud!

 

Then I tried to get a family photo…..the results were hysterical! I’m sure all parents out there can sympathize with me….

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Who is in control here?

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Talia’s face is priceless here!

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Somehow he kept Liam from eating dirt…I was laughing too hard to help.

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The face of a man who wants help but his wife just keeps laughing!

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Again with Talia’s face!

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Everyone is OFP as they say in the USMC!

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Now it’s Bill’s face making me laugh!

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Right before he gives up!!!

In the end, we didn’t really get a group picture, but these are great!!!! Bill also got out of having to do the parent run because it suddenly started to rain HARD!!!! He was relieved. He hasn’t really run since the Marine Corps!

How was your weekend? Did you do anything fun?

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Military Spouse Life

God Broke My Oven

Yes, you read that right. I feel like my busted oven is God giving me direction. Sound crazy? Well, I get that a lot!

I have always been super active. Even as a child, my parents were called in by my kindergarten teacher so they could ask my parents what to do with me. I wasn’t a bad kid…I just never sat still…for a second. I naturally brought this over to adulthood. I now work full time in hockey (NAHL), I run my yoga studio, I blog, I’m working on my third novel, I have two children/6 dogs/3 cats, and a husband….. I also have a million ideas for other projects. If I had all the time in the world, I would have my own vegan skin care line, and a hockey clothing company supporting youth hockey. I wish there were about 10 more hours in the day.

So I started to pray.

I know I’m a shitty Christian…I’m the first to admit it.

I prayed anyway.

I wanted to know what my purpose was in life. My pastor talks all the time about purpose….so what is mine?

I needed clear direction. I’m 36 years old and I feel like I’m just walking in circles here. These circles are full of half completed projects which are getting me nowhere.

So I continued to pray and try and weed out the things I was not meant to do.

I stopped some of the smaller projects because I just felt they weren’t “it” for me.

Then I decided I should work on my freelance writing and building up my clients, while making room to write novels on the side. I started pitching new clients, but everyone who was interested had a “limited” budget or no budget at all. I could feel this wasn’t what I was supposed to be doing.

Then I debated. Maybe I wanted to go back to baking full time. Maybe I should re-open my bakery. My mom and I had some killer ideas for Biscotti and selling them across the country. I knew where I could use a commercial oven….I thought I should make a go of it.

Then God killed my oven.

I had an order for a cake, and thank goodness it was for a friend….because my oven died half way through the baking process, leaving me a giant sheet cake pan, half-baked.

It was gross. I mean, how do you clean that???

Because I already filed our taxes, I knew we were getting a return. We figured we would use it to buy a new oven.

Then our taxes get held up for 45 days with no explanation from the IRS.

I’m aggravated, but I get the message. It’s not baking.

Then last night I get the whole message.

I was teaching my regular yoga class and just enjoying it. I hate being away from my family at night, but I have cut back to one hour, two nights a week. I contemplate how I can just get everything worked out to teach more. I also want to really get some more education on my chosen area of yoga, which is mental health.

My husband has combat related PTSD and I have Major Depressive Disorder, so naturally, yoga for mental health just clicked with me.

I really started making plans (while on the mat) to keep moving that education forward. I had been granted a scholarship for Warriors at Ease. I can do the class in a self-paced manner, but I need to put the other projects aside and step it up.

Then I started to think about the struggles my husband and I have in our personal/family life, especially with his PTSD…..I was waiting for him to get home last night and while talking to him on the phone, I opened up Facebook (I told you I couldn’t sit still). An advertisement popped up for a teacher training to work with Veterans in St. Louis, MO. It’s only about 90 minutes from me AND it’s over my birthday weekend. How perfect for us to spend the weekend as a family in St. Louis? (Here’s to hoping the Blues are home that weekend for pre-season!)

It seemed too perfect…and it seems maybe between the oven breaking, the desire to only write novels and closed freelancing doors, this was the answer.

I suppose it’s too soon to say, though I also found another online free training for businesses who work with veterans just on accident last night.

I ran all of this by my mom who also believes all these things are happening because I am faithfully asking for God’s help (but remember I already know I’m a shitty Christian) so sometimes it seems like he should not have the time or desire to answer me….but I guess I can start on this path and find out!

Life · Writing & Publishing

Happy Birthday, Fix Your Liver

It’s been a busy few weeks since I last posted, but I wanted to stop and check in with you!

A few weeks ago I started teaching yoga again! I rented a space on Monday nights at a pop-up shop in the next town, and it’s going GREAT! Sadly, this cuts into my writing time, but I really love my time on the mat. Three straight hours of yoga is great for the body….especially as it ages!

Right? Wait! What?

If you count back 40 weeks from this week, you land on New Year’s Eve/Night. With the most popular birthday being October 5th, you can pretty much assume all of us first week of October babies are the result of some hard core partying on the part of our parents as they rang in the New Year. I apparently am no exception, with my birthday being October 6th.

Last week I went to the doctor for a routine checkup and to refill my depression medication. No big deal, right? WRONG. She thought it would be cool to stick me with a needle and draw some blood. (I had Talia with me and she scored not one, but TWO toys even though I had to give up the blood!!) Anyway, I didn’t think much of it, and moved on with my day. The next day though, the doctor called….and told me she needed more blood. Apparently, Dracula didn’t care for my elevated liver enzymes and wanted to do further testing.

Seriously? I’m turning 36, not 86!!!! (Though we all outlived Hugh Hefner, which I did NOT think would happen!)

So after I told Bill what was going on, and called my mother in a panic, and then my dad (demanding an extensive family history…none of which included liver disease) I turned to the World Wide Web for answers….

Here’s a pro-tip for you….if your doctor tells you something might be up, don’t get on the web. If you do this, you will convince yourself you are dying of some foreign disease not in existence for the last 300 years.

Me? I thought I was dying of liver cancer…..

I’m not dying of liver cancer.

My doc called back today and told me I had high cholesterol and had to stop my medication for ADHD because it could EFF you up! (I’m looking at you Lily Pharmaceuticals).

Thankfully, I just need to take a new medication and stop they other medication. I did however jump on Amazon and order liver cleanser…..I know, I know, but what can it hurt? It made me feel a bit better for about an hour.

So tomorrow is a new start. I’ll be 36 (still in my MID-30’s…..not late 30’s yet) and I hope with the new trip around the sun, I can be more diligent about posting on this blog! Be assured, if you don’t hear from me, I’m okay. I’m working on writing my next novel and doing a lot of freelance work! OH! How could I forget??? Hockey is also back as of tonight (I write as I sit in front of my TV). Hopefully I’m a better fan this year. Last year I was working so much, I didn’t log in much fan time.

#GoBruins

#BruinsForLife

Here is a picture of Talia when she turned 1!!!!! #HockeyBabyHockey Baby.jpg

 

Military Spouse Life

Happy Birthday, Talia

Today is our daughters 2nd birthday. I haven’t had time to do a true blog post, so I’ll post some pictures of the coolest kid ever….and a few celebrities. 




Brendon Ellis of the SC Stingrays during a benefit for Breast Cancer. 




Our favorite radio guy in Charleston, Mr. TJ Phillips. We were in line with my sweet friend Missy to meet…


Trisha Yearwood and her sweet sister!

Yes, it’s Paula Deen, her very lovely husband, and my sister from another mister, Beka! Paula Deen grabbed Talia right from my hands!

















The last three were today! Happy birthday, baby girl!

Life · Writing & Publishing

Settling In!

While adding a new member to the family always requires an adjustment period, I’m happy to report things are going well with our new family member.

Talia thinks Liam is hers!



We love how much she loves him. She’s not the only one….


This is Addison. Her mom is one of my BFF’s.


Addison’s brother, Ellison….


Their talented mom, Selena. Selena is a newborn photographer and we were so excited to do pictures of Liam.



So far, this is the only one we have back. She’s so busy with sessions, it will be a few weeks before we see them all. This picture is one of my favorite EVER!

Here Selena was editing AND holding Liam while I used her oven.


So why am I using her oven? Well, she had a session requiring a smash cake. Even though we closed the bakery and are moving next May, I still make her smash cakes. The problem? Our oven caught fire last week.

Thankfully no one was hurt, and it didn’t happen while we were evacuated, but there’s nothing like waking up to the smell of something burning INSIDE your house. 

When I woke Bill, he insisted someone was burning toast. Um, there’s no reason we should be smelling someone’s burnt toast in our house. Sure enough, he went into the kitchen and the INSIDE of the oven was bright red. The oven locked itself shut as if it was on a clean cycle, and the only thing Bill could do was unplug the unit.

It took the fine people at GE almost a week to call us back. Our model wasn’t recalled, but they wanted to come look at it anyway. By the time they tried to finally come out, the landlord had replaced the unit. Pretty sure I won’t be buying any GE appliances anytime soon!

As if all this wasn’t enough, Bill and I started the next semester of school and Liam went to his first hockey game.


He basically slept through it all, even when daddy (Bill) was recognized as the Hero of the Game for his service in the USMC.




So proud of him!!!

I feel as though I can really get back to writing and querying over the next few weeks. I’m still tired, but not like I was when I was pregnant with Liam. November is National Novel Writing Month and it’s time for me to put out another novel! I’ll be sure to put together a bit about the idea and share with you over the next few days. Hopefully I can get out 50,000 words again this November, even with a toddler, newborn, school, and everything else!

Life

It’s a Boy!!!

After evacuating for the hurricane, we spent the first few days this week trying to get home, then both Bill and I had exams for school to make up because of the hurricane.

We then ended the week with the birth of this little guy. At 3:31 am, EST, on October 15th, we welcomed Liam Amos into the world! He’s a peanut at just 5.1 pounds and 18.5″! Everything went great and I managed to give birth naturally in water. We were home a few hours later. Big sister thinks he’s her personal snuggle baby and just loves him. She LOVES snuggling him and telling him about hockey!




Life

We Will Survive!

After being gone for a whole week….and taking two of those days just to get home, we made it!

Our house was left alone by hurricane Matthew, and we are truly blessed! I know there are so many people less fortunate than us! Right now, I’m home with Talia and Bill is out with the (animal) rescue, helping those who are struggling with a broken levy upstate. It’s a small thing in the scheme of things, but we are really hoping he and the rescue get those animals out and safe!

In the end, we basically ended up with a trip to see family and Talia scored pumpkins! The kid LOVES pumpkins….. We also learned the proper way to sneak dogs in and out of hotels!

The day before we heard we had to leave, I started working on some soaping products for my business, Sugar Pie Spa Company. The idea was the products would be in a local magazine. I have no idea if they were able to get it put together before the storm. Here is what I was working on:

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Then we heard we had to go…..the Birth Center where we are due to have Liam had to close, so my father being the closest parent, won getting us all at his house in PA!

Bill and I are both from up north. Give us a blizzard or nor’easter any day of the week. When someone says “hurricane,” it’s time to go! My dad didn’t hesitate when I told him we were coming with 5 dogs, 4 cats, a toddler, 2 trucks, and me at 37-38 weeks pregnant to take over his house!

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Talia loves exploring at Grandpa and Ga-Ga’s house (she calls his girlfriend Ga-Ga!). Here daddy is showing her a woolly caterpillar.

The dogs love their GIANT fenced in lot:

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Pretty sure they could do without the sounds of the cows next door, but other than that, they enjoyed being outside in such a large, previously unexplored area.

Then it was off to a local farm for pumpkins. I have no idea why, but Talia LOVES pumpkins!

We then went to my mom and step-dad’s in CT. Another trip in the car, but again, worth it!

Talia was so excited to go to Stew Leonard’s. She LOVED seeing Stewie the Duck from one of her favorite books. She also loved the giant pumpkins and getting to push ALL of the buttons at the petting zoo.

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She also loves exploring Nene’s house. Nene is my grandmother, so Talia’s GREAT grandmother. Nene has lots of cool things in her house and so do Grandma and Grandpa, so she just spent two days exploring!

Then it was back to my dad’s to see the Hershey Bears! It was Talia and Bill’s first AHL game! In the middle of all this (the 6th) I also had a birthday……so we used this as our little birthday celebration! I mean, who doesn’t want to celebrate their birthday with HOCKEY?!!!!????

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Everyone had a GREAT time, even though the Bears lost. Thankfully, it was just pre-season! The best part was getting to see several of our Stingrays who moved up from here in Charleston, to Hershey!!!

Finally, we were given the all clear and were allowed to head back to Charleston. Sadly, there were parts of North Carolina just DESTROYED by rain and hurricane Matthew. Our 9 hour trip turned into two days. We sat on I-95 for 3 hours at one point, trying to go 2 miles.

Thankfully, even in 2 vehicles, all was well. The dogs pretty much slept, and Talia was just really well behaved. There was a lot of pushing and shoving in line trying to get where people had to go, most places didn’t have fuel, lots of places were just closed, and so much was under water. It was hard at the time, but I had to keep remembering we had a home to go to and we lost nothing. Not everyone was so lucky. It was hard at 1 am, trying to find a hotel to take dogs that was not already booked solid, not to lose my $h!+, but we managed. The tire Bill had a nail in also held up until we got back into Charleston. Talk about God watching our butts! Stopping on the side of the road with no spare tire (that’s a long story, but we had the OTHER tire have an issue right before we had to leave) with so much debris, water, trees down, both vehicles, dogs, Talia, etc, would have been a nightmare!

Hopefully with our upcoming move back north, we don’t have to deal with a hurricane again….and especially not at 38 weeks pregnant (I was seriously praying the whole time NOT to go into labor!!!!) So now it’s time to get reorganized, do all this crazy laundry, and get back to writing and making soap!

How did you make out in the hurricane? Did it come near you?