Tuesday, August 9, 2011


A good friend of my brother and sister-in-law was killed in Afghanistan this past weekend.  He piloted the Chinook helicopter that was shot down carrying 31 armed forces.  He leaves behind a 10 year old son, a wife of about four years, and so many comrades, friends, family, and loved ones that it's astounding.  

Personally, I only met him a couple times.  But I felt like I knew him a bit more thru my brother, sister-in-law, and mom.  They all knew him well, and are reeling from this loss.  My brother and SIL served with him overseas when they were deployed nearly a decade ago, and those friendships have been so rock solid.  That whole group of soldiers has remained close, and has been there for each other constantly.  

My heart breaks into pieces when I think of his son.  Ten years old, and just days away from his dad coming home on leave.  My heart breaks when I think of his wife, who now has to face her future without the love of her life.  

This fucking war we have going on is robbing families of their loved ones non-stop.  I don't know what the answer is, but things like this sadden me immensely.  

I feel weird feeling sad about the death of a young man I barely knew, but then again I know the impact he had on three of the people I love most in this world.  

I'm not sure what all even want to accomplish in this post.  Just getting thoughts out of my head, I guess. I know that this is going to impact my family members for years to come.  I don't know how to be there for them...   I ache inside for them and the family of the deceased.  

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Books I want to read

I'm a reader.  Always have been.  I am always reading SOMETHING, and my love for my Sony Reader is in no small part due to the fact that I can carry hundreds of books with me AT ALL TIMES.

Being a reader, it's probably no wonder that I read a billion blogs.  I recently ran across the blog Back To Her Roots, which I can relate to in so many ways.  I've been devouring her older posts, reading, nodding my head all "preach it sister!", etc.  Today I read her post where she is giving away some books written by healthy bloggers, as part of her blogiversary celebration.  Of course, I've entered the contest to win (this blog post is part of my entry!), and I'm really looking forward to reading Operation Beautiful by blogger Caitlin Boyle of Healthy Tipping Point.  I'm excited about all the books, but this one really speaks to the stuff I'm working on right now.  Truth be told, if I don't win the contest, I'm probably going to buy it myself.

I'm also getting ready to read Bossy Pants by Tina Fey.  I love her.  In fact, it's on my reader, awaiting my wandering eyes.

I sat next to a gal on an airplane a few weeks ago.  She was reading The Lolita Effect:  The Sexualization of Young Girls and What We Can Do About It.  I'm going to read this one shortly as well.  Since I have three nieces, I care about this.  A lot.  As a feminist, I care about this. A lot.

I read on the treadmill using my Reader.  That is pretty much the best way to run on the treadmill.  Ever. I can pass the time quickly while getting sucked into a book.  I mostly read fiction there.  I love funny chick lit books.  Not sappy shit (no Nicholas Sparks for me).  But stuff like Janet Evanovich, Kate Collins, and Mary Kay Andrews, etc.  Funny, some romance, some mystery, and just fun reads.  I always say I'm going to make myself get on the treadmill to read, but let's be honest...  I'm not going to restrict my reading.  No frickin' way.

To tie this post together nicely, several years ago, when my oldest niece was probably in first grade, my SIL gave me something she had drawn & written at school.  On it, she had drawn two people, one big, one small (her and me), holding hands.  Below it, she wrote "I want to be like my Ant."  Which, in and of itself, is heart-melting.  So her teacher asked her why she wanted to be like her Aunt.  Her response?  "She likes to read a lot and ride her bike."  Be still my beating heart.  If there were life lessons I would want to impart upon the impressionable kids in my life, reading and being active are two of the top ones. ::insertloveysmileyhere::

Monday, August 1, 2011

Inspiration from my soulmate

Have I talked about my soulmate?

No, not my husband.  He's a different kind of soulmate.  The kind I get to get dirty with.  Which is kind of confusing, since I got dirty with my other kind of soulmate this weekend at the Warrior Dash.  But I'm talking about different dirties and different soulmates here people.  Keep up, FFS!


So anyhoo, my hubs and I are soulmates in the doin'-it-like-bunnies sense.  I started to type out thar the is my soulmate in the romantic sense, but we are less romantic and more smart-assed, so that didn't sound right.

But let's talk about my other soulmate.  The hubs actually dubbed her as my soulmate, so I don't feel bad about this.

Have you ever read Anne of Green Gables by Lucy Maude Montgomery?  Well, if you haven't, the rest of this may not make any sense at all.  And you should go check that book out from the library.  Seriously.  Go do it right now.  It's one of the best books ever, and it has a big giant place in my childhood and heart.  I have read that book and seen the PBS movies MANY times.  It's the only book I can think of where the movie version didn't suck donkey balls.  In fact, I read the book not too long ago, because I had given a copy to my oldest niece for Christmas, and it reminded me how much I wanted to read it again.
Go read this book.  NOW.

So, in this book, a young orphan named Anne (spelled with an E, thankyouverymuch) comes to live with an unlikely couple of folks, thru an unusual set of circumstances.  Her neighbor across the way, Diana, is a girl her age, but very much (physically) unlike her.  They meet and instantly become fast, lifelong friends.  Anne refers to herself and Diana as kindred spirits.  They knew right away that they were meant to be friends.  And they remained friends forever.

I knew instantly that Bobbi Jo and I were going to be best buds.  We just clicked.  And of course, I, the nerdy bookworm,  thought of Anne of Green Gables and her kindred spirit Diana.  I just couldn't help but think of how Bobbi Jo is my kindred spirit, because we share so many interests, and she is just easy to be with.  As I was trying to relate this to my hubby one day, he was giving me this confused look, because as a dude, he did not grow up reading Anne of Green Gables.  In fact *gasp* he had never even heard of it.  Sinner.  Anyhoo...  he started referring to Bobbi Jo as my soulmate after I gave him this long drawn out description of her being my kindred spirit.

So after all of that, I wanted to talk about how she has inspired me lately.  She is fabulous.  And I love being in her presence, because I feel normal and less weird than usual.  We both like to run, we both used to be much heavier, we both like to read, we are both crazy about NFL football, and we just like the same stuff.  We laugh at the same stuff.  We married guys who are scarily similar.  And here's the kicker...  I "met" her online.  On a running forum.  And the first time I met her for reals, it was like we'd been besties since childhood.  We've now been to each others' homes for long weekends, done a few races together, and we text, email, and facebook all the time.  At the risk of sounding like a total stalker, she's just fucking fabulous.  And I want to make her stuff like friendship bracelets and inspirational flat rocks.  I'm not sure what's wrong with me.

Wonder what the hell I was talking about?  Tada.  Inspirational Flat Rocks.
This weekend, while we were just hanging out after the Warrior Dash, she cooked some incredible, healthy, fresh food for our meals.  It was amazing.  She took the time to make this nutritious food.  And when someone cares enough to make fabulous, nourishing food for me, I get all warm and fuzzy inside.  I've gotten ridiculously lazy when it comes to food lately.  There is no reason for it, other than I guess I want things to be easy & fast all the time.  But the amazing food she made was simple and delicious, and it reminded me of how much I used to enjoy cooking and trying new things.  

I can do that.  Why can't I?  I don't have kids, I have the time.  And investing time in ME, with nourishing real foods is an investment that will pay back a billion times over.  So I'm going to take a page out of my soulmate's book, and work on taking more time to cook nourishing, healthy meals for myself and my hubby.  Tonight I marinated and grilled chicken breasts, steamed edamame, and baked some potatoes.  Nothing crazy or gourmet, but nourishing, fresh, healthy, and tasty.

What a concept.