Monday, April 30, 2012

Sue's take on perfection.

Hey guys.. today I bring you Sue.. she's kind of a big deal.  But luckily she is letting me swap blogs with her today.  So if you are looking for my post you can find it over at Hello. Also, I love you.  Sue lives in Japan.. a very far away land, and blogs about many great things, not just one topic, but many.  I highly suggest her blog to each and every one of my readers.. so without further ado, here's Sue.. (I rhymed.)






Hello Amanda's lovely readers! I'm Sue and I blog over at Hello. Also, I love you. I live in Japan with my husband and my puppy. I write about the ups and downs of life and everything in between. I try to always be honest with myself and others in my writing. I don't have anything that I consider my "specialty" in blogging. I'm terrible at WIW, recipes, and crafts, although I sometimes attempt each of them. If you have some time come visit my blog and say hello- I love to make new friends!


Amanda and I are swapping blogs today to talk about something our world is obsessed with. Perfection. It seems like that's what we're all chasing, doesn't it? We want to be the perfect wife, the perfect daughter, the perfect mom, the perfect sister, the perfect girl. We see someone skinnier than us and think if I had her body I'd be so happy. We see someone prettier than us and think I wish I looked like that. Then I remember that every skinny girl I know has something else she hates about her body and every pretty girl I know has something she'd change about her face. I don't know anyone who lives in perpetual happiness with who they are and how they look. And it's because we're all chasing that elusive thing called perfection. 

But here's the secret no one tells you when you're growing up: There's no such thing as perfect. Our idea of perfect is really just a lie. If you lose those 5 pounds you're complaining about are you going to be perfectly content with your body? Probably not. You'll find something else you want to change. It's a vicious cycle and the only way to change it to to make the change inside ourselves. The picture of me above? I can tell you 5 things I hate about how I look. Or I can tell you that I look cute and happy and that's what's really important. I know that my body isn't perfect, that I am not perfect, but slowly I'm coming to accept that it's okay. And just because I'm okay with who I am doesn't mean I'm going to stop changing. I work out, I eat healthy (most of the time), I take care of my body. There's nothing wrong with wanting to lose a little weight, or changing a feature about yourself, as long as you know that doing it doesn't make you a better person- and it won't make you "perfect." 

If you're a beautiful person on the inside you will be a beautiful person on the outside. 
And at the end of the day, perfection is overrated. 
I prefer to just be me.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

On My Mind.

Piston and I have returned to the "norm".. not willingly.. but rather, duty calls and we must answer.  The lake was fabulous and needed.  I can't recall the last time I just sat back, with just enough cell reception to send texts, but be disconnected from everything else (fb, twitter, etc) and enjoy a weekend.. not planning every second of each day.  And although there were no real plans, the weekend worked out perfectly.


Between roadtripping down in the backseat with Piston, breaking a 25 year old Corelle plate (supposed to be unbreakable, and up until this point they have proven to be just that.  I got high fives for managing to break it, rather shatter it into a billion small pieces), walking to the water, having a lunchtime BBQ with part of Rob's family, showing the lake to my longtime friend Derek, giant "water-bowl" drinks and puppy dog ice cream.. the weekend was exactly as the first weekend of spring break SHOULD be.

& here are other things on my minddddddd-
  • it's hot. I'm not a fan.  Me and 90 degrees don't mix.  Maybe it's the hair color that makes me hate it?  Supposed to be 50 this weekend and you know what.. I'm okay with that.
  • got word today one of my nearest and dearest friends is headed to Kansas next weekend and I am so excited.  You have no. idea.
  • my husband is amazing.. period end of story.  One of my friends is going through a rough time lately, Rob knows this and he left a post on said friends wall that made me so proud to call him my husband.  He always knows when to show how big his heart is.. and I love him to the moon and back for that.
  • been devising a plan for a vow renewal at the lakehouse for our 5 year wedding anniv.  Free venue.. lake to play on all weekend.. enough land space.. could DIY the whole thing practically.. but would still get the white wedding I'd want.  (Did you just start singing that "white weddddding" song by Billy Idol?)
  • now I am singing the White Wedding song by Billy Idol.  Picture that folks.
  • I love this idea:
    "Make a husband pact with your friends.The husband pact says this: I promise to listen to you complain about your husband even in the most dire terms, without it affecting my good opinion of him. I will agree with your harshest criticism, accept your gloomiest predictions. I will nod and furrow my brow and sigh when you describe him as a hideous ogre. Then when your fight is over and love shines again like a beautiful sunbeam in your life, I promise to forget everything you said and regard him as the most charming of princes once more. The husband pact is very useful because you want to be able to vent to your friend without having her actually start hating your husband. Because you don’t really mean all those things you say. And she, the swearer of the pact, knows this."
  • I redid my button again.. there was just something that didn't spark my creativity about the old header and button.. so I fixed it. :)  Here is the new code if you would be so kind as to add it to your page:
    Somewhere Over the Camo
  • do I have your button on my page?? If I don't please let me know!!
  • I kind of want to start a weekly or monthly link up.. but I'm not crafty, or a foody, or a fashionista.. so I'm stuck on what to do.  What would you guys like to see more of?
  • Finally---I am SO ready for this weekend... 
and that is how I know I am getting old.  When I am so ready for the weekend almost as soon as the last weekend ends.  :)

What is up with all you pretty people??

Always,
Amanda

Friday, April 20, 2012

I survived...

Another session at DeVry is done.. and more importantly so is my web animation class. :)
Whew, huge sigh of relief!

And now, I'm on Spring Break.  In April? I know.  Kind of strange, but I'm okay with it.


I am so excited about this next week off.. this last session at DeVry was a huge pain in the neck.  One class was easy and the other was not.  I just couldn't grasp it.. unfortunately.  Which made the last 4 days absolutely awful.  But I'm done.  I can catch up on that huge stack of reading for the next week.. I can relax about due dates and most importantly.. I can go to the lake this weekend.


Ah, yeah.
Have a great weekend y'all!

Always,
Amanda

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Proper Wording.

Sometimes I can dream of blog posts all day.  The correct wording, the clever pictures drawn out through the most fabulous description words possible and even what images I will use to highlight my point.  Then when it comes time to sit down and actually put my thoughts onto "paper" everything just sounds silly.  I am almost self conscious.  What are my readers thinking of my words?  Do they laugh? Nod in agreement? Think I am just being silly?  I love seeing comments pop through that share the thoughts that my readers have after reading my thoughts, rants, celebrations about life.  It's almost like a validation.  I am successful in proving my point.  Which is exactly how I imagine every blogger feels when they get a reaction from a reader.  I've grown to love this feeling but I find myself picking and choosing my words more often.  To convey my feelings in the most direct approach while still evoking a reaction from you all.  Is this normal?

Maybe that is why this is the second time I have sat down to try and produce a post about this last weekend.

Round two. Let's go.

Last weekend was a blink and you miss it type of weekend.  I'm afraid that every weekend between now and Rob coming home is going to be that way because as of right now.. there is something planned for every weekend between now and then.  But believe me I am absolutely not complaining about that one.  The distraction is more than welcome.  I guess it is safe to say though that the deployment has luckily started to speed back up again... hip hip hooray.  **Knock.On.Wood**

Grand things accomplished this weekend:
-My first 3D movie.. I successfully watched, with no "I'm-about-to-get-sick" moments.  Titanic 3D was great.  Titanic period is great.  But when the characters come to life in a three dimensional aspect it draws you in all the more.  One of the patients at work told me last week that until you have seen Titanic on the big screen you have not truly seen Titanic.  I do agree with her.
-Celebrating Mom's birthday with dinner and then the movie was time well spent.  Again, my parents are the best and I am very thankful to have them around.  I love how my mother can sit and let me talk about everything weighing on my mind for hours, and not complain once about repeat stories, or how ridiculous I might sound.  Probably a mom thing though.. and someday I hope to provide that comfort for my children.
-An important detail of my relationship with my husband is no longer a contributing factor.  As of Saturday we are a one car family.  It is bittersweet in the fact that the Civic was such a big deal early in our relationship.  Rob purchased it fresh out of basic training and it has gone many places since then.  Recently the Civic has been nothing more than a bump on a log taking up valued parking outside of my apartment building (for which I am sure my neighbors hated..), so Rob finally pulled the plug and to Carmax it went with the intentions of replacing it come July.  So far, no tears have been shed.
-Midwest Massacre 2012, as my sister's friend called it, occurred over the weekend.  Friday afternoon I logged online, and one of my friends just a mile from my apartment had posted an image of the expected severe weather impact locations for the weekend.  Cue my nervous energy.  I am totally okay with thunderstorms.  You throw in the word severe or a TorCon value ("the likelihood of tornado activity within a given time period-source) of 9 (out of 10, mind you) and I'm done for.  Especially since I live on the third floor of an apartment building.  I promptly called my parents and asked told them Piston and I were on our way for a sleepover.  We ended up staying Friday and Saturday night.. and Kansas City MAYBE got some rain.  Y'all can thank me... if I would have stayed at my apartment it would have been mass destruction.  Better safe than sorry though. (Sidenote, there were parts of Kansas and other Midwest states that saw severe damage--I'm keeping them in my thoughts, and you should too!)
Result of massacre weekend=tired puppy.
-I had grand plans to scrub every inch of the kitchen and tackle the last of the dishes.  That way I could put a call in to maintenance and get my dishwasher fixed, finally.  Due to the unexpected planned massacre, nothing was accomplished.  I'm okay with that.
-Since it is Spring time in KC (hello GAWGEOUS weather!!) the topic of bad weather has come up more than once.  I am fully aware I can not always pack up and head to my parents when bad weather comes.  So this weekend I called up the apartment complex to ask them where the tornado shelters are in the apartments/complex.  This is what I was told: To get in the tub.  This was what I figured my best solution was, as I have lived in Kansas my whole life and they start teaching tornado safety at a very very young age. She then went on to tell me that I could also make friends with my neighbor on the first floor (because relying on someone to be home when weather strikes is a good idea..) OR I could come up to the office... they have a basement but the maintenance guys use it for their shop, so it is full of golf carts, which may not make it the safest and they aren't always there (yes, she told me that... I'm dead serious) OR I can find out when the church across the street is open as they have a basement (a. it's not really across the street.. it's like down the street. b. I'm not going to run to the car with my furbaby and get in it to DRIVE to my tornado shelter..). I was floored.. I mean really?
-Mom and I were lucky enough to get a few hours to shop on Saturday.  I picked up the most fabulous boat shoes ever.  They aren't Sperry's, but I am in. LOVE. AND, I have found my dress for Rob's homecoming. I am way ahead of the game, and dang it I am so glad.
-Monday marked day one of working out again.  Except I didn't do it in the complex gym.  I just couldn't bring myself to actually break a legit hardcore sweat.  Is that weird?  Instead Piston and I walked about a mile and a half around the neighborhood.  Which was a workout by itself.  My dog insists on pooping.. in every single yard.  It's absurd, and I usually end up dragging him around the neighborhood cause he isn't really pooping anything.  I'm sure I look like a crazy lady, but I get my workout in.  So it is definitely a win/lose situation that always ends up with me swearing up and down that it is the LAST time Piston gets to go on a walk that direction ever again.  Today we walked again.. much shorter though and our usual path so that there was no crazy pooping schemes from my dog.  Of course he then walked with his head up.. silly dog.

So there you have it folks.  What you all have been missing out on due to my lack of proper wording that I could be proud of.  Sometimes I feel I am way harder on myself than I am should be.  But the end result is always something I am proud of.

P.S. Head on over to Sue's blog at Hello. Also, I love you. and read my April sponsor introduction.  I'm so excited to be sponsoring over there this month, and look for a guest post in the future!

Always,
Amanda

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Celebrations, Rants and Things.

It's Thur-Friday!  My third favorite day of the week (first being Friday, because I can sleep in with no alarm clock, second being Saturday, cause I have freedom) all because it is the last work day of the work week!  Which is what I, of course, had to remind myself as I rolled out of bed at the unfortunate time of too-early-for-Amanda this morning.  I was greeted by a chilly (read.. cold) cloudy morning.  Ideal for staying in bed with your fur friend, reading books and possibly more than likely sleeping.  Duty calls my friend and that work place just can't survive without me.  And that is the truth.

Anyway I had one task to accomplish today.  Mail out bachelorette party invitations for my best friend (sorry it took me so long Al!) over my lunch break.  And what do you know.. them post office people pulled a fast one on me.  It went down like this... I get to the counter, she rings up the other little package I was sending out.  I tell her I need stamps for the invitations (the stack was sitting in front of me..) and oh by the way can I mail them with these slightly raised stickers on there?  She informs me it will cost more to mail them because of the stickers.  I am like okay, I will just remove them.  So she goes and gets the stamps and comes back with 65 cent stamps.  Wait.. what?  I am removing the stickers... her response was that because the invitations are square it will cost more to send them.  Mind you, that is 20 cents more than normal stamp prices.  Unfortunately I was not feeling too fiery so I didn't argue her but take a look at this picture of the invitation envelopes (white) and a regular card envelope (purple) next to each other:
Need further proof?  Here is the envelopes on top of each other:
 
Obviously the envelope is maybe a centimeter taller than regular card ones (and that is even a small card envelope!) and shorter too.. there would be no reason for them to be priced differently... Rude lady.. RAWR.  Lesson learned I guess.  Argue. ;) Just kidding of course.. or am I?

In other fabulous news out of Kansas.. today is a VERY special day.  51 years ago today (don't get mad Mom, everyone knows about your successful 5-0 surprise party last year, so they can do the math as well!) my mother was hatched.  I am so excited to be here.. in the exact same state for her birthday this year.   I am very fortunate to be my parents daughter.  It may have taken me 22 years to realize how blessed and lucky I am, but believe me I recognize and respect the fact that I have two parents still madly in love (23 years later.. as of last Sunday!) who are there for me when I need them.  Especially during this deployment.  So on this day I am going to celebrate having such an awesome lady always backing me up, cooking home cooked meals for me and being just a phone call away whenever I need that wisdom only a Momma holds.
Oh and please look at how fortunate I am to be my Mother's daughter.. she is by far the youngest looking 51 year old I know!
Tomorrow we will celebrate together by seeing Titanic 3-D... my first 3-D movie (I am excited about everything BUT the price.. yikes) and going to dinner.  Otherwise this weekend is looking like homework, rainy weather and cleaning!  Story of my life.  :)

Hope everyone else has a darn good weekend!  YOU deserve it!

Always,
Amanda

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

I am HONORED.

So today while reading through my list of blogs.. I came across Erika at Chambanachik's post about the Military Blog Award nominations currently going on here.

As she puts it so well:
"To those outside the military blogging community, you might not know what that means-
it's kind of our version of the Oscars!"

Needless to say you can guess how excited I was to get to page two and see I had been nominated!  (Thanks Rachel!!)

It is pretty simple to vote.. click the little thumbs up next to the nomination on this page.
If you want to nominate a blog, leave a comment with their blog name, link and a link to their about me.

I guess you could say this is me shamelessly tooting my own horn.
This lady is one happy blogger!

---

Today is one of those days.
Those **sigh** I love life days.

If you don't live in Kansas, don't keep up with Kansas happenings or you are not friends with someone who is in Kansas, you probably don't know how GORGEOUS the weather has been lately.  A week ago I thought mother nature was going to pull a quick one on us and totally skip spring.. but nope.  It is here, and goodness gracious it is more than welcome.  After seeing my nomination, I came cruising home from work floating on a cloud.  I stopped and picked up my favorite broccoli cheddar soup (Jason's Deli), I jammed to the best country music ever and I didn't even yell at that one person that always merges WAY too late.  I opened the windows, turned on the fans, switched all my Scentsy's on and took the dog outside.  And now?  Now I am settled on the couch with a full belly and some GREAT DVR'd TV shows lined up for the evening.  To top it all off, tomorrow I get to sleep in.  What did I say about being a happy blogger?

I was going to photograph the hot air balloons.. but they showed up as little dots.
Instead you get ANOTHER picture of my fur child.
P.S. Look at that green green grass.. it rained for a week straight and that was the result.
The only thing that might have made the day a smidge better would be if the opportunity was there to do "redneck" things with my husband.. such as fishing, BBQing with beeeeer and cruising with said country music blaring.. wait, those aren't redneck things?  My bad. :)

I hope each and every one of you gets the chance to have one of these days too.

Always,
Amanda

Monday, April 9, 2012

A glorious day.

So after a fantastic weekend full of getting things done early, spending time with great friends and family.. and an especially glorious Easter Sunday.. we at this here apartment are pooped...

But I wanted to drop in and wish you all a happy Easter, even though it is a tad late.  I hope it was everything you wanted on this special day and more.

I shall leave you with this...

Always,
Amanda

Friday, April 6, 2012

MilSpouse First Friday Fill-In

Today I am linking up over at Wife of a Sailor for:


1. What’s one thing in the past month you would have changed?
The obvious answer for me is that I wouldn't have had my husband go back to Kuwait!  And if he absolutely HAD to go back, I'd stretch his R&R out a bit more.

2. What was your favorite thing that happened in March? 
Definitely the first week.  Getting to be with my husband for just a few precious days.  Another couple highlights from this month.. our anniversary and Piston's birthday.

3. Check your phone... who was the last person you called and what is your favorite thing about them?
I last called the Pet Ranch.. which is where I board Piston when I'm going to be gone overnight or all day sometimes.  My favorite thing is that they exhaust my dog in such a short amount of time to the point that he is a lazy bum for 1 to 2 days after, it's awesome.

4. If you were a crayon, what color would you be and why?
Purple seems to be my color of choice right now.  It is a girly and fun color but I think it still conveys maturity and emotions.  (Look at me getting all deep and stuff!)

5. What are you looking forward to in April?
Besides being another month closer.. my Mom's birthday, my Spring Break (not for another 2 weeks!)  Staying the night at my parents new lake house for the first time.  And my best friends bachelorette party!

Happy weekend y'all!

Always,
Amanda

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Pity party of one.

So, I have been feeling a bit emotional/stressed out/mental freakish lately.  I can't say that I can pin point it on one exact thing though.  I just feel overwhelmed, and I am not sure how to react/handle it.  At all.

It is not like I just had a baby.. or my husband just came home or is close to coming home from deployment.  It is not like I just started or quit a job.. it is not like I just got a new dog.. it is not like I lost someone really close to me, but yet I feel this huge emotional shift like something major just happened.

Maybe this is the downside to after R&R?

I mean lets face it.. I am Over (with a capital O) this deployment.  I am beyond ready to have my husband home, so I can quit being the third wheel with practically everyone.  So I can quit having to explain to Piston that the loud car pulling up is not his daddy, and that the beep of that person locking their car door does not mean his daddy is about to walk through the door.  So I can quit trying to figure out what the appropriate answer is when someone asks "how are you doing" and "how is your husband doing" (we aren't together.. so how good can either of us be?? I mean really..).. so I can quit getting frazzled when technology or appliances have a freak out moment.  So I can quit coming home to another mundane evening of watching TV alone on the couch (especially cause P doesn't like to cuddle until it is most inconvenient for me!) and so I can quit being the only one responsible for taking Piston outside... but most of all so that at times like this, at almost 2 in the morning, I can quit having a million thoughts run through my head (good, bad, otherwise) but rather relish in the fact that my husband is home.. --> over there, where he should be... I'm just ready for that.

Is that too much to ask?

Or maybe I am feeling this emotional shift because we finally got word on where the next step in our military life is going to take us.  There are a billion things to be done of course, and although it seems like FOREVER until Rob comes home, frankly it is really not too long.. and definitely not long enough to accomplish everything that needs done before this next step.  (Look for more detailed information early Summer.. sorry y'all going to have to keep it on the DL for just a bit longer.)

Or maybe it is because this web animation class at school is seriously trying to kill me.  First class in over 6 months at DeVry that I absolutely HATE.  It makes me really wish that I actually attended classes rather than just logging on three times a week... that's how bad it is.  I'm just ready for school to be over..

Or maybe certain family/friend situations at this current point in time are making me look in the mirror for gray hairs.  That is how much stress they give me and anxiety they cause me.  I have been told by my loving husband that I can't let them get to me that much.  If only it were that easy babe.. It is my natural instinct to take on other people's problems (maybe I missed my calling?) and offer solutions and advice.  If I spent HALF as much time worrying about all that as I do now, I'd be considerably less frazzled all the time.  Or at least I would assume.

Or maybe it is the three hampers of laundry and the dishes that just won't magically go away until I take care of them.  I haven't touched laundry since Rob left and now I've gotten myself into an unending hole I am sure.  Way to go Amanda.. I vow to NEVER let it get this messy again.. once I get it all taken care of again. Which will hopefully be soon because knowing that I have that much laundry and dishes waiting on me almost causes an ulcer.

At the end of the day, whatever the reason may be.. I have found myself contemplating crying more often than not lately.  Which is SO messed up.. I mean yeah Kansas basically skipped spring in freaking March of all times and it's hotter than it should be (except today..) which makes me mad, but it's not like it is rain and doom and gloom everyday.. so what gives universe?

But don't you worry about me.. as Kelly Clarkson has taught me.. "what doesn't kill ya makes you stronger.." and I have faith that the sun will shine in my head here soon enough.




P.S. I am absolutely NOT pregnant, kthanksbye.

Always,
Amanda