Monday, June 16, 2014

My DSFY Journey

I'm learning that I do have to take care of myself. Who I was 6 years ago, is NOT the woman I am today. Back then, I would have never thought that I was strong, or capable. I was sure I was going to live on as a single mother just me and my girl Z. 

Now life has brought on changes, and challenges. But I haven't taken time out for me Well, a couple weeks ago I finally did something for me!!! I had a "Boudoir" Photo Shoot done!!! And I know there are probably plenty of you out there who are thinking "wow, thats brave. I couldn't even begin to think that I could do that looking the way I do now..", well, I'm here to tell you that you CAN!!! I'm going to let you in a a little secret, I'm not a size 8!!!!! As a matter of fact, you have to add a 1 to the front of that to get my size!! Yep, thats right, I'm a size 18. This is the biggest I've ever been, and hopefully this is the biggest I'll ever be! I wasn't sure what I was getting myself into?! Was this going to make me want to run and hide in a carton of ice cream? Well, you be the judge…
While this isn't one of the racier photos, it was one of my favorites! It captured my personality and I think I look pretty darn good! And here is one that I was able to crop and post…
This one… this is one of the best ones… I have my top 3, and this is one of them!! A very good friend of mine is an amazing photographer!! She is able to transform women who might be a little scared, or feel a little unsure about the way they see themselves into gorgeous pieces of art!! I ended up giving the finished photos to mu husband for Father's Day, and he about fell over with surprise! He had no idea that I did this, and was probably just as surprised as I was with the results. Don't get me wrong, my husband thinks I am the most beautiful woman in the world (I don't always agree) but he hasn't seen me all dolled up in a very long time!! 

And dolled-up is what I got!! I am a professional make-up artist by trade, but just like with life as we know it now, it becomes very difficult to find time to even shower some days, let alone do hair or make-up. When you are spending days taking care of a wounded soldier, two kids, animals, a house… it takes its toll on a person. 

You can find time for YOU!! Even if its a matter of taking yourself out for a short drive, go down to your favorite spot and just breath in the fresh air for 20 minutes. No reading, no pampering, no phone calls… just you and your self for 20 minutes. At least twice a month.  You can find time for you. 

This journey is just getting started for me. You can begin your own journey, just make the first step. Plan a date for yourself. If it makes it easier, make a date with a friend. Just get out and away from "life" for 20 minutes. 

I have plans for me coming up and I will continue to post my "DSFY" so you can be inspired too!!

Listening to: Dr Phil is on in the back ground

Luke 18:27 Jesus replied, "What is impossible with man is possible with God"

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Adventures in DSFY Wonderland...

As far as remembering to do something for myself goes, this week I pretty much rocked it. I had the opportunity to check off some major bucket list items, and get some much needed me-time, along with having a chance to spend some  quality time with the hubs, kiddos, and the bestie!

This week was fairly stressful at work, so in order to retain my sanity and keep my promise -to myself and all of you- of remembering to take time to do things that are important to me, I planned a few fun filled weekend (which actually started mid-week) to decompress, unwind, and relax. This weekend has been fantastic, and it all started with a book, and one amazing author!

On Thursday night I went to a book signing of one of my favorite authors, Emily Giffin. Emily Giffin is an author best known for her books Something Borrowed, and Something Blue. Something Borrowed was actually adapted into a film starring Ginnifer Goodwin and Kate Hudson. You may have seen it already since it opened in theaters a few years ago, but just in case you haven’t, I’ll add a cover photo of the movie poster.

The signing was to promote her new book The One & Only and was held at Barnes and Noble in Los Angeles- it was incredible! I got there a little late due to traffic, but I was just in time to hear the last 30 minutes or so of Emily’s discussion and Q &A, and of course get my collection of books signed! Emily was great- she was funny, down to earth, such a sweetheart, and overall a joy to be around. Since I was nearly dead last to have my books signed, I had the rare opportunity to have a great one-on-one session with Emily, which pretty much made my week, and cemented my resolve in believing that Emily and I are now total BFF’s.

 The only unfortunate event of the night was that I completely spaced and forgot my memory card to my camera, so I pretty much missed out on taking any pictures while at the signing (that, and I just saw the exact same book- 6 dollars cheaper- at target already signed! But I digress). I did however take a snapshot after I got home to share with all of you here.

The next day after work, I headed over to my best Jane’s house- Jane C- for an evening out that, that turned into an evening of Sangrias and Tapas at one of my favorite restaurants, Seville. We talked, laughed, and had bottomless Sangrias to the backdrop of Spanish guitars serenading us to our hearts content. We sat outside since it was so warm out- honestly the entire night was so much fun, and definitely needed.

The next day, the hubs and I, sis-in-law, and kiddos headed out to the California Science Museum to see the Space Shuttle Endeavor, and the Pompeii exhibition. As a side note, I’m not a total space geek, but something about The Endeavor has always fascinated and excited me. In truth, the thought of launching into the dark unknown of space scares the crap out of me, but the idea of witnessing first-hand the majesties of the stars, and moon peak my interest and definitely take my breath away.

We spent about 45 minutes to an hour at the Endeavor, walking through the exhibits the science center had in place to educate all of us on how the Endeavor mission came to be, and just what went into making it all come together. The tour was pretty fun, but after 45 minutes, we were all eager to head over to the hanger that held the actually space shuttle. It wasn’t until 5 minutes before the center closed that we were able to finally enter the hanger, and experience for ourselves the wonders of the Endeavor. I was moved- truly moved, and the wait was absolutely worth it. I’m sure you’ll understand once you see…

Before taking the Endeavor tour, I took the kiddos around to a few of the other exhibits the Science Center had to offer. They had a BLAST! The Frogman was SO stoked at having the chance to tinker with all the displays they had available for the kids. He at one point turned to me and said "Mom, this is the best place EVER!!".

After all the Endeavor and science geeky fun, I FINALLY had the chance to have a family photo taken of my entire crew in the middle of The Rose Garden.

Everyone was in such good spirits, and it truly showed as the sis-in-law and I took turns capturing snapshots of the kiddos, and the hubs, the outside of the Science Center, and the amazing flowers of The Rose Garden.

All-in-all, the day was absolutely fantastic and the week of DSFY was a total success!

What did you guys do for yourselves this weekend? Leave a comment and tell Em and I all about it!

Health and Wellness Everyone!

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

The Start of the Best...

Listening to: Isreal Kamakawiwo'ole Radio on Pandora
                    Henehene Kou 'Aka

It was January 2009. My friend T invited me to come to a "getting out of the Army" party with her. A girl she knew had just finished her med board process and was celebrating getting out of the Army and going home. My friend worked out at the WTB (Warrior Transition Battalion) as a civilian driver. I hadn't been out in a while, so I thought it might be good for me to get out of the house and just have an adult night. No pressure and NO guys for me!! I had decided some time before this that I wouldn't date another military guy… EVER AGAIN… They were too much drama… About 2 months prior to this party I had had a conversation with God about being single. At this time I had been a single mom for almost 4 years. I had dated a few guys, but nothing got serious. I had it up to HERE with guys, so I had a strong conversation with God and said "I'm done. If you want me to be a single mom for the rest of my life, then so be it. But I am done looking, I'm done being disaapointed. I give it to You". I'm guessing He was pleased with me finally giving up my sense of having to be in control. I was at peace with me. And I was going out with my friend to have a relaxing night.

We get out to the house and we're cooking on the BBQ, drinking and listening to music. More people show up. We're all just hanging out and having a good time. Some time later a few more people show up… and he walks in. Our eyes met as soon as he walked in the door. And I'm really not trying to be all sappy, but it literally felt like I knew him when I saw him. I turned to the friend that I had come with and asked her if I knew him, if he had ever come and hung out with us before, anything… she said "no". I asked what was wrong with him. He walked with a cane, but having been around a lot of the guys (and girls) out at the WTB, I knew that some of them were a little worse off than others. She said that he was injured, but that's all she really knew about him. Every so often we would catch each other looking, but it wasn't until he had been there for more than an hour that we finally talked to each other. The guys were being very typical Army guys, and giving each other crap. I was walking through the room and all of a sudden I'm grabbed and put in front of someone as a human shield. The guys had been acting "gay" with each other and he didn't like it, so he grabbed me, threw me in front of himself and yelled "tell them I'm straight… TELL THEM I'M STRAIGHT!!" I could not stop laughing. We ended up going off together to talk. We talked… and talked.. for about an hour. We talked about what had happened to him, where he had been and the fact that he was getting a divorce. We rejoined the rest of the party and at some point he had been cornered in the kitchen by another girl. I wanted to give him my number before I left, but when I saw him with the other girl, I figured that he wasn't interested, so I just left. No bye, no number.

About a week later, we met again, this time at the WTB. Z was with me that day. He came over and asked if he could buy her something from the vending machine and I said, "sure, if she'll talk to you". Please let me be clear~It was NOT ever my intention for S to meet Z that soon. Prior to meeting S, Z had only met 1 of the guys I had dated, and that was after 2 months of seeing each other. Well, Z let him give her the coins to put in the machine, and he helped her open the bag of goodies that she picked.

On Valentine's Day he gave me a ring, it was a promise ring. He knew, I knew, right away that we were falling fast. He told me that when the time was right (ie his divorce was over) that He would propose for real… that day finally came… over a year later. Lots of things happened between Feb 09 and April 2010. We moved in together, and moved again. Met some friends and lost some friends. Z had turned 5 by then. In April, we got a phone call from our lawyer, he had some papers on his desk that we had been waiting for… his ex finally signed the divorce papers!! This was it! We were finally going to be able to move on. And that was the day that life got moving very quickly. The papers were filed with the county on Thursday, we applied for our marriage license on Friday and that Monday, we were married. Him in his duty uniform and me in a gorgeous dress. In the office of the chaplain of the WTB. It was a very small quaint ceremony. The chaplain, us, Z, my parents, our best man and maid of honor and my nephew. That was one of the best days of our lives. He wanted to make sure that we (Z and I) were going to be taken care of.

This has been quite the journey. We've had ups and downs. We've been down some tough roads and on some amazing adventures!! This man God created for me is an astounding man. He has fought a life long battle against him. From family issues as a kid, joining the Army at an early age (17) to being in and out of the military (he had 16 years in, over a 25 year time frame), being married to someone who was abusive and then being injured in Afghanistan. I will get more into him on another post.

God has blessed me abundantly. And while not many could live the life I do, I wouldn't change it for anything!

"The keys to patience are acceptance and faith. Accept things as they are, and look realistically at the world around you. Have faith in yourself and in the direction you have chosen" ~ Ralph Marston
Listening to:
Artist: Katy Perry
Album: Prism
Song: Dark Horse