The Big “D”

After a wonderful Thanksgiving weekend catching up with family, I’m reminded how truly thankful I am. Our weekend was filled with laughter, teasing, games, lots of eating, playful twin nephews and tons of catching up as this was the first time in three Thanksgivings that all J’s siblings and parents were able to get together under one roof. It was truly a blessing to able to share this Thanksgiving with all of them.

Unfortunately our trip had to end with heartfelt goodbyes as J. Alabama will not be able to see them again for about a year due to his upcoming Army obligations.

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I assumed the role of army wife over a year and a half ago with the knowledge that my husband could potentially be sent over seas to fight for our country. He told me up front (even before we were married) all the little things that could come with army life.

Being the optimistic person that I am, as well as hearing all the talk of pulling out our troops I just assumed (hoped & prayed) we were exempt from any and all deployment talk. And honestly, as naive as it sounds I kind of liked it better thinking that our little family wouldn’t have to go through something like that.

But alas, it is something our little family is going to have to go through, and it will be happening fairly soon.

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I’m very proud of my husband for everything he has done already for our country, [this will be his second deployment, the first one with me] as well as everything he is setting out to do on this upcoming mission.

I am a mix of feelings and emotions as we embark on this new chapter in our short story thus far. There are so many thoughts and feelings that flood my mind when I think about my husband leaving to do the job that he signed up for. The job to protect me, our new little baby on the way, and our country.

It’s just a hard pill to swallow with all the other changes that I have been going through in the last few weeks, months and heck, I’ll say it…the last year.

It’s been one crazy ride over the last year and half, (getting married, moving across the country twice, and now being pregnant as I prepare for my husband to deploy) and I’m not even fully settled here at army post #2 and soon he’ll be gone.

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I know it’s all part of the job and the military wife stuff I signed up for, but to actually say the word deployment out loud is really really tough.

I’ve been trying to pull strength from some amazing ladies who have gone through this before me, or are currently going through the same thing now. I know it’s not going to be the easiest journey, especially due to our lil pumpkin on the way, but I know just like everything else we will persevere.

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For my fellow mil-spouses, do you have any tips/advice for gearing up for a deployment?

No longer Newlyweds

Today marks one year of wedded bliss! I can’t believe it either.

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As most couples would be pulling out a year old,  half eaten, semi freezer burnt piece of wedding cake, we are going to be toasting our first year with this lovely wine given to us at my bridal shower last year signed by our loved ones.  This seemed like an easier option with all of our moving adventures this past year.

I can’t even express how amazing this past year has been for the two of us.

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We’ve been through ups, downs, army stuff, and moving across the country but through it all it has made us even closer. And I honestly couldn’t imagine our life any other way.

From the moment of our first look one year ago…

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To now… I am thankful and blessed for this happy little life we have built together.

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Happy one year anniversary J. Alabama! ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

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Just for fun…a few fun “Wedding Wednesday’s” from last year.

Sweet Escape

J. Alabama and I were in need of a little getaway, even if that just meant hitting the road for a day adventure in nature.

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Pine Mountain lies just 30 minutes out of town and is full of amazing nature trails for hiking.

We picked a 6.7 mile trail for hiking and began our journey.

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There was so much beauty to take in on our little hike. And it was so peaceful.

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We picked this particular trail to hike because we were told of the spectacular waterfalls along the trail.   028 029

After about 2 hours of hiking I joked that “For some reason it doesn’t seem like a big deal for me to run countless miles for hours on end, but to hike 6 miles seems really hard!”

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Yeah, by mile 5.5 I was giving myself a little pep talk.

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And then we picked up the pace and added in a little trail running for the last mile. Now I know why people love it. It’s truly exhilarating to fly over rocks and dodge roots and just run in nature.

I’m thinking next time we run whole thing! 🙂

After three hours of hiking we were starving. So we decided to stop at Bon Vivant Cafe per recommendation of a friend.

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Oh my was this place the perfect little lunch stop. So cute!

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It had a very old fashioned and vintage feel.

I knew I was in love when they brought out these cute 8oz Diet Coke’s in the bottle.

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We first started with the cheese & fruit plate as an appetizer.

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Fresh grapes, strawberries, blueberries, and mango to pair with brie, jalapeño cheddar, and a pepper jack. Hit.the.spot!

When it was time to order our meal J. Alabama went with the House special, Rosemary Cheddar Waffles!

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Yes, it was quite an interesting combination of ingredients but it was truly delicious!

I opted for a roast beef sandwich stuffed with a horseradish sauce, caramelized onions and garlic. It was paired with a light and refreshing broccoli and cauliflower salad.

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I only ate half my meal because I was warned to save room for the homemade ice cream.  Homemade Vanilla Almond ice cream after a 3 hour hike, yes please!

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It was the perfect little treat to end such a sweet day with the husband.

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Who knew trail running rocked so much? I want to go again! 🙂

Valentine’s 5k Relay

♥Happy Valentine’s Day!!♥

We celebrated V-day a few days early and in the best way possible–by running a Valentine’s Relay Race together on Saturday!

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Go Team Awesome!

After a full day of fun [will post in another post], we were decked out in our Team Awesome shirts and vibrams ready to run!

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I wasn’t sure at first how the 5k relay would go down, but it was quickly explained that we would each alternate running 10 laps [five laps per person].

Each lap was roughly .31 of a mile — not too bad right?

Runner number one was to pass off the slap bracelet to runner number 2 once they completed their first lap. This signified that runner 2 was ready to start running.

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This race was actually pretty small, with only 36 teams in total. That made it easier to weave through people during the laps and easier to find J. Alabama during the transition.

The picture below is the first group of runners, getting ready to take off. Can you spot J. Alabama in the front left?

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I must also mention that it was something like 40 degrees. So everyone was freezing,  but it seemed to motivate us to run even faster once we got going.

The race started promptly at 5:00 pm and the first group of runners were off!

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The race route had us looping around Loco’s restaurant and a bunch of shops. There was also a pretty abrupt hill around the corner to add a little extra difficulty.

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In no time J. Alabama was finished with his first lap and handing off the slap bracelet for me to run my first lap.

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I thought only running .31 of a mile would be a cinch, but speed work is no joke friends.

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I ran my little heart out that first lap, while my lungs burned from the cold air.

The laps went by quickly though, and in no time at all J. Alabama handed me the bracelet for my final lap. He wished me luck and told me to RUN!

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I knew I still had some speed left in me, and gave it my all that last lap. I honestly don’t know how fast my laps were, but I was really flying on that last one.

I zoned in on the finish line, picked up the pace even more and passed a few people to the finish.

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We finished our 5k Relay in 22 minutes! That is way faster than any 5k I have ever ran solo. LOL.

We ended up placing 9th out of 23 husband/wife teams, and finished 15th out of 36 teams total. We were both happy with our finish considering it was all for love and fun!

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We were both completely smoked by the end of the race, with our muscles aching from running so swiftly. Which is a good thing!

With our entry fee into the race we also received two technical race shirts, and a $30 gift certificate to spend at the restaurant that we were running in circles around.

We both had a fun time racing together and agreed that even though we only ran 1.5 miles each, the relay style was a fun format and the fact that we got to race together and have a fun dinner afterwards made it all worth it.

Check back later this week for more Valentine’s Adventures. 🙂

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Have you ever ran in a short relay race? Have you ever ran in a night race?

I’ve done two other relay races, but nothing so short and quick as this. And all my races have been in the morning so the adjustment to racing at night was a bit different.

Triple workout kinda day

Yesterday was an amazing day workout wise!

And not only because I hit up one yoga class and one zumba class, but because I found this guy running through the neighborhood as I was heading out for my second run of the year.

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I don’t often run with the hubs because his slow speed equates to my fastest speed, but I honestly didn’t care what speed we ran at. I just desperately wanted someone to run with.

The weather was beautiful, sunny and warm which is a big difference from all the grey skies, tornado warnings and rain showers we‘ve endured for the last few days.

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And our easy for him, pretty hard for me run through the neighborhood was GLORIOUS.

I may have been huffing, puffing, and struggling to even try to keep up a conversation but it was still glorious.

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I felt every bit of the humidity in my lungs as I ran, but I appreciated that I could still run 2.25 miles without stopping.

As you read last week, I’m slowly easing back into running. 1 mile there, two miles here. And next time we’ll try for three! 🙂

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I should look happier for completing my second run of the year, but honestly I was still trying to catch my breath in this photo.

For the record, I was happy for an amazing workout day which included the bonus of running with J. Alabama.

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Update on my Yoga, Spin, Zumba Across America:

As you also read last week, I joined a fitness contest at my gym to complete 37 workout classes by April. Each class getting me one step closer to my goal of Boise, Idaho on the map.

I did the math, and each class is equal to 60 miles. And as of yesterday I’ve completed 15 classes bringing me up to 900 miles for the map!

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So as of today I’ve made it to St. Joseph, Missouri!

It’s kind of a silly thing, but it’s really motivating me to go to more fitness classes. And I’m more motivated by fitness classes then on my own. So it’s a win win!

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Happy WORKOUT Wednesday friends!

Take Your Wife to Work Day

Life on an Army post is definitely different than I had imagined.

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There are a few things that have wigged me out, such as hearing random gun shots going off at all hours of the night [it’s an army base…so I know they are just doing training].

But it wasn’t until yesterday, when J. Alabama told me that they were doing a Family Day out in the field that I got to see what all the random gun shots were all about.

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I was actually really excited to be able to understand on a deeper level what my husband’s job is all about.

They started us off with a live firing demonstration. Complete with earplugs, we all sat intently watching the different tanks shoot off rounds at targets.

It was a crazy rush to watch these powerful machines go off.

Next up we were escorted to a small building where we were going to have lunch. I’m not sure why I didn’t expect this, but they handed us our MRE [Meal Ready to Eat] and told us to dig in!

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The MRE’s are a little bag packed with a full meal in it – usually ranging about 1500 calories for the whole bag.

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I honestly was intrigued by the Sloppy Joe and was curious as to what it would taste like.

In the bag also included a Trail mix, Gatorade powder, a piece of bread, a small block of cheese, a brownie and a small heater to heat the Sloppy Joe.

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I scooped the sloppy joe mix onto the dense piece of bread, and added a bit of the cheese on top.  Yeah it looks pretty nasty I agree but it was edible.

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I could only down about half of it before my tummy started to hurt.

After lunch it was time for the vehicle tour!

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We were encouraged to tour the vehicles and really see what they are all about.

This one is called a Stryker.

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The next one we checked out was the Humvee. 

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He was showing us how heavy the doors were to open and close. Let’s just say you wouldn’t want to get your finger caught in one of those doors!

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Our last vehicle to tour was the Tank.

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Here’s a little peak into what the inside looks like.

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It’s pretty cramped in there! And it’s hard to believe that three people sit in there at one time.

It was crazy to see how technical these vehicles are. And it was fun to actually see them up close and explore the inside.

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My experience yesterday was actually pretty amazing. I feel like I can relate to my husband’s job a lot better now that I’ve had a more in depth look.

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It’s just nice to know what the heck he is talking about when he rattles off about Tanks, Strykers etc…

I’m not saying that this whole army thing still doesn’t scare the crap out of me, because it truly does. But at least I understand it a little bit better now.

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Thanks for letting me share a little bit to what I’ve been up to. I promise to get back to my normal working out and running posts soon.

Potatoes to Peaches

As I’ve mentioned a few times, I married into the military life.

J. Alabama was commissioned in May to be an officer in the Army. By taking the vows to be his wife,  I also took the vows that I accept the terms of the military lifestyle.

To my surprise we received an email two weeks ago that is putting a little jump start to our military life.

He wasn’t projected to be doing the military thang officially until March of next year, so getting the news that we are to report October 31st was a little bit of a shock.

Thankfully though it does not affect my upcoming marathon. 🙂

Now we are a package deal — so it’s time to start packing our bags friends! And now that I’ve had a few weeks to think about our future I’m getting excited about this adventure to the South.

Oh yes, this born and raised Idaho Girl is starting the next chapter of her life with her husband in Georgia!

And I’m willing to put my beloved potatoes aside and take on the peachy life for awhile. Our stay in Georgia will be less than a year, and then who knows!

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So needless to say, my life is more than just a whirlwind of crazy right now. Which I thought was going to die down after the wedding, but apparently not.

In a little over three weeks, I will be saying goodbye to a lovely place that I’ve spent roughly 28 years of my life.

I’m excited, scared, nervous….etc. So many emotions!

I think the military aspect has me the most nervous of all because I’m not really sure what to expect. But as any other unknown in my life, I’m ready to take on this adventure and learn as I go.

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So come October 25th, I will say farewell to my family, friends and the land of potatoes, and road trip it to the land of peaches.

Be sure to follow me on my adventures of becoming a military wife on the run! 😉

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Anyone know of any good races in Georgia in November or December?