Monday, February 28, 2011

making some progress

As of most of you know I am working on getting my body fat down 3% by the time Matt gets home. And seeing as it has been about a month since he left, I thought I should get it tested again to check on my progress. Good news: it's gone down! yay!! Granted it was only by 0.10%, but down is down in my book. My measurements have also all gone down as well as my weight! This progress definitely gives me even more motivation to push myself and try harder so I can meet my goal. Gotta get to that tip-top pre-baby shape! ;)

So for all you out there who may have weight loss goals too, remember: YOU CAN DO IT!! I recommend trying new things. Get out of your comfort zone and push yourself. For me it's running. I have always hated running. With a passion. In school I could never run the mile and I despised PE. booo PE. And when I would go to the gym I would run for maybe 5-10 minutes and be super proud of myself. I was happy with a 12ish minute mile. Basically running was not my thing. I am a spinner. LOVE IT! And I do really well in group classes. All sorts of group classes. That's why I usually take bootcamp classes 3x a week and do spin on the other days.

But when Matt and I were in Florida over Thanksgiving this last year there wasn't a gym I could go to. And with all the yummy food lying around we both needed to try and burn some of it off. So Matt and I went for a couple of runs together. It was so much fun! It was great just running together, checking out the local neighborhoods, and getting out of the house. And Matt is such a great hubby...he ran at a slower pace for me. I know I can't keep up with him! He runs 10+ miles as a regular workout. I was just happy to complete 3 without stopping. Go me! And on the last day he was home we went for a 4 mile run around our neighborhood (anything to spend some time together). It really challenged me, but I am glad I was able to do it. And since he has been gone I have done the same run a few times. It brings back memories of us doing it together on his last day. I try and push myself to keep running even when I'm on the hilly part (it's hard!). This last weekend I did the run, 4.5 miles, in 50 minutes! With hills! Making some progress on my running! I am actually starting to love it. :)

meet a wife monday!

When I woke up this morning I was really bummed it was Monday: back to the grind, back to bootcamp, no more hanging out at home with the doggies. boo. But then I checked my emails (yes right when I got out of bed...I couldn't resist the flashing red light) and shouted out a nice big "WOO HOO!!" at 6am. Haha. I found out I was being featured on a really awesome blog! Yay! It really made my day and I found myself smiling and dancing a little in the shower. Great way to start the week.

So click on the link and check out the story:

http://manwifeanddog.com/2011/02/28/navy-wife-shannon-stops-by/

And don't forget to save Charli's site in your favorites! She has a fabulous blog that always makes me laugh! Thanks again Charli!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

love for miss lucy lu

Dearest Lucy,

You truly are the best dog of the bunch (shhh don't tell Jack or Ryan). You have brought so much joy and love into our house. It would not be the same without your joyous personality bringing life into the family. I remember when we first got you. You and your sister were so scared of everything. Jack would not leave you alone and instead of just allowing him to sniff you to death, you snapped at him. Good for you! You put him in his place right away. You were not going to let some guy walk all over you, a true Hall girl from the beginning. Over time you came to love Jack as a brother and put up with all his craziness (how can he possibly love a ball so much?). He is your partner in crime. Remember all the park trips we took? Running across the grass, rolling in the mud....ahh the good ol days. And now that you have Ryan around there are even more good times, including pool time! It makes me so happy to see all the pictures of you and your brothers playing in the pool. I know you love it a lot. I have nothing but wonderful memories of our times together. I only wish we could have had more. It's hard not being able to be close to you all the time. You are a great fur sister and always make me feel loved when I come home from being gone for so long. And you always cuddle up with me right away and make me feel special, and don't you worry, its ok that you drool on my legs. It keeps me cool and refreshed! :) 

So I put together a few pictures of you, your brothers, and of course Mom. Memories that makes me smile and I know they make you smile too:
all wet from playing in the pool

signature head tilt

snow time!

the family!


Hang in there miss Lucy Lu! I know your head hurts you sometimes but Momma is there to take care of you, so make sure you tell her when you need more medicine or just a good belly rub. I hope to see you soon and I love you very much!

All my love forever and ever,

Shannon

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

he's a hard working doggie

As most of you know, Harley is a certified Canine Good Citizen. I know what you're thinking, what exactly does that mean? Basically it is a certification that allows Harley to go to work with Sara and hang out with the special needs adults she works with. And he LOVES it! And the center loves him too. Some of the consumers (adults) will have behavioral issues during the day (throwing things, hitting, etc) and having Harley there distracts them and keeps them calm. They play with him, pet him and of course feed him (thats his favorite part). Its a win-win for everyone.

Harley got to go to work on Valentines Day and here are some of the pictures:

in his valentines day outfit

kisses for Christina

snuggles for David

chilling with Daniella

relaxing with Scott


He is one hard working doggie! Good job Mr H!! Daddy would be proud!

babymoon

So I recently stumbled upon an article that talked about the 6 places you should go before you have kids. I completely agree with the idea of this article: you need a babymoon! One last trip to somewhere you have always wanted to go with the love of your life. You can spend quality time together, experience new things and make your relationship even stronger. They will be memories you will cherish forever. And who knows, maybe you will even create the baby on your trip!! 

The places they list:
1. Moshi,Tanzania
2. Mykonos, Greece
3. Talkeetna, Alaska  <~ we've been here!! It was awesome!
4. Queenstown, New Zealand <~ we are going here for our babymoon!!
5. Siem Reap, Cambodia
6. Jose Ignacio, Uruguay

I was soooo excited to see that we will be able to see two of the places they recommended! Alaska was amazing and it was where we got engaged. We did a cruise and got to see a lot of great places and then took the train into Denali and stayed there for a few days. We did white water rafting, zip lining, ATVs, rock wall climbing, and more. It was one of the best trips of my life and I think Matt would say the same. So if any of you are looking to see one of the most beautiful states and have a true adventure, go to Alaska!!

And for our babymoon we really want to go on a New Zealand/Australia cruise and then scuba dive the Great Barrier Reef! Now, this also depends on how much money we can save during this deployment, but hopefully everything works out because both of us have always wanted to go there. And for this trip we plan on doing lots of adventurous things including zip lining, scuba diving, hiking, seeing some waterfalls, maybe taking a helicopter tour, bungee jumping off a bridge, and the list goes on! But mostly, we want to just spend the time together, experiencing life and creating memories we can re-live for the rest of our lives. And as most of you know, we love to cruise!!!

So, are any of you planning a babymoon? If so, where?! :)

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

tears of joy

Even from far away Matt has made my day. When I went home for lunch today I got a little something in the mail...a hand written note from Matty! I was not only surprised (while I asked him to do it I definitely didn't think it would happen so soon!) but it made me cry. Happy tears, well I guess some of those were sad tears too, but only because I miss him. And the letter made me miss him more. But at the same time it made me feel close to him. He took the time to write this note and send it to me. He held it in his hands and now I am holding it in mine. It's as if we are holding hands. I feel like it brings him closer to me. It's like having a piece of him here. And the fact that he did it because he knew I would love it means the world to me. He makes me so incredibly happy and I feel like the luckiest girl in the world. I am truly blessed to have such a wonderful husband. I love you baby!!

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Slap, Grab and Pull

What I learned today: I need to be more assertive, I should lock the doors of my car as soon as I get in it, I should never open the door to strangers (I know, this one is obvious but how many of us out there have opened it to someone selling candy?), and I need to keep my blinds shut more often. What did I do today you might ask? Brandy and I took a self defense class. 


Now, when I signed us up for it I figured it would be a lot of ass kicking. Meaning, some poor fool volunteered to be in a big padded suit so a bunch of women can beat the crap out of him for 3 hours. Well, we did a little of that but it wasn't a guy in a suit, it was a man on a stick and a pair of stuffed jeans. But it was actually fun. The first part of the class was about awareness and assertiveness, and a lot of 'what if' scenarios. I quickly realized I am not as assertive as I thought, or at least in setting my own personal boundaries. Example: The instructor asked to borrow my chapstick, while I thought it was a little odd, I still gave it to her. Apparently that was not the right response. oopsie. I should have told her I don't share. :) And I think I let people get away with more then they should. Now, I don't think I am passive by any means, but I think I would let someone hug me or touch my arm/back even though I may not want them to. If they continued, I am confident I would tell them to stop, but I now know I need to lay down the rules right away. It's my body and my rules. And if they keep getting grabby, then I will just give them a nice slap, grab and pull. 


Next up: we got to practice beating the crap out of an attacker. Brandy choked me, I practiced getting away, and then I choked her and she practiced getting away. Then we poked Bob (the man on the stick) in the eyes, hit him in the nose, punched him in the neck and of course gave him a couple good knees to the groin. And bonus: did a little slap, grab, and pull to his testies too! We got him good!! woo hooo!!! 


It was a lot of fun and in all seriousness, very very important for us to do. Watching someone demonstrate what you should do, and actually practicing it are two very different things. And I really think that everyone should take a self defense class! You feel much more empowered and aware. Even when you think you are safe, you may not be. And considering Matt is gone and I come home late at night, sometimes when it's dark and I don't always pay attention, it was super important for me to learn this stuff. I think Matty would be proud. :) Because remember people, even though you may have a weapon or pepper spray, you may not have it on you if something happens. You need to be prepared. 


So, all you ladies out there, take a self defense class, and go kick some man on a stick ass!! 

Monday, February 14, 2011

Happy Valentine's Day

Ahhhh Valentine's Day. The day of love. Let me start this off with our love story:

It was a Wednesday in San Diego which meant: In Cahoots night! The girls and I usually went every Wednesday for line dancing and cheap drinks. After arriving and claiming our spot, Samyjo and I went off to the ladies room. And when we returned there were two guys sitting at our table. Not cool. Not cool at all. So, I proceeded to get a little attitude and ask them why they were there and low and behold, they knew my friend Kim! It didn't take long before Matt and I got to chatting, ok flirting. And after realizing he was not only handsome, but very nice, we started making out like teenagers! It was great! (don't worry Mom, I didn't go home with him. It's not my style) I gave him my number, he called, and the rest is history :).

It's been a little over 3 years since that night at In Cahoots and they have been the happiest years of my life. I feel truly blessed to have Matt as my husband. He is my best friend. He believes in me, loves me for who I am, and treats me like a queen. We love doing anything and everything together and I feel like we bring out the best in each other. I could not ask for a better partner. I am excited for all that life has in store for us! And while this separation is not fun, I know that our love will only grow over the next few months. Our marriage and our friendship will be stronger when this is all over. We can do it baby! I love you!!

A quote to live by:

“Let your love be stronger than your hate or anger. Learn the wisdom of compromise, for it is better to bend a little than to break. Believe the best rather than the worst. People have a way of living up or down to your opinion of them. Remember that true friendship is the basis for any lasting relationship. The person you choose to marry is deserving of the courtesies and kindnesses you bestow on your friends. Please hand this down to your children and your children’s children: the more things change, the more they are the same.” -- Jane Wells, Written in 1886 (thanks Charli! :http://manwifeanddog.com/)

Happy Valentine's Day everyone! Treasure today and everyday you have together.

Bye Bye Bye

Normally I am not a procrastinator. I usually love to cross things off my to-do list and I absolutely hate having things linger around. It stresses me out and I just don't like it. But back in November when my mom moved and decided it was time to clean out my old room (why can't things just stay the same?!) she dropped off 8-10 boxes of my stuff. Everything from games, pictures, books, and all my NSYNC stuff. And I have successfully avoided looking at or doing anything with any of it until now. I finally bit the bullet and went through all of it. Yes, every single box. It only took me a few hours to separate it into 3 piles: keep, donate, trash. I actually only ended up keeping one container of stuff: children's books I eventually want to read to our kids, some of my baby clothes, and a kick ass NSYNC lunch box. Hey, I had to keep at least one NSYNC thing right?! I donated a lot of stuff to the Discovery Shop (American Cancer Society Thrift Store) and boy did it feel good. Hopefully someone will cherish all my NSYNC bobble head dolls :). I feel like a new person now! The garage is clean and I got rid of a ton of stuff we don't need. I also spring cleaned the entire downstairs to make sure everything is in order. I am now over half way done with my spring cleaning goal! go me!!

And just so Matt didn't feel left out, I made sure to take some pictures with my phone and email them to him. I was so proud of myself! :) Its the small joys in life. haha.

Next weekend: the upstairs. Closet, shoes, bathroom here I come!

So, do any of you plan on doing a little spring cleaning this year?

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

an update on Mr H...and some praise for Embrace

Today Harley got the last of his stitches removed from his surgery. He is happy and healthy and everything is healing perfectly! yay! He is running around like a madman and enjoying life to the fullest. Phew. I feel like we really dogged a bullet on this one. It could have been much worse. I would like to extend a thank you to the wonderful team at our vet, VCA Animal Hospital. They did a great job taking care of Harley, answering all my questions, and giving us the best care possible.

I would also like to give a little praise to Embrace Pet Insurance. A little history: we had VPI before recently switching to Embrace. VPI did not have the best reviews and from experience I know they will deny based on random reasons and they don't cover any hereditary conditions. So we switched to Embrace and boy am I glad we did. Embrace's process is so much easier to understand and deal with. We have a $500 deductible (per year), once we pay the deductible we get 80% back. Simple. Clear. Straightforward. I love it. We actually got the checks today and they ended up paying half of his medical bills! I am very happy!

So to all you pet owners out there: get pet insurance! It's worth the money and it gives you peace of mind. We never thought something like this would happen to Harley, but it did, and it's nice to know we didn't have to pay for the whole thing too!

goals for deployment

In order to make myself accountable, and because I love a good list, I thought I would put together some goals for deployment. There will be a lot of free weekends (30 in case anyone was counting) and I will need something to fill them up with! So here goes...

1. Work out and eat healthy. My plan is to cut back on eating out, sweets, late night snacking, mid week alcohol, and processed food. I want to eat more veggies and fruit and just be healthier overall. I also plan to continue with bootcamp 3 days a week and then spin/run 2-3 days a week as well. I would like to get my body fat down about 3% in 7 months. Got to get in tip-top pre-baby shape! :)

2. Save Money. Our future plans will involve a baby (or 2) and will most likely involve me being a stay at home Mommy (so excited about this!), so I want a nice savings account set up so we don't have to stress about money when we are living off one income. And while Matt is gone our expenses should be reduced, no eating out, no vacations, etc so we should be able to easily tuck away some cash. Hopefully we can reach our goal in 7 months, but as long as we get there by the time I quit work I will be very happy.

3. Spring clean the house. The whole house. I am actually pretty excited about this one! I have lots of projects throughout the house that I need to accomplish and after I finish I will feel great. I love getting all organized and clearing out stuff we don't need. Garage, closet, bathroom....here I come!! I hope to get all of this completed by the end of February!

4. Take a photography class. We have a great Nikon D60 camera and to be honest, I barely know how to use it. I need to learn how to use all the settings and then practice practice practice. Sara is going to take the class with me too so we will have a little sisterly bonding time.  And this skill will come in quite handy when I have a cute little baby to take pictures of! :)

5. Scrapbooking. I am actually overwhelmed just thinking about this. Scrapbooking is very time consuming, printing pictures, paper, stickers, glue, fancy scissors.....lots and lots of details. This project may not even get started until March (Feb is jam packed with cleaning!). If I start it from the time Matt and I met, that is a good 3 years. eeek. Hopefully this is something I can work on while he is gone....I know he would absolutely love it!...and it would be something we could treasure forever.

6. Run a 5k. I know I can do this! I won't even make it a goal to be fast, just to run the whole time and finish in less than 30 mins. I think that is very do-able and I know I have a partner for the race (Brandy that's you!)!! 

7. Take my vitamins and floss. I am horrible at both of these and I need to get better. In my defense, the vitamins taste like poo. No good excuse about the flossing except I'm lazy. Need to work on these.

Ok, I think that is a good start. I feel like maybe I should have more goals, but since I work during the week, most of my free time is on the weekends and I don't want to overwhelm myself just yet. I may update this down the road with new goals or maybe do a progress report. Wish me luck!

Monday, February 7, 2011

can you hear me?!... over...

So my Monday is off to a lovely start....I got to talk to Matty on the phone!!!

I've actually talked to him twice since he has been gone! yay!! Of course we email almost every day, and I make sure to send him pictures of Mr H and his daily activities, but gosh I love a good phone call. It's the simple things in life right?! The "Hello!" wait for it, wait for it, "Hi baby!". Then I talk, hear it repeat in the background, then he talks, long pause, static, turn up the volume, make sure to stand in a place that has good reception. phew. satellite phone. It's like talking on a walkie talkie...you have to listen really well or you may not hear it correctly and by the end of the conversation you are talking over each other. But hey, anything is better than nothing and boy am I thankful he can call me every few days! It definitely makes me feel better and its good to know he is safe and sound. Too long without communication and my mind starts to wander and well its not good.

Imagine 20+ years ago...they didn't have email. I would be pacing the house anxiously awaiting a hand written letter from my love (or a phone call during a port visit). And by the end of the deployment I would have a shoe box full! Actually that sounds rather romantic....baby if you're reading this, break out your pen and paper and write me a love note :). Someday we can show our grandbabies all the letters you sent me.

Happy Monday everyone!

Friday, February 4, 2011

a note from harley

Dear Daddy,

Hi Daddy its me, Mr H. I miss you lots and lots. Things at home are good. I got to go to work with Auntie Sara yesterday and boy was it fun!! We started the day at our normal site with the really big people, then we had lunch and I helped clean up! I am a really good helper and I always get lots of good praise when I clean the floor! :) I usually go take a nap in Auntie's office after lunch but instead we went for a ride!!! OMG it was great! You know how much I love rides! So we stopped at this other place where there were so many little people! They look just like you, but shorter. They LOVED me! I must say, I was a huge hit! I got so many scratches I didn't want to leave. It was awesome! After work we went home where I just had to take a napski. It was a long day and I was soooo tired. Other than that I have just been hanging out at home, chasing Sonny around the house (I'm really good at catching him and biting on his neck too!), and begging Mommy for yummies. O about Mommy. I don't want you to worry about her too much. I give her lots of good kisses when she gets home everyday and I make sure to cuddle up with her while watching TV. I think it really helps her feel better. And every night when we go to bed, I get in my own bed first and sleep there for a little while, and then I get in bed with her. I know she really misses you so cuddling in bed with her is key. I get really close too so she doesn't get cold. :) And Daddy, don't you worry about any burglars coming to the house. Sonny and I have that situation covered. We have been on super high alert so the whole neighborhood knows not to mess with us. I think they are all scared. In fact, I haven't seen that lawn mower man in quite some time. Yay me!

I hope you are having fun on the big ship! Mommy tells me you will be home in no time and I can't wait (we can play and chase each other around the house!!)! O and she promises to take me to the beach when my butt gets better so I am really looking forward to that! Stitches come out next week! yay!! I love you very much! Miss you!!

snarfle snarfle

your son,
Harley

Thursday, February 3, 2011

taking it day by day

Well, Matt is officially on deployment. The day of was both easier and harder then I thought it would be. Is that even possible?! I was totally fine most of the time, but of course our final hug and kiss was really hard. But what was even harder was watching the ship pull away. I just wanted to run to the end of the pier, jump off and swim to the ship in hopes that maybe I could get him to stay. No luck, that probably would have just sent me to the looney bin on a 72 hour hold. And I would have been cold. So, against my better judgement I just stayed on the pier and watched him sail away. And just to make it a little worse, the ships band was playing "Proud to be an American" as they pulled out....talk about a tearjerker! I preferred the "Highway to Hell" they played earlier...at least that one made me smile!

So after they left the pier we raced over to the harbor and watched the ship cruise by. I needed to be able to see the ship leave the area for good. Closure. It was not as hard to watch but still a little tough. I actually thought I was doing pretty well. I had my moments when he left but I felt ok and thought I was being a real trooper! Well, after getting home I put some dishes away and then went to take out the recycling. And thats when it hit me. I started balling over the trash. really? really? who cries over the garbage? Well basically I realized two things: #1: I am on my own now and I have to do everything. sad. lonely. boo. #2: I was throwing away some beer bottles from the night before, Matt's beer bottles and I didn't want to throw anything away that was his. Most of his clothes were already gone, no toothbrush, no slippers, nothing and now the beer bottles too??! Ridiculous, I know, but it was all I had left.....well that and some leftover food from Phils BBQ....how long do you think I can keep that before I HAVE to throw it away? :) I guess I feel that if all his stuff is gone, he is officially gone too and that makes me sad. I know he's coming back, but its hard to wrap my mind around 7 months.

Thats why I just need to take all of this day by day. I can't even think ahead to the weekend yet, I am just working on Thursday right now. Tomorrow will be all about Friday, but someday soon I hope I can focus on weeks and months at a time. I know it will get better. I know lots of people that have been through a deployment, poor Samyjo had a year long one. I really don't know how she did it, but I know if she can do it, I can do it. And Brandy is in the middle of one right now and is surviving just fine. So I know I will be ok. Eventually. In time I will get there.

"Distance never separates two hearts that really care, for our memories span the miles and in seconds we are there. But whenever I start feeling sad, because I miss you, I remind myself how lucky I am to have someone so special to miss." - unknown

Some pictures from deployment day:
my handsome officer
goodbye kiss
bye baby! I love you!!!