Thursday, September 30, 2010

The cutest ballroom dance couple ever!

Grow old along with me
Two branches of one tree
Face the setting sun
When the day is done
God bless our love
-John Lennon

Tuesday, September 28, 2010




i was thinking about veils today, not sure why.
thought you might enjoy what i found.

all images from a search for "veil" on

Monday, September 27, 2010

winning the battle

Remember my weekly posts about Winning the Battle and my struggle to work on my weight and workout goals?  Well, those kind of got taken care of when I was selected for Chief earlier this summer and went through two months of training.

Being healthy and strong requires balance.  Like the woman in the Vermeer painting above, this balance can require attention and patience.  While the past two months of my life haven't been exactly the most balanced and healthy months of my life, I do feel that I learned some valuable lessons that will help me as I move forward with my goal of being physically strong and healthy.

I'm not sure how much weight total I lost or how many inches I lost either, because I have not gotten on a scale since mid-July.  I did have weigh-ins every couple of weeks during training, but I didn't really worry too much about them; I just trusted that I was doing everything I could to take care of my body and worked really hard to make sure I lost the needed weight.  I'm now in the best shape of my life and looking forward to maintaining it.  I learned a lot about what my body is capable of and just how strong I am.  I was quite surprised to find out that I can actually run five miles on after pulling an all nighter, that I can do pushups on command until I drop from exhaustion, and that I can actually function on very little sleep when needed.  That balance thing would have come in real handy at some points during my training.

I also found my breakfast of champions for days when I have the really hard workouts and need something that will stick with me through three hour workouts.  This combination worked really well for me: a banana (I buy the smaller ones), Activia vanilla yogurt and Kashi Go Lean or Kashi Go Lean Crunch.  When I ate this at 0330 in the morning, I had the energy I needed for my 0530 workouts which lasted for two to three hours at times.

I will be working hard to maintain my newly acquired strength and body.  I plan to continue sharing some of my tips and things I like.  Hopefully, something will help you out along the way.

Oh, I ran my first official race this weekend - the Navy 5 Miler.  It was great to be out running again and to do it because I like it and not because someone was yelling at me to get going.  I ran the race in 1:00:28, which is a 12 minute mile pace.  My goal was to simply have fun and I did.

One of the tools that helps me find balance is the Word of Wisdom which is the LDS code of health.  While it touches on the substances we avoid ingesting, the Word of Wisdom also outlines the ways we can be healthy in our diet.  I especially like where it says that the principles of the Word of Wisdom can be "adapted to the capacity of the weak" (D&C 89:3).  This means we can each find what works best for us and also that Heavenly Father will bless us to find this.  I also love that these promises are true:
And all saints who remember to keep and do these sayings, walking in obedience to the commandments, shall receive bhealth in their navel and marrow to their bones; And shall find wisdom and great treasures of knowledge, even hidden treasures; And shall run and not be weary, and shall walk and not faint.  And I, the Lord, give unto them a promise, that the destroying angel shall pass by them, as the children of Israel, and not slay them. Amen. (D&C 89:18-21)
I was given strength when I needed it most and even found wisdom and great knowledge when I needed them as well.  God took good care of me.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

celebrate good times!

a great weekend with great friends at the W and old ebbit's!

the view to the south.

the view to the west

great friends enjoying the view

more views from the W!

old ebbit's for dinner and maine lobsters for the main course!

creme brulee with a message...

a somewhat grainy panoramic photo of the view.

a most perfect night!

Saturday, September 25, 2010

yay me boots

i love shoes!

and sometimes when i accomplish something big
i will buy myself a new pair.

this week, in addition to new running shoes for the race i'm running this weekend,
i bought a new pair of boots.
these are my: YAY ME BOOTS!

can't wait to wear these beauties.

definitely a most worthy prize for myself.

Friday, September 24, 2010


i love this girl! 
can ya tell she's my sister?

she left her hubby
 and two small boys in idaho
to come out to dc for my promotion ceremony
and to spend time with me, her sister.

i love ya, sis!
thanks for coming.

people to lean on

there's nothing better than family, especially when i need someone to lean on at the end of a long, hard road.

especially when i'm so tired that i need my sister to drive me home and it's impossible to form a coherent sentence.

especially when i really, really want to go to church and then can't stay awake and need my dad's shoulder to sleep on.

especially when i'm too tired to even cook and i have a cold and just feel miserable and mom takes care of me.

honestly it was great to have my family here because they took care of me and helped me to feel a lot better.

it was fun to go sightseeing with them.  mount vernon is my favoritest place ever in dc and to see my sister's face as she walked around and enjoyed the sights was fun.  the white house tour was fascinating and the capitol will never be the same after being there with my family.  the best was walking through the monuments until midnight with my sister and a trip to the dc lds temple.

they just left yesterday morning and i miss them already.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

lessons from the past two months

I've been thinking about what to share with you all here on my blog about my experiences for the past two months as I've trained to become a Navy Chief (E7).  It's hard to even put into words and tell my family what happened and what I've learned.  I'm not sure I can do it in the written word.

I have 35 new brothers and sisters, all of whom I love dearly and with whom I've worked and trained over the past two months.  We were 36 distinct individuals with our own ideas about how to lead and get the job done, and when it came right down to it we pulled together and became one team.  It was amazing to watch as we put ourselves aside, turned to each other and truly became a team.

One of the biggest lessons I learned is that I need to lead my Sailors with my heart.  In the the end, the point of all this training was learning to let go and listen to my heart.  That was the hardest part, because that meant letting go of all my pride and stripping my heart down to the barest bones of its existence so that what was most important could come through. 

The Chiefs who trained us knew what it would take for us to get this point.  It included physical training sessions, butt chewing sessions, team building exercises and assignments, crawling through the mud for two days in the woods, doing loads of pushups and flutter kicks on command and when we make mistakes, "sleeping" on the hard ground, singing lots of songs together, just plain being together for two long months, and sacrificing our summer for this training.

When all was said and done, I was covered from head to toe in orange and white mud, my hair was encrusted with twigs, grass, feathers and critters, my E-6 uniform was torn apart, and my heart was broken and put back together.

A good friend used to say all time, "Let go and let God."  And in the end, this is how I finally found my heart and let it come through.

A friend asked me what the changes in my responsibilities are and the Chief's Creed is the best way to describe those changes.

The Chief's Creed

"During the course of this day, you have been caused to suffer indignities, to experience humiliations. This you have accomplished with rare good grace and therefore, we now believe it fitting to explain to you why this was done. There was no intent, no desire, to demean. Pointless as it may have seemed to you, there was a valid, time-honored reason behind every single deed, behind each pointed barb.

"By experience, by performance and by testing, you have been this day advanced to CHIEF PETTY OFFICER. You have one more hurdle to overcome. In the United States Navy and only in the United States Navy, E-7 carries unique responsibilities. No other armed force throughout the world carries the responsibilities nor grants privileges to its enlisted comparable to the privileges and responsibilities you are now bound to observe and expected to fulfill.

"Your entire way of life has now been changed. More will be expected of you, more will be demanded of you. Not because you are an E-7, but because you are now a CHIEF PETTY OFFICER. You have not merely been promoted one pay grade--you have joined an exclusive fraternity, and as in all fraternities, you have a responsibility to your brothers, even as they have a responsibility to you.

"Always bear in mind that no other armed force has rate or rank equivalent to that of the United States Navy. Granted that all armed forces have two classes of service: enlisted and commissioned, however, the United States Navy has the distinction of having four i.e., Enlisted, CHIEF PETTY OFFICER, Commissioned Warrant Officer and Commissioned Officer. This is why we in the United States Navy may maintain with pride our feelings of superiority once we have attained the position of E-7.

"These privileges, these responsibilities do not appear in print, they have no official standing, they cannot be referred to by name, number nor file. They exist because for over 200 years the CHIEFS before you have freely accepted responsibility beyond call of printed assignment, their actions and their performance, demanded the respect of their seniors as well as their juniors.

"It is now required that you be a fountain of wisdom, the ambassador of good will, the authority in personnel relations as well as their technical application. "Ask the Chief" is a household word in and out of the Navy. You are now the “CHIEF”.

"The exalted-position you have now received, and I use the word “exalted” advisedly, exists because of the attitude, the performance of the Chiefs before you. It shall exist only so long as you and your compatriots maintain these standards.

"So this is why you were caused to experience these things. You were subjected to humiliations to prove to you that humility is a good, a great, a necessary change which cannot mar you—which in fact, strengthens you, and in your future as a CHIEF PETTY OFFICER, you will be caused to suffer indignities, to experience humiliations far beyond those imposed upon you today. Bear them with the dignity, and with the same good grace, which you bore these today.

"It is our intention that you will never forget this day. It is our intention to test you--to try you--to accept you. Your performance today has assured us that you will wear your hat with aplomb brothers in arms before you.

"I take a deep, sincere pleasure in clasping your hand and acceptin you into our midst."

Friday, September 17, 2010

doing nothing

Yep, that pretty much sums it up!
Too bad I'm considered a grown up...

Just a few more days until I can spend some time doing nothing.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

he is the light

There is help. There is happiness. There really is light at the end of the tunnel. It is the Light of the World, the Bright and Morning Star, the “light that is endless, that can never be darkened.” It is the very Son of God Himself. In loving praise far beyond Romeo’s reach, we say, “What light through yonder window breaks?” It is the return of hope, and Jesus is the Sun. To any who may be struggling to see that light and find that hope, I say: Hold on. Keep trying. God loves you. Things will improve. Christ comes to you in His “more excellent ministry” with a future of “better promises.” He is your “high priest of good things to come.”

Even if you cannot always see that silver lining on your clouds, God can, for He is the very source of the light you seek. He does love you, and He knows your fears. He hears your prayers. He is your Heavenly Father, and surely He matches with His own the tears His children shed.

Jeffrey R. Holland, “‘An High Priest of Good Things to Come’,” Ensign, Nov 1999

Thursday, September 9, 2010

a light at the end

There is a light at the end of the tunnel and the glow is a bit brighter.  It's been an illuminating journey and I can't wait to share it with you.

I will say that I now have the most amazing biceps ever.  I am learning so much.  I have new friends that will be life long friends.  I am very, very tired.  I have a new faith in miracles, God's amazing love and knowledge that I am not alone.  The light is always right here with you.  Just open your heart and you will see and feel it.

Monday, September 6, 2010


“So you treat your love like a firefly, like it only gets to shine for a little while.
Catch it in a mason jar, with holes in the top, and run like hell to show it off.”
-Miranda Lambert

p.s. isn't this a lovely photo of fireflies. it makes me dream of long summer evenings spent relaxing in the backyard watching the sunset...

Sunday, September 5, 2010

i'm bored

can i show you how an anchor works? lol