Forty by Forty

They say thirty is the most dreaded birthday out there.  And alas, today is my thirtieth birthday.  The big Three Oh.  It is kind of surreal to think about, seeing as I sort of feel like a kid at times.  I think this year is going to really make me grow and mature however, something about the changes I'm going through would probably do that to anybody. 

So anyway, a going trend for people going into their thirtieth year is to select thirty things they want to accomplish by the time they turn thirty.  They range from taking a trip to reading a book every month to whatever, and it's posted on their twenty ninth birthday to be reflected on the following year. 

Well, I hadn't heard about this little challenge when I turned 29, and then I saw my cousin post it and I thought 'What a brilliant idea!', it's kind of like a bucket list without the death involved, so it gives you a little more of a timeframe to work with.  But seeing as I learned about this seven months to late, I decided that I am going to use an entire decade and make a list of things I want to accomplish by my fortieth birthday.  So, here are forty things I want to do before I turn forty.

1. Go Heli-skiing
2. Publish a book
3. Get a scuba diving certificate
4. See all fifty states
5. Set foot on six continents
6. Get my bachelor's
7. Go Zorbing
8. Run a Marathon
9. Show jump on a horse in competition
10. Get a motor cycle license
11. Learn to play Guitar
12. Climb Mt Rainier (I'll be satisfied with that, no need to put Killamanjaro or Everest on there, but if the opportunity arises, I'll take it :)
13. Play an extra (with an on screen appearance, no matter how small or brief) in a movie
14. Break a horse from start to finish
15. Ride and Tie
16. Learn to Sail (lookin at my sis in law here)
17. Enter my art in a gallery
18. Take up Archery
19. Become fluent in another language (likely german if any)
20. Hike to the bottom of the Grand Canyon
21. Participate in an Improve Everywhere event or something of the like
22. Ride in a Hot Air Balloon
23. Bungee Jump
24. Bungee Jump out of a Hot Air Balloon?  (ok, I jest, though I'll knock 22 and 23 together if the opportunity arises)
24 for Reals.  Go on a Safari
25. Sky dive solo
26. Compete in a triathlon (and by this I mean really compete)
27. Own my own business
28. Visit the Louvre
29. Witness a total eclipse
30. Ski (or rather, snowboard) the Alps
31. Learn a martial Art (and stick with it!)
32. Learn to dance
33. Sit in a studio audience at a live TV Show
34. Have a fully functional Zombie Plan
35. Plant and maintain a garden
36. Join a book club
37. The Price is Right, need I say more?
38. Purchase a wheel and kiln, and make pottery with it
39. Be 100% debt free
40. Become a mom

Another list I saw recently (courtesy of Instapundit) was a list of 30 things I wish I had done before I turned 30, and I was tempted to do a list about this too, but then I got to thinking, you know, I've had a pretty good life thus far.  There has been some regrets, but I can't really say I regret where I am now.  I look at a lot of these kinds of lists and I'm amazed by how many items these other people put on there that I knocked off in the last few years or so.

And I've still got ten good years to get all of the things I wanted to get done by now to get these things accomplished.

Note, it is difficult to come up with 40 things, and if I don't get half of these done, I think I'll be ok with that. a lot of these are things younger people do anyway, and I'm good with what I've accomplished so far.  Also, not a single item on my list is military related.


Addictions Much?

So these days I've been on a no lifting profile, meaning no lifting anything over 20 pounds, so it has kind of limited me on what I can do around the house.  My house is a constant work in progress in an effort to get things a little more ready for Thanksgiving, which we are hosting this year.  It's exciting for me to host, and this will let us know if we are capable of holding other family functions in the not to distant future.  Our family is quickly expanding, and we've sortof outgrown my parent's house. 

My expanded time off has given me a greater appreciation for things to do when one is limited.  I'll admit, I think recently I've grown quite annoyed with the computer (the whole rest and relax thing) I've discovered I really take it for granted when I'm in good health and I can work on other things, but now that I'm stuck and forced to relax, well, I find myself getting  bored with what I do normally.  Surfing the comptuer that is.

Really, I think I'm getting sick of the computer, why is it in this day and age everyone is wired so much?  I discovered the computer, and I mean really discovered it, in high school and now I feel like I'm always online.  Now I have my smart phone that I feel like I'm checking every five seconds to see if somebody posted something or responded to me or whatever.  Really, it's a very narcissistic lifestyle people have these days.  Facebook is all about ME!  Have you noticed that?  It's fun to check up on other people, but it's mostly all about you and other people reacting to what you say.  I enjoy it, I admit, and it's nice to keep up to date on people you find from childhood or from years ago.  Some people I probably would have completely lost contact with if it wasn't for facebook.  But still, what a timewaster in the scheme of things.  I think I need to limit myself to one time during the day to check update statuses, comment on what other people say, and then get off and work on other things.  Like household duties.

The house, fortunately, is coming along.  It feels so much better now that it has been painted from flesh tones to more neutrals and light colors.  Fleshtones are meant for people, not walls.  And one thing that I feel like I'm coming along with is domestications, and I look back and think 'you know, it would have been nice to take Home Economics' even if it was a typical girl class in high school, like how boys take shop (and guess what I took?)  I think I had to grow out of that independent stubborn streak though, and I find it's fun to keep a house and now that I'm getting more into cooking, I find myself scrounging for recipes that are easy to make.  And though I never really liked cooking before, I'm discovering now that I'm really enjoying it.  Aint that something?

So I got a little more then a week before I find my house over come with toddlers and teenagers, men burrowed down in the basement watching the tv while the womenfolk work on the big dinner (yes, traditional household here), and I find myself a little disappointed that I won't likely be going on the yearly ritual of plinking on Thanksgiving (I'm hosting afterall, I need to be at home with the guests) i guess I can say that i'm enjoying the prospect of what's to come.  I got a long life ahead of me, let's make the most of it.

And try to get off the computer when I can't do much of anything else.


On Heartbreak, and the Solace that Everything Happens For a Reason

Today is Veteran's day.  Many of my readers may suspect I would post about my thoughts on this holiday, being a veteran (of Kosovo), but I would only be repeating what many people have said before in a far more eloquent fashion then I ever could.  Instead, I feel the need to post on a topic far more personal and a little more closer to home, especially for me now. 

Today marks my niece Olivia's third birthday.  However, she is not here to celebrate it, as my family lost her not even two hours after she was born.  I had the opportunity to hold her for a brief moment and share in the mourning of her loss with my sister, and my heart ached for her then, though I could not fathom the pain she must have went through carrying that precious child to term knowing she would lose her.

Strange how in the long term what an impact Olivia's short life had on our family and on my sister, who grew tremendously from it.  And despite being on the eve of the anniversary of her own daughter's loss, my sister was there for me. 

I kind of got a suspicion something was wrong for a while, but this being my first pregnancy I didn't know what to expect and was taking it one step at a time, and not dwell to much on things and just try to focus on the positive.  I went in for a New Beginnings Orientation through my OB-GYN office on Monday, and as they were briefing me on things to expect through this pregnancy and signs to look out for, I became concerned about one in particular.  I've been having a dull ache on one side for a while, and learned that this is a symptom of an Ectopic Pregnancy, better known as a Tubal Pregnancy.  I talked to the nurse afterwards about it and my concerns about feeling that strange abdominal pain, she assured me that it could be a number of things and not to get to concerned, but definitely call the doctor's office if things got worse.  But something gnawed on me and I went to my parent's house, calling my mom and letting her know of my concerns.  I asked my father for a Father's Blessing, just to be on the safe side (a religious custom).

However, I can't help thinking that I knew I lost this baby then.  I tried to take things easy over the next few days.  I woke up Wednesday morning, surfed the internet for a bit, went out and fed the animals, and that's when it hit me.  Something was definitely wrong, I was overwhelmed with a terrible abdominal pain.  I thought perhaps it was lack of water and got a glass to drink but it wasn't going away.  My husband Gus, having worked graveyards, was still asleep and I didn't want to disturb him, but as the pain got worse, I couldn't help but call my mom for advice.  Something was definitely wrong.  The severe pain was followed by hot flashes and just got worse.  When the bleeding started, I finally called my OB-GYN.  They recommended I go to the ER, especially when I started getting the shakes and the chills. 

My mom finally made it out and my husband was awake by then, most of the pain had subsided and I made my way to the ER, which followed a lengthy wait, with a blood draw, an ultrasound, and all of that.  There was some concerns as the embryo was nowhere to be found and the concern of an ectopic pregnancy resurfaced.  My blood draw came back seriously low in HCG hormone, the levels at around 200 when it should be somewhere between 6-9,000.  The pain had mostly subsided but the bleeding continued.  The doctor confirmed what I had by this time already known, I was having a miscarriage. 

Having it confirmed though really brought it home to me, even though I knew from that morning that this was probably what was happening.  I finally broke down, the reality that I had lost my pregnancy at seven weeks hit me. 

Although they couldn't find the embriotic sac during the ultra sound, I passed it later last night, finding a small mass of tissue that could only be the remains of what had been that short pregnancy. 

I don't think anybody could describe the flurry of emotions one goes through during a pregnancy, from the moment you find out that you are carrying a life inside of you, and I cannot begin to describe the feeling of losing it, which is followed by a sense of great sadness and mourning for the potential of what that life could have brought to me, and how much I was expecting it to change my own.

But the truth is, that short pregnancy did have an impact on me, and I can't help but think it happened for a reason.  I'll be honest when saying that the timing was off for me, when I learned that I was pregnant my first thought was 'crap, now?'  But once I got over the fact of what I was losing by being pregnant, the plans I had made for this next year, the freedom to do and eat what i wanted, was replaced by this excitement about what this tiny life was going to bring to my own, and how this experience would change me and forever mature me.  And in the short two and a half weeks I was pregnant, it really did impact me, it definitely got me out of the mindset that it's not just me anymore, it's us.  I share my life with another now, and every choice I make impacts him and every life that we bring into this world together.  And I realized I needed that tiny mass of life to help me leave my independence behind and come to terms that it isn't all about me anymore.  This short life had a meaning, had a purpose.  When that next surprise comes (and yes, our goal is still next fall), I'll be prepared for it.  I will look forward to it, and my first instinct won't be 'crap, what's this going to do to my plans', but rather my first instinct will be 'here we go!'  I have a suspicion the next one will come to term, and this one was meant to prepare me for that one. 

My deepest fear was an Ectopic pregnancy, I do admit.  I am at peace knowing that I had a normal miscarriage, that these things happen, even though it is still a heartbreak I wouldn't wish on anyone.  What concerned me most about the chances of the Ectopic Pregnancy was not just that having one would put me at high risk for future pregnancies, but the actions i would have to take if it was one.  Ectopic Pregnancies are very dangerous, and can be fatal to the mother.  The embryo can not be brought to term.  But the hardest part for me to deal with in that situation would not be the possibility of what it could do to me, but the actions I would have to take, namely ending the life.  I've always considered myself pro-life, but this pregnancy confirmed that I am.  I am grateful that the pregnancy ended on it's own terms, and did not force me to take action against it.  That would have eaten at me more then anything now.   

This experience has confirmed a lot of things to me.  One, that I have a wonderful husband who has been very supportive of me, and I can't help but think that I got the better end of this deal.  I have a fantastic family who I wouldn't trade for anything in the world.  I feel that I don't appreciate them enough, realizing that life is so short and I should enjoy every minute of it. 

As I was sitting at home, not knowing what to expect, I found myself thinking that I needed to focus on the positives, and my facebook update was "Always Look at the Bright Side of Your Life", and in this case, I don't want to dwell on the negative of losing this pregnancy, but the positive of what came of it.  Gus and I have a little more time to get to know each other a little better, as per our original plan.  I think I'm a little more ready for that next pregnancy, and it gives me a little more time to get myself in the shape I want to be in for the next time.  My plans from before can go into affect, but I'm prepared to be a little more flexible, and ready to take life as it comes.  I can go back to training Turtle and riding my other horses, look forward to what looks to be a fantastic year for snowboarding, get the house ready to host thanksgiving, do a few races with my sisters and sis-in-law, and perhaps get to take part in the hooah training that my unit has planned for the next year. 

If any new surprises come my way over the next year or so, I probably won't mention them until I get over that hump of a first trimester.  I was kind of wary of talking about this pregnancy so soon after I found out, being only five weeks along when i made the announcement.  But i felt like I was announcing it to the world anyway, since I had to inform my employer and my unit, find different arrangements for my horses, I didn't see the point of keeping it secret. 

I thought I would hold onto this little tidbit a little longer then I did.  I am surprised that I'm so willing to talk about it so soon after it happened, but have found that talking about it is very therapeutic for me, and getting it out will help me move on, and letting people know now that no, I'm no longer pregnant so they don't have to go through the awkward phase of asking me how I'm doing only to hear that I lost it.  I likely won't discuss it much again in the future, but do know that I am doing alright.  Death is a part of life, and though I was looking forward to meeting this little determined spirit that I was so sure had done everything he could to make it into this world despite his parents working to delay his entry, I'm sure it's only a matter of time before he makes another go at it.  I'm just hoping he gives me a couple months to recoup before he tries again.


Plans for the Stay At Home Housewife / New Mom

What to do with myself?

I may have mentioned before that my mind gets racing and I often have these ideas of things I can do or write about or whatever.  Of course, right now I'm just plain exhausted due to my present condition.  I was working graveyard shifts at the airport to provide a little extra income but put in my two weeks as soon as I confirmed that I was indeed pregnant because my job consisted of cleaning airplanes.  Right now I kind of want to avoid cleaning chemicals.  I do need to get another job (aside from my weekend warrior stint, don't know where that's going to go for the next year other then me just sitting around because I really shouldn't do anything) and it has got me thinking. 

Truthfully, though I am fiercely independent in mind, I'm old fashioned at heart.  Hey, what can I say?  I am conservative and I was raised in a two parent household with five brothers and sisters and my mom was largely a house wife.  I don't want to raise my kidlings via day care, I think the day care generation that is coming into age now a days has a lot to say against it because of the fact that their parents weren't at home raising them.  I fully plan on being a stay at home mom and being the primary raiser of my offspring (until of course, my husband retires from the Airforce and becomes a full time stay at home dad and sends me off to earn the living, so he says)

Fortunately, with the invention of the internets came many great and wonderful things, such as working from home.  I'm trying to figure out what exactly I can do where I can be available for my kids and be here for them where I am also earning a living on the side and therefore contributing to the inflow of household cash for other things like clothes, food, and spontaneous trips to wherever our minds or hearts take us.  I want to get back into blogging, like I mentioned before, I enjoy it and I felt if I pursued it when I got my fluke hit with fame back in 2004 that fizzled due to Army not liking my blogging habits (and since then, I have come to better understand their concerns, but still) so yes, when I feel up to it and not completely wasted by exhaustion, I might post my thoughts and opinions on whatever.  But I don't think I can ever make a serious living off of blogging alone. 

Fortunately, having a house has given me one thing, and that is room to get back into my art again, something I have been dutifully neglecting for the last six years or so.  I don't know if I can make a serious living off of my art, but the extra income would be nice and I can do something that I love to do.  But how to market it?   eBay?  Craigslist?  Could I just sell random stuff on either?  Hmm. . .

It got me to thinking about some of my other hobbies and things I like to do, why not marry them together? 

Children's Book?  I've been wanting to do one for a while.  Well, I'll be stuck at home next spring and through the summer?  Well, it's going to be a while, maybe I can write and illustrate one, market it and find a living?  Would love it if I could do that, so I think I'm going to give it a shot.  What's the worst that can happen?  Nobody buys it?  If nothing else, perhaps I can make just enough to recoop some expenses. 

But first, I have to get my studio up and running, in the spare room I've claimed in the house. 

Other thoughts, possible Photography business, since I have the equipment.  Maybe even get in with my two sisters and work with them from time to time.  Just as soon as I find my little niche in the world I guess.   


bad hair

 Just a thought. 

Some decades are largely depicted by the hairstyles of that era.  You can look at a picture and just by the hair know what decade you are in. 

For example, the fifties had the greaser look. When you see this hairstyle you know you know what decade you're in (or in this case, trying to portray)
The 60's came with beatle mania, and the mop top look.  


The seventies introduced the notion of truly bad hair in my opinion, from long hair on guys that took a little to much time styling to look a lot like beauty icons of the era that were women.


Love the burns with the football helmet

You're the wront ethnicity to really pull this off buddy. 

I think the 70's offered a challenge to bad hair and the 80's took them up on it.  How else could you account for the mullet?  Truely the biggest atrocity ever to face mankind, and so many variations of it as well.  People, this is not a good haircut!

Business in front, party in the back

You look like a douche. . .

Granted, big hair bands started in the 70's, but they certainly carried through into the 80's 

The 90's were pretty calm for the most part.  Except they weren't without their blemishes.  for one, who can forget the dreaded Rat Tail, the mullet's offspring I'm sure?  Highly popular in the early 90's,  I had a few cousins who even wore this monstrocity and we called them on it then!  

There's also the bowl cut.  Granted, tolerable depending on the severity of the cut, this style has survived decades for some reason, it was probably established by one of the three stooges.  For some reason, it was popularized in the 90's to a degree my husband even wore it.  With a part down the front.  Love ya Gus, but please keep it short :)

Which brings me to the current era, which we are just leaving.  For the most part, this decade was made up of Faux Hawks.  Actually this decade has largely been rather tame and not entirely unpleasing to the eye. 

Save for one. 

I guarantee, in a few years, people are going to look back and wonder 'what in the hell were they thinking?'