Fairy tales and four-days

I’m thankful that today, the day after a fantastic weekend, was not a let-down like so many days after holiday weekends are. We had a FABULOUS weekend!

For starters, we’ve been watching the first season of “Once Upon a Time”, a show based on all the fairy tales we learned as children. I admit, I haven’t even seen the full lengths of Snow WhiteAlice in Wonderland or Pinocchio. I was more of a Lion King and Beauty and the Beast kind of girl. And I didn’t even really know other versions besides Disney existed until I took a storytelling class at Bradley. Anyway, the show is good and wholesome. No sex, no gory violence. We finished the first season last night.

So, onto the weekend:

Friday – I had to nanny (work? babysit?) all day. These kids wear a girl out! I haven’t made it to “Queen Babysitter” status (the last babysitter they absolutely LOVED is sitting on her throne in Kansas), but I’m doing fine. 😉 We cleaned out the horse pen, played Army, ate MRE’s in the “valley” and jammed out to CMT. Good times. This city girl has at the very least country music going for her.

I will ride by the end of the summer!!

After “work” (hard to believe I get paid for having FUN!) I met up with Aaron and some leaders and kids from our youth at church to do some paintball. So fitting that I played Army earlier in the day… I was training! Ha!

I didn’t last two minutes.

Saturday – We got up early, picked up Jess, and went to the farmers’ market in Sunland Park. Honestly, it was a bust. Aaron got some jerky and chow chow (new to me!) but there was next to no produce. I really wanted some tomatoes! Hopefully my plant will produce some good ones.

We headed to the church picnic at Veterans Park in our side of town. It was nice to not have to drive across the mountain for a church function… the picnic was specifically for people in the northeast part of town. It was a great time! Aaron got sunburned from playing volleyball. I played for a few minutes and then ended up chilling in the shade. Thankful for great church friends!!

Sunday – We went to Cloudcroft for the day. I’d been looking forward to this trip since we decided to do it a couple weeks ago. It was nice to have a Sunday off of our normal responsibilities. Cloudcroft is a little mountain town (population 750) in the mountains of the Lincoln National Forest.

We got there mid-morning and checked out an arts/crafts fair. We went in and out of all the little shops downtown. We ate lunch at a diner… how I miss diners!! We hiked off our lunch on a short 2-mile trail. We were hoping for a more strenuous hike, but the Osha Trail worked out just fine.

Monday – We got up and ran 5 miles each for wear blue:run to remember around post. It felt good! I really pushed when it came to the last mile. We ran some errands around post and then stayed in for the rest of the day. I made a big breakfast when we got home. We spent the rest of the day doing laundry, packing and finishing up Once Upon a Time”.

Today we were up at 3:45. I took Aaron to the airport (25 days for this TDY and counting!) I decided to go ahead and run before “work” on the west side, since I’m doing the Runner’s World Run Streak (run at least one mile a day between Memorial Day and Independence Day). I. FELT. AWESOME. 3 miles in 27 minutes!!! That’s unheard of for me in El Paso. It was crisp and cool (well, probably 60 degrees), the sun wasn’t up over the mountains yet, and I just clicked them off. I ran with music, which is something I haven’t done in at least a week, and that kept me motivated. I felt joy when running, so much that I think I even smiled. Of course, when you have this ahead of you, how can you not? Trees, panoramic views, fields and JOHN DEERE TRACTORS!

I now have several days before I need to nanny again, so I’m going to get a TON of homework done despite the week extension for one of my classes. I have to get a bunch done before mah BEST FRIEND AMELIA COMES TO VISIT!!! WOOHOO!!!

Silver & gold

Remember that little rhyme/song we learned when we were little? “Make new friends, but keep the old. One is silver and the other is gold.” Well, maybe you didn’t learn it, but I did.

I kinda feel this way about running partners. I have to say I miss Gabi so so so soooooooooo muuuuuuuuuuuch. Like, A LOT. She and I experienced so many things together and have so many memories. I have snapshots in my mind of some of our greatest moments and runs together, AND we ran our first marathon together. Those are experiences you just can’t take away… someday we’ll run the Prague International Marathon. 😉

Running partners are important, as I realized shortly after moving across the country. Somewhere in the hills of Missouri, or the cow patties of Oklahoma, I lost my running-ness (not a word? HA! Now it is!). It was rough.

However, now Jess and I have been running together and it’s been a great experience! We met in person when I first got here in July (we messaged over Facebook before that). Little did I know that several months later we’d running our tails off under the Hell El Paso sky! She’s been running for a little bit, and our distances aren’t too crazy (I tell ya.. they alllll say they’re not gonna run “that far”… I bet you $10 they’re wrong). Most of the time we run a few miles a few times a week. We’ve found a lovely place on post called the parade field. It’s a field, with GRASS. And a spectacular view of the mountains.

(she took this pic; hope she doesn’t mind!)

This was taken on probably one of the last few cool-ish days before, oh, November. 😉

We’ve done tempo runs, intervals, and today we did 60-120s. Wheewww-eeeee! That was a trip. I am proud of say, though, that none of our 60-second sprints were slower than an 8:00 min pace. It was a fabulous workout.

We’re signed up for the Fourth of July 5K, which starts promptly at 7:04 am. Haha. I’m of course wanting to PR (my PR from last May is 27:56) so I’m super glad we’re doing these crazy interval runs in the 90* heat. Jess I know will do well!

I love sharing the pain joy of running with people, especially friends.

Ropin’ steers

You think I’m joking??

This was our project for today. A would “ride” the “horse” (aka wagon + cooler + saddle he was NOT supposed to be using for this), H would be the steer, and I got to drive the “tractor”.

Except I’ve never driven a tractor, unless you count me steering the little John Deere while my grandpa drove it down the quarter mile lane leading to the farmhouse. (I know there’s a picture somewhere….)

And this was no ordinary tractor, nope. It was really a riding lawnmower. Erm. Never driven one of those either. I barely know what a clutch is, thanks to my husband for teaching me how to drive the stick-shift car we no longer have. And I drove that thing about 20 miles total.

I asked A if he realized I was almost six feet tall… I mean, my knees were about touching my face! I was the most unpredictable tractor-driving city girl there ever was. But we had fun, even if this whole contraption was slightly unsafe.

So we drove over to Grandma and Grandpa’s to check on the pigs. Remember Gibbs, Achmed and Peanut? I really need to take a picture. They’re getting big, which means only one thing.

Bacon. 🙂

In reality, I don’t even know if we were supposed to do this today, but A had this all rigged up before today.

Then H and I waited and talked about girly stuff.. mainly it was me asking if I could fix her hair because her ponytail was all falling out, and then she looked at me right in the eye and asked me, “Are you city?” I tell ya, I will have that pretty long blonde hair in French braids by the end of the summer.

I will also be a lean mean riding lawnmower driver, too. So mean.

Pink and silver cowboy hats

I like to keep my cowgirl adventures separate from the rest of my blog… it’s just more fun that way.

This week was pretty uneventful, as I had the kids on Monday but we didn’t get to do much.

I forgot to tell y’all (seeeeee that?? y’all) that I met A’s other two pigs. Remember Gibbs? He’s (she???) the one who’s black and white and cute all over. Well, the OTHER ones are named Peanut, which I think is the white one, and Achmed, which is a reddish color, I think. He named them after Jeff Dunham characters. Nice. You know what I’m thinking? That three pigs means a LOT of bacon. Like, a TON.

Yesterday H and I played Country Dance on the Wii. Now, for being a “city girl” (I swear, no matter how much I try to fit in, these kids will always dub me the city girl) I know my country music pretty well. At least the country music that’s sort of rock and pop, too. No super twangy stuff for me. My dad might disown me….. (Y’all, my concerts growing up were John Mellencamp, Def Leppard, Styx and REO Speedwagon.)

Anyway, we played Country Dance and I tell ya that that little girl beat my butt! She even let me wear her bright pink cowboy hat with silver trim… I felt so cowgirl badass.

Then A gave us his “guns” that he fashioned from narrow PVC pipes and camo duct tape. Yes, CAMO. We played “Army” and H and I were on a team and totally won, though A wouldn’t admit it. Silly boys. I did well, again, for a “city girl” who was never even allowed to play with water guns. (One time at my grandma’s, my cousin had rubber band guns and we played “Commando” or some such…)

I still need to get me some boots……. and maybe a hat…

An afterthought: I was thinking yet again about how I gave up a full-time job in education and should I have done that, blah blah blah (a resounding YES comes to mind) and then I was thinking about how it’s important in life to see what really matters, and to grab hold of those unique opportunities. I mean seriously. Who gets to be a nanny for kids who live on a ranch with horses in southern New Mexico??? Yeah.

May 11, 2012

Not a whole lot is going on around here, which in Army life is not necessarily a bad thing. I guess the biggest  piece of news is that I might have to buy a darker foundation. Meaning, just “ivory” instead of “light ivory” or “translucent”. *Hangs head in English/Scandavian shame*

Aaron got in a week ago late Friday night. Being the night owl crazy party animals we are, we went to IHOP for a late laaaate dinner. We had a restful weekend, and he had Monday and Tuesday off as well.

Monday morning we found a new park to go to that has trails in the Franklin Mountains State Park. Missy loves hiking.

I haven’t done much exercise wise. Monday we went hiking, yesterday Jess and I took advantage of the so-not-desert-like weather (60ish and cloudy/rainy!) and ran 3 miles outside. This morning I went to the gym and did 2.67 miles of 60-120’s, or running hard for 2 minutes and resting for 1. It felt great!

I’ve been trying to “eat clean”, and I’m definitely doing it 80% of the time.. or maybe 70%… I’ve been having fun researching new recipes to try and ways to make the things I like to eat healthier. We’re definitely not going all organic, raw food, or vegan or anything. I like my ice cream, red meat and coffee creamer too much (Bailey’s creamer anyone???).

I don’t know.. life’s just.. life. And it’s nice. As for right now, no pending deployments. However, we know that can change at any moment. Soon it’ll be hotter than heck here, so it’s great that our swamp cooler got fixed! The filters were completely calcified and so heavy I couldn’t even lift one! The pump was broken too, which makes the whole idea worthless. Who knows how long it’d been since it was serviced!

The crazy thing is, last summer when we got here we thought that swamp coolers were just crappy, but ours gets it so cool in here (when it’s not humid!) that it’s almost chilly! Lately we’ve been getting away with just having the vent on at night (almost like an attic fan, except it pushes air out instead of pulling it in).

We’re wanting to take a day trip to Cloudcroft, which is a little mountain town about 100 miles away at 9,000 ft! We drove through it to get to Carlsbad, but didn’t get a chance to really check it out.

Anyway, off to enjoy the weekend!

Summer nostalgia

I know it’s not *technically* summer  yet, but it’s in the 90’s in El Paso, so it feel like summer. Crazy to think we have over a month until the actual solstice! Anyway, I digress.

Summer has great memories. I’m pretty sure I’ve blogged about this before. Here’s a list of things I love about summer (which lasts for 6-7 months here. Haha.)

  • Having more daylight, especially in the evenings. I love taking the puppy for walks right after the sun goes behind the mountains. Kids are playing in the street and people are outside. It’s nice. (P.S. She’s not really a puppy, but who cares?)
  • Having more daylight in the morning, which forces me to get out of bed
  • Tomatoes!!!! Can’t wait to get some of these from the farmer’s market, and hopefully my back yard. Tomatoes + cottage cheese + cracked black pepper = heaven.
  • Iced tea. Fresh brewed, unsweetened, with lemon. Yes.
  • Lazy days where you stay inside, watch movies and enjoy the A/C. We have a swamp cooler, but it still gets nice and cool in here!
  • Birds chirping
  • Green grass. Don’t get much of that around here, but when I do see it, it makes me really really happy.
  • Staying up really late and reading in bed with a cool breeze coming from the window. Okay, this is mainly something I’d do when I lived at home. I really should read more…..
  • Summer foods that don’t need to be hot… pasta salad, BLT’s, potato salad, Jell-O, fruit.
  • Burgers/steaks/chicken on the grill. We have a charcoal grill and it makes things taste so yummy
  • Asparagus!!!
  • Shorts, t-shirts, maxi skirts, SANDALS (Ughhh I hate socks and shoes), flippy-floppies, tank tops
  • Getting a tan. I haven’t been trying to, because this sun is hella strong down here, but I do wear SPF 15 lotion daily and some sun gets through. WEAR SUNSCREEN!
  • Thunderstorms. Ahhhhh. I miss these so badly!!
  • Running in the rain. Again, can’t really do this… I mean, it’s a big deal if we have a 10% chance of rain.
  • The fact that I’m not cold 24-freaking-7. I’m still that crazy person who takes a sweater into BDubs or Chili’s in the middle of SUMMER.
  • Hanging clothes outside. Again, another memory from living at home, but sheets always smelled soooo good.
  • Bath and Body Works’ Berry Vanilla body spray from last season. It’s summer in a plastic container.

So, friends, there’s my list of reasons I love summer. I really love all the seasons for their own reasons. I just have to say something to the people who give the desert crap for being hot: IT’S A DESERT. Of course it’s hot. But youuuuu also live in Georgia/Tennessee/Illinois/MIssouri, where it’s ridiculously humid and therefore makes it feel like 147 degrees Fahrenheit. At least our relative humidity is 6-8%. I’ll take that over 85 degrees in Illinois. Seriously. And by the way, we have some kickbutt tumbleweeds out here. You win some, you lose some.

A challenge for every day of the week

I have to say… I quite content right now as a stay-at-home wife/nanny/tutor/seamstress/entrepreneur????/short-term missionary/volunteer “Sunday school” teacher/dog trainer… I think some of the best jobs are ones whose titles you really can’t pinpoint to a couple words.

Even with Husband Man being gone for almost three weeks (he comes home in two days, wheeeee!!) I’ve managed to keep myself quite busy. I’ve been working out 4+ days a week, hanging out with friends, sewing like a mofo, grocery shopping, cleaning….

The other day in my whirlwind of such exciting domestic activities, I got a call from a private school organization here in El Paso asking if I were interested in a part-time Spanish teaching position through the end of the school year, with a  possibility of full-time employment next year. Ehhhh. For once, I didn’t feel pressure to jump on a teaching opportunity. Besides, I’m already committed to the family I’m nannying for, committed to the trip to Honduras, and I love spending so much time with Aaron when he’s home.

Truth is, I am content. I’m truly excited for the next few months, as they’ll be super busy and challenging! I think for me, being challenged is a requirement for contentment. I feel challenged in my workouts, in training my dog (I got a Gentle Leader and it’s working well so far!), in creating something for someone when they send me a picture and say, Hey! Can you make something like this?

Just yesterday I made a messenger bag, and while I didn’t have a pattern for a smallish messenger bag, I had one for a purse with a long strap. So, with my super-awesome mathematical skills, I used proportions to make the pattern bigger and guess what? It totally worked! I may make one like this for myself….

I also finished my first legit quilt this week, with squares cut with my fancy-schmancy rotary cutter, batting, and actual quilting stitching on top! That took patience… and then I had to miter corners. Phew. However, I believe this is just one of many quilts I will make in my life.

Anyway. Today I had this idea of a shop I’d like to open someday before I die. Call it a bullet on my “Bucket List”, whatever… but a shop like the pottery shops where you can take your mom, grandma, BFF, whoever, and paint pottery. Except mine would be a sewing shop, where you can make a project in one sitting, or have your daughter’s ninth birthday party, or take a class, or buy a coffee (an in-house cafe would be essential!), or purchase supplies for a project… wouldn’t that be fun?? Maybe someday, after we are done traveling and serving around the world, and our children are grown and have given us beautiful grandbabies, and we’ve purchased that $590,000 property in the New Mexican valley, and opened our animal rescue….. and my husband would work next door in his used bookstore…. someday. 🙂