Getting Fit and Healthy in 2010

Here it is, January of the new year almost over and I have slowly been working towards my fitness goals for the new year.  At first, I told myself I wasn’t going to make any new year’s resolutions this year, and in a way I haven’t.  I really hate calling them that because I don’t have a great track record at keeping them!  Getting myself back into shape is always at the top of my goals list no matter what time of year it is.
However this post at Twittermoms really got me thinking (i.e. feeling guilty) about being kinda lax about setting specific goals for myself this year.  So, I am going to sit here and hash them out.  “On paper”.  This way I can hold myself accountable.  So…

These are my top 5 goals for getting fit and healthy in 2010:

1.  I need to set myself up on a CONSISTENT workout schedule. This is number one.  In my crazy day, my workout will ALWAYS be the first thing to get cut from my To-Do list.  I have to stop doing this.  I need to make time for my workouts instead of just squeezing them in here and there.

2.  I also need to be able to track my workouts in a consistent manner so that I can see (and be motivated) by my progress.  Consistently.  I see a pattern here.  I need to be consistent. I know this goal will keep me motivated.

3.  Eat out less.  We usually eat out once a week.  It is almost never a salad that I order.  It is usually something like pasta, bread, beer.  Yikes.  I need to east out less.  A lot less.  I can't be trusted to order a taco salad at a Mexican restaurant so it's best I not go so much.

4.  Focus on strength.  I really want to get buff.  Not like Lou Ferrigno buff, but I want to be proud to wear a tank top with nice, defined biceps.  I did it before, I can do it again.

5.  TAKE CONTROL of what I put in my mouth.  Take control and be accountable – even if this means I have to carry around a notebook in my purse and keep a food journal.  This worked for me before – I just got lazy about it.  For a few years.  Yikes.

You know what I really want?  This:

I REALLY REALLY want to get this Your Shape Wii Game.  I think this awesome tool could really help me with goals 1, 2, and 4.  I love that it has a video camera that projects you doing the exercises on the TV.  It is like having your own personal trainer!  Being the techie geek  that I am, if it is an electronic way to keep my workouts on track, I know I will use it (and have fun doing so).

Any tools I can use to help me are well worth it - I need all the help I can get!  Wish me luck!

Wednesday Hero: 1/27/10

This Weeks Post Was Suggested By Pet

Specialist Brandon K. Steffy
U.S. Army 
 Specialist Brandon K. Steffy 23 years old from
Sault Sainte Marie, Michigan

178th Military Police Detachment, 89th Military Police Brigade, III Corps
October 29, 2009

He came into to this world a rather large baby, so big the doctor thought that he’d just walk home with his mother. Brandon was well mannered, polite, and tough with a contagious laugh that lit up those around him. In 2005 he graduated from Brimley High School and in 2006 enlisted in the United States Army, following a tradition of family military service. He served in Iraq as a gunner from May 2007 until July 2008 and was deployed to Afghanistan in June 2009 where he was a canine tracker handler for Forward operating Base Fenty Kennel in the Laghman Province. He and his K-9 dog Maci were inseparable, working on tracking terrorists; Maci specialized in tracking the scents of IED making materials. 

Spc. Brandon Steffy was killed when the vehicle he was riding in was attacked. His decorations and awards include the Army Commendation Medal, Army Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal, Iraq Campaign Medal-Campaign Star, Global War on Terrorism Service, the Bronze Star and the Purple Heart. Spc. Steffy is survived by his wife, daughter, parents and his sister. Brandon made people laugh and he made them cry. There was not one dry eye at his funeral, from every day townsfolk, to big construction workers to police officers; they all recalled Brandon, this "Gentle Giant." They want everyone to know that if you never knew Brandon, then you really missed out.

All Information Was Found On And Copied From & Freedom Remembered These brave men and women sacrifice so much in their lives so that others may enjoy the freedoms we get to enjoy everyday. For that, I am proud to call them Hero. We Should Not Only Mourn These Men And Women Who Died, We Should Also Thank God That Such People Lived This post is part of the Wednesday Hero Blogroll. For more information about Wednesday Hero, or if you would like to post it on your site, you can go here.
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2010 Disney World Military Discounts - Comment and WIN

As a military family, our vacations are few and far between.  It always seems we are using our vacation time and money to visit our families as they live in other states (which of course still count as vacations, but you know what I mean... LOL)  So when we do get to take vacations, it is always SOOO nice to find deals like these.  Disney usually has GREAT discounts for military families.  Here are there offerings this year:

Disney World Tickets: You can purchase up to (6) 4-Day Passes for $99 per person. With this ticket, you can visit one Disney Theme Park each day. For these special discount tickets, you can purchase them on base or at Guest Services at the front entrance to any of the Disney Theme Parks with your military ID.

Disney World Hotels: You can save even more money with special Disney World Resort discounts on a Military Package that includes room discounts up to 40% off. This discount package is available for vacations through September 30, 2010. These prices are normally less money than staying at Shades of Green.

Disney World Meals: You can then save even more money, by adding one of the Disney Dining Plans. The Basic Dining Plan is always the most popular meal plan including sit down meals that can be used at over 125 restaurants at Disney World including the Character Dining. The Basic Dining Plan is a saving of 30% off of meals at Walt Disney World.

Active and retire military can get 60% discounts on tickets, 30% of meals, and up to 40% off Disney Resort. These are great discounts!

Destinations Florida: As an added bonus, if you book with the Destinations in Florida aegency you will receive free Disney Merchandise and services to make your vacation even more magical.  How fun!  You can get a jump on your souvenir shopping! 

WIN Disney Merchandise!

The folks at Destinations Florida have generously sponsored a giveaway here on this blog.  Just leave a comment on this post and one winner will be randomly drawn to win this set of 4 Disney Parks limited edition lithographs featuring special attractions from each Disney Park (Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Disney's Hollywood Studios, and Disney's Animal Kingdom Theme Park) and Mickey Mouse ($75 Value).

So leave your comments until Febraury 1, 2010.  We'll draw a winner on the 2nd.  And if you are a military family and are planning to visit Disney this year - be sure to check out these discounts - and Destinations in Florida.

Love to Read on the Go? Win a Sony Reader at Military Wife's Mayhem

I love to read.  I will read anything.  fiction, non-fiction, newspapers, textbooks, instruction manuals...  If it has the printed word, I will read it.  I love books.  I definitely get this love from my Dad (all hail his floor to ceiling computer room library).  Normally, my wonderful David is supportive of my interests.  This last move however, we were about 1000 lbs over our allotted weight.  Books aren't light.  So, I have really looked into starting to read more ebooks.  A handheld ereader would be AWESOME.

Vanessa at A Military Wife's Mayhem did a great review of the Sony Digital Reader Touch Edition.  What a handy little gadget.  It holds 350 books in a light little hand held package, with the capacity to store more with the purchase of memory sticks.  And even better?  She has partnered with Borders to generously give one away to a fellow military wife/active duty military member!  So if you are a military wife or active duty military member, click the link below to win yourself one!

Enter To Win a Sony Reader

Thanks Vanessa!

Can The Hectic Life of a Mom Be Simplified - in under 4lbs?

Yes it can!

I have always loved tools and technology that makes managing my life easier.  As a military wife and mother, my career has always had to be flexible, adaptable, and most of all - portable.  I need tools that meet these needs.  I need small tools that pack a huge productivity punch.  The perfect solution?  Winning this:

I want an HP Mini 311!

Now how can a simple little laptop help simplify my life you say?  Easily.  By putting everything I need in one, little, portable, powerful, 3.22lb package.  With this wonderful little tool I can:

* Blog anytime anywhere 

* Work on my (ever elusive) Masters Degree
* Communicate with my husband when he is deployed
* Keep sane while my kids are hogging the house PC
* Keep my life and business going the next time we PCS
   (ie. the next time the military moves us)

* Surf the internet for fun during my downtime
   (whenever I find any)

* Finish this book while at baseball/football/whatever
   sport my two boys are playing at the time and become
   an awe inspiring fiction writer

Ok.  I have lofty goals.

This beautiful piece of technological goodness can help me achieve them.  Really!  Have you seen the commercials for Windows 7?  You can leap tall buildings in a single bound with Windows 7!  I love that this laptop comes loaded with Windows 7 - I have been dreaming of ways I can use the snap, shake, and pin to help manage my crazy hectic day.  Just look at the way Dara Torres uses hers:

Disclaimer: I in no way shape or form compare my life to how hectic this fabulous five-time Olympian has it (though some days to me it sure feels like it).  But if Dara Torres can manage her busy life with it - I am sure it can handle my "military wife/aspiring writer/college student/baseball mom/oh man I have to get dinner on the table/What time is baseball practice?/We're moving WHERE?" life.  I bet it can help you get a handle on yours too.

Are you a busy Mom?  Would you like to win an HP Mini 311 too?  HP, Windows 7, and The Mom Bloggers Club have teamed up to give away 3 of these to random comment posters on contest entrants' blog.  Just leave a comment on my blog for a chance to win your very own - good luck!

Wednesday Hero: 1/20/10

This Weeks Post Was Suggested By Toni

Stephen Cochran
Stephen Cochran
2nd Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion, 1st Marine Expeditionary Force
U.S. Marines

Stephen Cochran had it all in front of him. Collage, a fiancée and an offer for a professional recording contract. But life had other plans for him. The day was September 11, 2001. "It was just so horrific," Cochran said. "It's like I'd been called. I'd never been pulled so hard to do something."

It may have been the audacity of the attacks, but more likely it was his family's long history of military service that drew him to enlist, he said. Both grandfathers served, as did an uncle and several other relatives.

So he dropped out of college, walked away from the record deal and joined the United States Marine Corps. "I've always been raised very, very patriotic. It's just what I had to do."

After serving in Iraq, he and his entire battalion volunteered to go to Afghanistan with the 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit where Cochran was injured in an ambush. 20 yards inside Kandahar, the vehicle he was riding in hit an anti-tank mine and he was thrown from the vehicle and broke the five vertebrae in his lower back.

Read The Rest Of The Story

These brave men and women sacrifice so much in their lives so that others may enjoy the freedoms we get to enjoy everyday. For that, I am proud to call them Hero.
We Should Not Only Mourn These Men And Women Who Died, We Should Also Thank God That Such People Lived

This post is part of the Wednesday Hero Blogroll. For more information about Wednesday Hero, or if you would like to post it on your site, you can go here.

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What Happened at the Job Fair

Welp the job fair went like I thought it was going to...  Later in the week I found out that it was manly for those in the Intelligence/Security fields (and those who have a security clearance).  So not really my forte.  My friend Lisa called the Airman Family Readiness Center (the agency who sponsored the job fair) and they said that we should go anyway.  So go we did.

As soon as I walked in, I gave two copies of my resume to a man manning the registration table.  As part of going to the job fair, we got to have our resumes reviewed for free.  I should be getting the results of that review soon.  That in itself probably made the job fair worth it.

We visited most of the booths.  I dropped of my resume at a few, but just talked to people at others.  I probably won't get called back anytime soon for an interview (most of the jobs were in fields I had no experience in), but it was good to get back out there and network.  I visited the University of Phoenix booth.  This is where I got some GREAT information.

It seems that military spouses get $6,000 to go towards higher education under a new program called MyCAA.  I had no idea such a program existed.  I have wanted to pursue my Masters Degree but wasn't sure how I was going to fund it.  This bit of news has pretty much made my mind up.  I just have to find the right school with the right program, and the time (oh yeah the time?!), and this is what I am committing to this year.  Wish me luck!

Wednesday Hero: 1/13/10

Culinary Specialist 1st Class Tremayne Brown
Culinary Specialist 1st Class Tremayne Brown
U.S. Navy

Culinary Specialist 1st Class Tremayne Brown, from Tulsa, Okla., receives stores for the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS John S. McCain (DDG 56). John S. McCain is one of seven ships assigned to Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 15 and is permanently forward-deployed to Yokosuka, Japan.

Photo By Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Mike Mulcare Courtesy of

These brave men and women sacrifice so much in their lives so that others may enjoy the freedoms we get to enjoy everyday. For that, I am proud to call them Hero.
We Should Not Only Mourn These Men And Women Who Died, We Should Also Thank God That Such People Lived

This post is part of the Wednesday Hero Blogroll. For more information about Wednesday Hero, or if you would like to post it on your site, you can go here.

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At A Crossroads?

Do you ever feel like you are at a crossroads in your life?  Do you feel like there are so many options open to you and that your whole future hinges on important choices you need to make right now?  This is what I have been feeling since the new year.  Actually, I have been feeling this since this last military move last October.  My kids are getting older (one is in 2nd grade, the other is in 8th) and my husband's military career are winding down.  I really love what I do right now (and I will still continue to manage, but I feel like I need a little more.  I need to figure out what I want out of my life.  My family life is wonderful and I wouldn't change a thing.  However, as a woman and a mother I am always wondering the age-old question:

"What kind of career do I want to pursue?"

Part of me likes the fact that I am a stay at home Mom.  I like being there when my kids get home.  I like being at the ready to help with homework, or get them ready for their baseball/football/whatever sport they are playing at the time.  However, another part of me misses being a part of the workforce.  Being a professional out there in career-land.  I used to be the "go-to girl" at the office.

I was in transition for a while...  I had been pursuing my Bachelor's Degree.  I graduated last August, and now I am trying to find a job to use said degree.  This is probably one of the worse times in history to be looking for a job, much less a career change - especially when the last career on your resume is "shuttling kids to baseball".  OK that's not really what I listed, but still. 

A friend and I are going to a career fair this week.  I am both excited and mortified.  I know I am competent, intelligent, and proficient at many different skills, but I still feel very under qualified.  That feeling really sucks.

I will keep you posted how the job fair goes...

Wednesday Hero: 1/6/2010

Cpl. Carlos E. Gil Orozco
Cpl. Carlos E. Gil Orozco
23 years old from San Jose, California
2nd Battalion, 9th Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division, II Marine Expeditionary Force
September 10, 2007

Carlos Gil Orozco wasn’t a great student, but one goal pushed him to hit the books: becoming a Marine.

"He was kind of a troublemaker, you know, he got bad grades and wouldn't do his homework," said his sister, Myriam Johanna Gil Orozco. "But he wanted to be a Marine. So he studied real hard, especially algebra. He'd stay up all night studying.

Cpl. Orozco's parents moved the family from Colombia to the U.S. when he was 8 years old, hoping to give their children a better education. They became frustrated when their son didn't do well in school and thought the Marines would be good for him.

"My dad was actually happy," Myriam said. "He'd rather have him be a Marine than out on the streets being in gangs or doing drugs."

Cpl. Carlos Orozco was killed while conducting combat operations in Ashraf, Iraq when the tank he was riding in encountered an IED. Also killed in the blast was Lance Cpl. Jon T. Hicks Jr. of Atco, New Jersey.

Cpl. Orozco leaves behind his sister, his parents, his wife and two sons.

All Information Was Found On And Copied From

These brave men and women sacrifice so much in their lives so that others may enjoy the freedoms we get to enjoy everyday. For that, I am proud to call them Hero.
We Should Not Only Mourn These Men And Women Who Died, We Should Also Thank God That Such People Lived

This post is part of the Wednesday Hero Blogroll. For more information about Wednesday Hero, or if you would like to post it on your site, you can go here.

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About Me

This blog  is an online personal diary of my life and times.  My name is Elena and I am a military wife and Mom to two boys.  I am practically slipping around in all the testosterone over here - even our dog is male.  So if I make little sense or sound kinda goofy, forgive me - I may have taken a spill that day and bumped my head!

I have been married to my husband David (a Master Sergeant in the US Air Force) for almost fourteen wonderful years now.  Our life together is not always easy, is in some ways pretty simple, is never really glamorous,  but is always fun.  I wouldn't have it any other way. 

These are the everyday adventures of us: A Dad, Mom, their two boys, and their dog.  Yes it is a zoo over here...  I am so happy you stopped by.

                                                       Much Love,
P.S. - Please leave comments - I welcome the adult conversation!  :)      

Updated Blog Archives

These links show the last three months of posts from this blog.  For older posts, please refer to the Blog Archive in the sidebar - thanks!

Janurary 2010

December 2009

November 2009

Blog Archive