I Have Braces

Eight years after my old dentist in New York told me that I needed to straighten out my teeth (the bottom row), I finally got braces installed the other day. My NY dentist wanted me to get Invisalign, but that $5,000+ price point made me super hesitant. Why? Well, my bottom row has been crooked since they grew in; I was used to them. Plus I’ve also mastered how to smile without showing them at all. MASTERED IT.

I do, however, have a tooth in the front that is slightly slanted, or it’s starting to push outward ; it’s hardly noticeable, but I know it’s like that and that was more than enough for me  to consider straitening them. It started to become more recognizable to me in the past 2 or 3 years. I think that the older I get,  the more the tooth is going to start pushing out more and more.

Braces
My new braces

Instead of getting Invisalign, I opted for another option that my new Atlanta dentist completed in-house called 6-month smiles. The process took about 2 hours to install, and the pain wasn’t as bad as I thought it was going  to be. I am still sore, so I’ve been eating the softest foods I could find for the past f ew days. Lorenzo and I keep a few packets of Oodles of Noodles on standby just in case of emergency. We started keeping a few of them in the house about two years ago after that government shutdown where we both ended up out of work for a month.  But I digress.

As per the name, I only have to keep them on for six months or so. I had to buy a travel toothbrush and a water flosser to help with the transition. So far, I just can’t wait to get used to them so I can go back  to eating real food (because that’s what’s most important).

I may write about the progress in a follow-up post at another time.

Here’s to straight teeth!

feature photo credit: wfsmile

 

 

Goals, Goals, and More Goals

I’ve been really busy lately. Like really busy. My whole life seems to be: work, gym, school, work, gym, school, work, gym, school, military, work, and sometimes I eat.

This year is going by so quickly that I didn’t notice it was already May until I received my monthly email that my AdoreMe showroom was ready. Lorenzo and I have a lot of plans this year. We are already booked through August. Some are military events, some family, and others are business related. We even purchased a few finance books from a pop up book store and Amazon on finance and investing in order to brush up our skills and figure out ways to make more money.

Books
Some books about money

 

One of the things I love the most about being married to Lorenzo is that he is a very goal oriented person. Every year we have new plans for things we want to accomplish in the upcoming years. Last year, it was getting a married, going on our honeymoon and getting a raise at work. We did all three. This year we want to save more money, help remodel Lorenzo’s mothers house, start looking for our own home, get business certifications (Six Sigma and PMP) and try to find time for a vacation.

The primary goal is to save $100,000 (this was Lorenzo’s ambitious number that he came up with). When he first presented the idea to me, the first thing I wanted to say was, “impossible”, but I checked myself. Why can’t we do it? We are both pretty smart, business minded people and we’ve managed to do everything else we wanted to do last year so why can’t we? We did the math and if we are willing to make some changes (like move into a less expensive apartment until we are ready to buy a home), we can probably do it in a little over a year. It may take some sacrifice, but wouldn’t it be worth it in the end?

It will involve  combination of cutting costs and seeking more money producing opportunities. I read somewhere online that millionaires always have more than one source of income (3 was the magic number). So we are looking to get other sources of income. I want to say I read that on Business Insider but I could be wrong.

Anyway, our 2015 goal was: Make more and now our 2016 goal is: Save more (while still having fun)

I think this will be interesting.

feature photo credit: Crossfit Wappoo 

Growing Up, Growing Old

When I was younger I used to remember things that people used to say about being in your 30’s and 40’s- very similar to a lot of memes you see nowadays. How you don’t go out at much, your priorities become marriage and family instead of friends and partying, and they all just made it seem so dull and boring. It made me sort of dread it.

Now that I’m at that age, I get it. I understand why things change. Your priorities do change. Sometimes those friends that you used to party with are no longer around and maybe sometimes they are. Your body changes, you get tired a lot faster, injuries happen, you might find yourself suddenly allergic to things you’ve never been allergic to before… no? Just me? Okay then.

Anyway, I completed my physical fitness test this weekend. I was curious as to what my performance would be since I’ve been almost faithfully going to the gym since October. I passed, and I did well but of course-true to form- I have to critique myself on what I need to fix as opposed to being happy with what I’ve done. The test is composed of 3 events: Push ups, sit- ups and a 2-mile run. I scored 80 points in 2 events and 78 points in one event.  Now that I know where I stand, I know where I need to improve so maybe on the next test I can score 90 points in each event.

I’m going to continue to eat well, lift weights, and run more. I’ve already completed a 5K walk/run with another sergeant in my unit. We completed the Color Run in Hampton, GA on April 2nd. It was my first 5K event and I really enjoyed it. It was very family oriented and casual.

Even though I am not used to running 3 miles, this run didn’t take as long as I thought it would. My knee only bothered me a little it so I had to stop and walk for a short time but I was able to keep going. I think I’m going to start running 3 miles now- at least- to help me reach my future physical fitness test goals. I used to do this when I was deployed but…again I was a bit younger and didn’t have too many injuries. So… We’ll see.

Workout Thoughts

As I’m sure many of you already know, as part of being in the military Soldiers have an obligation to remain physically fit at all times. I’m not going to lie: I didn’t always meet the standards. I wasn’t a “PT Stud”, and I never have been.

Cold hard truth: I actually hate working out. Especially running.

But I have to do it. Its a necessary task that I’ve been forcing myself to do for the major part of the last 17 years of my life. I couldn’t even seriously date a guy if he didn’t have some form of a workout routine in his life.

Anyway, Lorenzo and I joined a gym back in October and 4-5 days out of the week we find ourselves there after work. Lorenzo plays basketball while I lift weights. I run at home during my lunch break some days. Because I spend a lot of time by myself, it gives me plenty of time to let my mind run wild. Some of the things that go through my mind while I’m working out are:

“I think I might need to change out my routine. I feel like I do the same things over and over again and I’m still lifting the same amount of weight” (never changes the weight setting or looks into alternative options)

“Man, this hurts. Girl you really need to lay off the bread and cheese. Was it worth it?…. Was it? Yes, of course it was. I want a pizza right now.”

“Why is this song STILL on my iPod?!?! Oh, because you’re too lazy to update the play list. Jackass.”

“I hope that guy doesn’t think those pushups count. Humping the floor is NOT a push up. And this guy…he’s not even extending his arms…ughhhh. None of those count!”

“Stop staring at people. Am I staring? Yeah, probably.”

“Just keep going. The more you work out now the easier it will be when you get older. Man, I remember when this was easy. What have I done with my life?? Oh yeah, moved to Georgia, discovered Shrimp and Grits and gained 20lbs, that’s what.” (runs faster)

“Good form. How does my butt look? Still cute? Cool.”

“Lorenzo looks so hot when he’s working out. Sexy self…. I love him.”

“I REALLY need to put some new songs on this iPod. This playlist is embarrassing.”

“What the…?? Who is this guy? A ninja???”

I really need to stop staring at people when I workout. Sometimes I just monitor the exercises they do to see if its something I can incorporate into my workout. Other times I’m just in awe at the strength and agility that some people have. When I workout with Lorenzo, I’m just in awe of him:)

photo credit: isabelfoxenduke

The Ex That Won’t Go Away

The other day I was reading an article on Madame Noire about why exes like to make random appearances after you’ve already moved on with your life. It may not always be an ex lover, maybe just someone that you were talking to briefly. Either way it goes, I found the article to be kind of funny, mostly because it’s true: ex flames just have this radar that tells them that you are happy without them so they have to reach out to try to ruin your life again. It has happened to me (a few times) and even to Lorenzo once we started dating.

I don’t like to be confrontational with people (I tend to yell a lot when I have to be) so I am a huge fan of ignoring people. Is it immature? Yes, a little, but I don’t feel like I need to explain my choices to anyone- especially someone I want nothing to do with. I’m not a fan of changing phones numbers to avoid someone-I’ve had the same number since 2003 and I refuse to give it up. Ignoring people has worked well for me. If I got into a fight with a guy I was seeing and stopped speaking to them for a few days, at first, I would get nasty voicemail and text messages-but I knew it was only to get me upset just enough to respond. Eventually it would stop…and maybe…just maybe a year later I might get a random text message. That’s when I would respond, “Who is this?” (because I really didn’t know- I delete numbers) sometimes the guy’s ego would kick in and they wouldn’t text back but I had one guy who got mad because I deleted his number. I told him that I deleted it because there is no reason for me to have it and that he could delete my number as well. And that’s that.

Lorenzo used to get emails and text messages from one girl in particular while we were dating. They were seeing other in 2009, and Lorenzo and I started seeing each other in 2011. The contact was very sportatic, from a girl who really never made time for him when they were “seeing each other”. First there was a passive-aggressive email that he ignored, then two months later around New Years the “I don’t want to start the New Year on a bad note but if you don’t want to speak to me then I’ll leave you alone” text (I’ve gotten a few of those myself) which he also ignored. A year later we were engaged another email, but this time I told him to respond. He told her the didn’t want to hear from her and that he was engaged. No, that wasn’t enough..about 8 months later another email. He didn’t want to respond again and I didn’t make a big deal of it, but we haven’t heard from her since.

Lorenzo and I do not have any contact with our exes. Neither of us has children from a prior relationship so that makes it easier. I don’t get upset with him if any of his exes try to reach out to him, he always tells me and he always asks me how he should handle it (and vice versa). I’ve only had one ex pop up since we’ve been together. You know, the ex, the one that your whole family loved and never really seems to go away (no matter how far you move). He emailed me expressing concern about me having to go to Africa to deal with the Ebola crisis. I didn’t have to go but he didn’t know that because I haven’t spoken to him in 6 years. Even though Lorenzo told me to respond, I didn’t want to. I didn’t want to open that door. Everything with him always seems so innocent at first, but the minute, no the second he hears something he doesn’t like, all hell breaks loose. We didn’t end on a good note so I don’t know why he would even attempt to try to talk to me.

I am the type of person who can forgive and forget, but that doesn’t mean that I want that person in my life. I can forgive you, never speak to you again, and be okay. That’s kind of how I like it.

 

Feature photo: exboyfriendrecovery

3 Years Left

On Saturday, March 3rd, 1999 I sat around a MEPS station in Brooklyn, probably for about 6 hours (maybe more) watching television and eating junk food from a vending machine. It was my 3rd time coming to MEPS. When the recruiter finally called my name, I went and sat with a guy for another 40 minutes. We reviewed my ASVAB score and he helped me pick a job. He told me I was going to be “like a scientist”, you know, working in a lab and whatnot. I signed about 70 forms. My signature was looking like a blob of nothing by the time I was done.

I’d officially joined the Army.

I can still smell the MEPS station when I think about it (MEPS is an entry processing station for people joining any branch of the military. You can take the ASVAB test there, get your overly traumatic physical and blood work, and then after waiting around for what seems like an eternity, you sit down with someone to pick your job, your ship date for basic training and sign the contract). Now 17 years later, I’m still in. The girl who never did a push up in her life and never wanted to get her nails dirty joined the Army.  I have 3 years and 10 days left until I hit my 20 year mark. I should get my retirement letter a few months later. Its going to be the one of the happiest days of my life- after my wedding date of course.

But enough of my talking, here are some photos:

FullSizeRender1
Class A fitting, Basic Training 1999

 

 

FullSizeRender
Germany, 2001

 

FullSizeRender4
California, 2004

 

 

IMG_6608
New Jersey (2007 or 2008)

 

I am positive that the next 3 years will quickly roll by, but I’ll try not to think about it until I get my letter. C’moooooooon retirement letter:)

Feature Photo: Iraq, 2009

Some Random Thoughts

If you can find an Amazing Escape Room in your city,  I recommend you do it. We found one in Sandy Springs and actually were able to find a discount on Groupon as well. Take a large group of people with you and try to have fun Lorenzo and I went with some friends the day after Valentine’s Day and we had a great time. We were locked in a room and had an hour to get through all the clues and get out. One room turned into another and another. Everything had locks on it and there were numbers and things that I didn’t think were clues that turned out to really be clues. I don’t want to give away too much but it was a nice experience that I recommend people try.

School is starting to get on my nerves. I am about 70% of the way through the course and I’m losing interest in it quickly. Instead of asking, “Are we there yet?” I’m asking, “Am I done yet?”

I started reading The Art of War by Sun Tzu. I completed chapter 2 before I put it down and picked up Cross Fire by John Grisham. I am not sure if I want to go back to it or start something else. I hate when I don’t finish books. I did it with Little Women, The Invisible Man, and Wuthering Heights and I still haven’t forgiven myself for it.

I want to run a 5K this year.

Lorenzo and I have to find somewhere to go on vacation this year. I need to put an new stamp on my passport. Speaking of passport, I need to get my name changed. Shoot. I should take care of that.

I should really go because The Walking Dead is on and I want to make sure I don’t miss anything…so…bye.