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:

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Class A fitting, Basic Training 1999

 

 

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Germany, 2001

 

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California, 2004

 

 

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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.

 

 

My New Diet

Even though we eat out quite a bit, Lorenzo and I consider ourselves somewhat healthy eaters. But I can’t deny the fact that I’ve gained 20lbs that I can’t get rid of since moving to Georgia back in 2013. Lorenzo has gained some weight too, but it’s not excessive. I know that 20lbs sounds like a lot but it really isn’t. I am 5’7″ (which is a little tall for a woman) and I was underweight for that height. I literally went from a size 2 to a size 4 so no, it wasn’t a big deal.

At first I was in denial about my weight gain….that is until none of my jeans fit anymore and Lorenzo had to buy me new clothes. I’ve chalked it up to a combination of 3 things: 1) relationship weight (this is a real thing), 2) I’m in my 30’s and my metabolism is finally starting to slow down and 3) I don’t really walk that much anymore since I have to drive everywhere, and with the discovery of Shrimp and Grits for dinner it was almost a no-brainer.

While I’m happy with the weight gain, I did have to get used to carrying it around and working out with it. Back in October Lorenzo and I joined a gym and have been going pretty routinely, so one day I suggested that we try giving up meat for a month. We went semi-vegetarian for about a month, plus or minus 3-5 days. We went back to eating meat in December and I decided to give the vegetarian thing another shot in January.

So far, I’ve been doing…okay. I do most of the cooking and Lorenzo just eats whatever I make and so far I haven’t heard any complaints. I know that when he’s not here he’ll eat meat so one night I made him some chicken just so he know’s I didn’t completely turn on him. Because I’m not a full vegetarian and I really don’t know any, I rely on food apps to give me some ideas for dinner choices. I use the Pinterest, Food Network, Yummly, and Gojee Food apps to get dinner ideas. Just today I made a Spicy Vegetarian Chilli with Quinoa (from the Yummly app) which got great reviews, and the other night I made a Spinach and Squash Lasagna (I didn’t use lasagna noodles, I used the Farfalle- it looked like a complete mess but it still tasted good).

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Spicy Vegetarian Chili with Quinoa

I haven’t considered a vegan diet because I haven’t completely committed to the vegetarian diet yet; I mean we went to a Superbowl party and I had to eat meat because everything – even the sides- had meat in them. I really  have to do more research on veganism, I feel like I need to learn more about what’s in these “substitutes” that they have at the supermarket. I don’t know if these options are just a fad right now and if I’m going to make this kind of change I want to know what I’m getting myself into.

So for now let’s just say I’m on the “I don’t eat meat when I don’t have to” diet. I haven’t lost any weight, but that’s not the goal. Its really forcing me to eat even more vegetables, try new things, and discover new recipes…plus I now have a newfound appreciation for mushrooms and tomatoes…almost. I do miss bacon though….

 

feature photo: civiwise.com 

Valentine’s Day, Statistics, and I

I don’t know if I’ve ever mentioned this before, but math is not one of my favorite subjects. Never has been, never will be…probably. I hardly got by in high school and I thought I was going to rip my hair out in college. The only things that have ever really stuck with me is how to calculate percentage on a discount or when I’m leaving a tip. So, it’s needless to say that I was not happy about having to take more math classes in grad school. Now I’m not sure if you’ll recall all the crying I did during my Economics class a little over a year ago that led me to take a leave of absence from school (I passed the class but, man was it rough). Now I’m back in school and taking Statistics, and then I have accounting to look forward to for the spring semester (yipee!).

This class has been taking up almost all of my spare time, hence me not being able to write as much as I want to. I am putting all of my effort into this because I really want to do well. I don’t want it to be like high school where I was praying for C’s, and in college, where I did just enough to get a C. So far, it’s been pretty manageable, but now that we are halfway through the term, I think the Excel formulas and standard deviation stuff is going to start making an appearance…oh joy.

Even though school has been consuming almost all of my spare time I have been able to make time for other things, like family. In January (yes I have to go that far back), my sisters Morgan and Val, came down with Jordin (Morgan’s daughter), and my brother Kevin and they stayed with Lorenzo and I for 4 days. My brother Keith currently lives here and he came to stay with us as well. We tried to show them as much of Atlanta as we could. We took them to Pappadeaux, the planetarium, a club, Main Event, a gun range, and the Aquarium. They said they all had a good time and are already thinking about when they can come back.

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Jordin and River (my cousin) at the Georgia Aquarium

Lorenzo and also made time to spend with some of his friends from college that he hasn’t seen almost all of last year. We all went to Top Golf in Alpharetta. There is one located within Atlanta, but it was so crowded that we went to Alpharetta instead. Just a tip: there is always going to be a wait there, so it’s best to have dinner while you wait for a table to become available. Another FYI: I am horrible at golf. I have potential to do better, but for now and the foreseeable future, I’m pretty bad at it.

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Lorenzo and I getting photobombed at Top Golf

This upcoming Sunday is Valentine’s Day. Lorenzo and I have plans to hang out with friends (after I finish my homework of course) for most of Saturday, but I think Sunday is pretty open. I not a huge fan of Valentine’s Day anymore. I used to feel all sad about it because I never had a Valentine, and when I did have a boyfriend it just wasn’t a big deal. The best memory I have of the holiday is when Lorenzo and I were dating and he sent a dozen red roses to my job. I wasn’t expecting it so it was a very nice surprise and I really appreciated it. Now that we are married and living together, I’m totally okay with not doing anything. Most of the places we like to go to are completely booked and overpriced anyway. V-day is not one of those holidays I need to celebrate. Birthdays on the other hand are a totally different category…:)  But I will do my best to (promptly) report any new attractions we venture off to this weekend. I love discovering new places and things to do here. I didn’t even know Atlanta had a planetarium until my brother mentioned it- goes to show you how much I know…. I need to do better.