Tootles 2013!

Since I blogged pretty heavy through 2013 I’ll save you the recap, however, here’s the few things I’m shooting for in 2014:

  • New blog design and layout by Bianca Frank
  • Organization of my Pinterest boards (http://www.pinterest.com/jesspacpaleo/)
  • Make a RAD monthly goals list
  • A PINK 35th birthday in Vegas
  • Lose the 20 pounds I gained in 2013
  • Yoga more
  • One solid, focused, beautiful, unassisted, strict: pull up. One.  Just one.

2013 was a wonderful year for our family.  Wonderful.  I haven’t blogged or worked out much at all in the past few weeks because, well, I have many excuses: Thanksgiving, Christmas, and my 23 year old (step) daughter was visiting with our 1st grandchild are at the top my list!

Place father Christmas atop our Christmas tree the day after Thanksgiving

Place Father Christmas atop our Christmas tree the day after Thanksgiving

Smartie wrecked havoc almost every single day!

Smartie wrecked havoc almost every single day!

It only took a week for ol' Smartie to go on STRIKE!!

It only took a week for ol’ Smartie to go on STRIKE!!

I made it JYs "holiday" performance!

I made it JYs “holiday” performance!

Baked Christmas cookies!

Baked Christmas cookies!

Even got the pre-teen to help out!

Even got the pre-teen to help out!

Legos.  A job for my boys!

Legos. A job for my boys!

His squadron Christmas party!

His squadron Christmas party!

Araha Beach

Araha Beach

My squadron Christmas Party

My squadron Christmas Party

Sea Garden

Sea Garden

Aquarium

Aquarium

Xystus Play Place

Xystus Play Place

Jams

Jams

Instead of throwing weights around, making grocery lists and blogging every step- I took this holiday season for me.  And my family.  This year was the first year we celebrated Christmas with all four children.  Being a blended family with adult children, grandchildren and living overseas- THIS was a big deal!!!  And we enjoyed every last second of it!

I pray 2013 was as good to you and your family is it was to ours.  To 2014: I’m coming for ya!

Tootles-

jess

Birthday

I love birthdays!  I never made a big deal out of my birthday until the one that fell on September 11th,2001.  That birthday changed my life as I know that day changed many Americans.

For me, I cried from all the way up highway 97 from Yreka to Klamath Falls.  My leave was cancelled and I was to report to duty within an hour.  I had enlisted only a year earlier- as a personnelist.  I made ID cards.  And now I could be going to war.  This was my 22nd birthday.

I spent the next few hours in a complete daze.  All I could think of was “when”.  At some point in the day my supervisor pulled me aside and asked if I was ok.  I asked him, “When do we leave?”.

“Leave?”, he asked.

“When do we go to war?”

“We as in America, or when as in me and you?”

“Me.  When am I going to war?”

“You’re not.”

Everything became very clear in that moment.  I was apart of a Guard squadron who support the training of F-15 pilots.  We don’t deploy.  I never thought of going to combat until that very moment.

After a full eight hours of walking around in uniform I went to the base pub.  I couldn’t get “going to combat” out of my head.

The following morning I went to the Air Traffic Control Squadron and asked to be re-trained.  Two years later I celebrated my 24th birthday in Bagram Afghanistan.

September 11th 2003

September 11th 2003

Every year since: I celebrate!  The gal next to my is my best friend: GG.  She’s also an Air Traffic Controller and we share the same birthday.  We try to celebrate together as much as we can!

This year my birthday fell on a Wednesday so I saved the celebrating for the weekend.  If you’re gonna celebrate might as well make a theme out of it!!

This years theme was: Alter Ego:

Audrey

Audrey

No night is complete without a costume change!

Greaser

Greaser

Tootles-

jess

Lunch Box Countdown

I’m on the hunt to find the PERFECT lunch box for two of my minions (kinder and 3rd grade).  I have ordered all of these (except for #3 from amazon.com).  Here are my countdown starting with my least favorite:

#5.  Goodbyn

Pros: Sturdy.
Cons:  A little on the big side for the younger kids.  They are an awkward shape too. Not leakproof.
Price: $8.00

Ham and cheese roll up, miran, pickles and olives

Ham and cheese roll up, miran, pickles and olives

#4. The LunchBot:

Pros: Lightweight, stainless steel, perfect serving size for school aged kids, and a favorite of nomnompaleos.  Lots and lots and lots of ideas from her!
Cons: Expensive, paint chips (cue Tommy Boy), compartments leak (they do have “leakproof” bots now, but they don’t have dividers like the classic ones do), does not like the microwave.
Price: $16.99-20.99

green grapes, broccoli salad and kosher hot dogs

green grapes, broccoli salad and kosher hot dogs

paint fail

paint fail

#3. Easy Lunch Box

Pros: Lightweight, sturdy (not thin and flimsy), BPA free, cost effective, dishwasher & microwave safe.
Cons: A little big for the kids, but this is my favorite for ME!  I emailed the website to suggest a smaller box (for the smaller kids) and the CEO wrote back within the day!  She said that it wasn’t cost effective, but Im hoping that will change!  Not leakproof.
Price: $13.95 for FOUR!

IMG_0006

Mommys lunch (leftovers): roasted brussel sprouts with bacon & garlic, baked chicken, cucumbers with sunshine sauce.

IMG_0005

Mommys lunch (leftovers): cucumbers in rice vinegar and dill, Marissa’s Mississippi pot roast and mango slaw

#3: Authentic Japanese Bentos

Pros: Lightweight, sturdy (not thin and flimsy), cost effective (super cheap), freaking cute, colorful and fun!
Cons:  Cheap!  The lids tend to seek refuge in the trash!
Price: ¥100-¥700

100 yen store on 23

ETWS in Naha

ETWS in Naha

IMG_0008

apple hotdogs with honey mustard dip, miran oranges, blueberries, almonds a fruit snack and a juice

IMG_0003

grapes and blueberries, kosher hotdog and baked chicken with organic ketchup dip and a juice

#1: Yumbox
Pros: A bit pricey (thanks for the correction, Connie!!), 5 dividers and a spot for dip!!!  It demands variety!  LEAKPROOF!  Cute! Fits in backpack- perfectly!!!!
Cons:  Heavy.
Price: $29.99

YUMBOX

YUMBOX

A little skeptical of NEEDING a grain and dairy, but I can cover that up!

A little skeptical of NEEDING a grain and dairy, but I can cover that up!

Almonds, grapes, kosher hotdogs, miran and pickles

Almonds, grapes, kosher hotdogs, miran and pickles

pickles, grapes, apple sausage with honey mustard dip and almonds

pickles, grapes, apple sausage with honey mustard dip and almonds

Now I am having a desire to watch “Clueless”, “Cant Hardly Wait”, “10 Things I Hate About You” and & “Mean Girls”…

Tootles-

Jess

Working Mom

Yesterday was the first day where the last of my children became “school aged”.  The feelings and anxiety of this chapter of my life began a few weeks ago and they all came to a head today as I drove to work at 0515 in the morning.

As I drove to work, I wished I was that mom standing in front of the school, with swollen eyes, watching their childs independence flow as they walk away… into their kindergarten class.  I wanted to be that mother who walked away without a little hand holding theirs.  I wanted to be that mother that crawled into their car, put their oversized sunglasses on with mascara running down their cheeks.  I wanted to be that mother that cried uncontrollably as they took one last long look at the school before driving home to an empty and quiet house.

But, I was at work.

Thankfully, I love my job.

I’m that mom that knew being a stay at home mom wouldn’t work for me.  Not that I don’t love my children, Lord knows I do.  I just knew I couldn’t give my children the “day care” that a day care could.  I’ve always been ok with the decision to go to work but its time like these when I cant help but wonder if working was the best decision for my family.

Then I remember this picture:

The military mom

The military mom

And I have to remind myself of the mothers who are deployed or TDY during these first pages of lives chapters.

I think of the families of the children of Oklahoma City:

Oklahoma City  April 1995

Oklahoma City
April 1995

I think of the mothers and fathers of the children of Columbine:

April 20th, 1999

April 20th, 1999

The families of Sandy Hook:

December 14th, 2012

December 14th, 2012

I reflect on the children who, by whatever reason, became an angel of God.  Maybe my thought process escalated too quickly but I’m not sorry about that.

I may not have been there for my child on the first day of kindergarten, but I as I ate dinner with my three happy and healthy children I thought to myself, “it’s not about being a working mom or stay at home mom, I’m just being thankful for the opportunity to be a mom”.

Tootles-

jess

Freaky Friday

“Freaky Friday” is more than a Lindsey Lohan movie to me.  Freaky Friday is a weekly phenomenon where the planets fall out of alignment.  Nothing goes terrible wrong- but nothing goes quite right either.  Sometimes it’s heading to work, getting in my car, looking in the mirror, and realizing I only have mascara on one eye.  Some days it’s doing a radio check on a land line.  Losing my CAC card.  Texting the wrong person details of how the evening will go… as if they were invited.  Driving to work on a one lane “expressway” behind this guy:

The speed limit is 49mph.

The speed limit on the EXPRESSWAY is 49 mph.

Even though I fall asleep every Thursday night mentally preparing myself for each and every Freaky Friday, I thought this one was going to be different.  I’ve been eating clean and working out: I have been feeling ontop of the world!!!  I got to sleep in an extra hour- today was going to be different, today was going to be GREAT!

I made my husband steak and eggs for breakfast and headed to my room to get dressed.  There’s a pair of shoes that I have been wanting to wear to work since a week before the last 80s party.  Today was the perfect day for my neon splashed high heels!!! 

I squeezed into a pair of stonewashed skinny jeans.  Threw on a neon green shirt to match my totally rad heels.  I sat at my vanity and put my war paint on (also called make-up).  This is where Freaky Friday started to rear her ugly head.  I spilled just a dot of foundation on my shirt.  No biggie… I can handle this: I have the same shirt in neon pink.  War paint on, neon shirt on, skinny jeans on, slid on the heels… in my head I started singing: I feel pretty, oh, so pretty.  I even got a flattering nod of approval from my husband.  Today is going to be a great day!!!

Freaky Friday- you are going DOWN!!!!!

pretty

Feeling onto of the world, I thought it would be a good time for an air squat.

Hello, Freaky Friday… got it: no neon. no skinny jeans.

Tootles-

jess

Hypocrite

I started smoking when I was 19.  Why?  Because my friends were doing it.  Peer pressure.  It wasn’t like my friends said, “duuuuude, here’s a cigarette, to hang with us, you HAVE to be a smoker”.  No one held a gun to my head and said: you have to be a smoker!

It was my choice.  I became a smoker.  And not a social smoker who does it to be cool.  Nope, first thing in the morning: a cigarette.  59 minutes later: a cigarette.  After good food: a cigarette.  After bad food: a cigarette.  With coffee.  With beer.  You get the idea.

I heard through he grapevine that smoking was in fact not good for you.  I’ve had family ask me to quit.  So I quit.  I’ve quit cold turkey.  I’ve quit using the patch.  I’ve quit using the gum.  I have quit smoking more times than I can count (on one hand anyway).

I’m not perfect.  But, somehow, I am surrounded by people who know this and still love me.  I walked into the box after a bit of an absence and the owner gave me a big welcome back hug.  He stepped back and said, “you smell like cigarettes”.  I didn’t know what to say.  I just stood there.

deer

 Was he mad at me? Was he going to kick me out of his gym?  Was he going to call me a hypocrite and ban me from his super cult?

He didn’t.  He put his arm around me and said, “you’ll get it”.

It might not be today, it may not be this year, but I hope so… I hope I get it.  My last quit day was the 21st of December.  A mere 42 days ago.

Everyone has a “thing” they struggle with…

Does it make them a hypocrite or a human?

Tootles.

jess