This post is sponsored by Activia but the content and opinions expressed here are my own.
If you’ve followed this blog for a while now, you know that my husband and I have been on a bit of a health kick. I don’t think “kick” is the proper word for it really, but we’ve definitely made healthier choices over the last year + for our family. Especially after the medical retirement and the medication that bumped David’s weight up higher than he’d ever seen it. Jumping on this 2 week Activia challenge was a no brainer for the both of us. (And there is a coupon for YOU when you click that link)
I am not the biggest fan of yogurt, but these daily probiotic drinks are quickly becomming an obsession of mine. They’re perfect for those grab & go mornings. I can drink one with my coffee, or in the car on the way to the zoo, or while walking to the local library. SO convienent. One of our biggest struggles with our healthy journey has simply been convienence. Sometimes it is just easier to grab fast food on our way out the door, or grab something quicker to eat. These have seriously helped with that problem! A banana & a daily drink and good to go! I love them. They’re such a little game changer.
It is so common to overlook the link between our gut and our brains, but the gut actually contains 10 times more health-determining bacteria than the rest of the body – protecting us from infection and illnesses. Introducing Activia Dailies. Now there’s a quick, easy and tasty way to enjoy your daily probiotics. A quick low fat yogurt drink packed with Activia’s billions of live and active probiotics!
“Be the change you wish to see” is the age old saying, but when we want to change our health and fitness habits, often times it can feel like our goals are unachievable. From handling mom duties to a full-time career, the hours or minutes in a day can quickly slip away, making it oh so easy to lose track of our goals. I grabbed mine from my local Walmart and I have a coupon code for you! Head here to get an ibotta rebate —> Activia Challenge
You should have seen me and my “I don’t need a cart” pride trying to carry these around the store. HAHA! Just opt for the cart or basket, people. Don’t be “proud” like me. haha. Again, head here to grab your coupons and learn more about Activia.
Christmas 2017, also known as the stomach bug Christmas. UGH.
Christmas Eve started off with some donuts from Cookie the elf. And if you look carefully, you’ll see Maddie & Owen sprinkling reindeer food outside. Poor Fin opted to skip this part and stay in bed. I’m not even sure when the puking started, but it started a few days back with Owen… moved on to Fin and to David, now it’s on to Maddie and I just know my turn is coming. It’s been awful. We haven’t slept, we haven’t eaten… a whole Christmas dinner just packed away in leftover containers that will probably eventually get dumped just because they’ll go bad before everyone feels better. Ugh.
After a night of throwing up, Fin thankfully felt a ton better come Christmas morning. We woke up slow and took it easy. David started a fire, I made some coffee and about 4 dozen muffins (because they’re so quick and easy). We opened presents and spent the rest of the day being lazy bums, vegging out to chips & dip, lil smokies and more before the sickness crept in again and nobody wanted real food for dinner.
Remember Sant shops from school? Well, we normally give the kiddos a few bucks to take, but this year they willingly spent their own money and my heart about burst from the sweetness of it. Here are the gifts they got me. Haha. Can you guess which was from who? They were SO proud of the gifts they each chose too.
Mug from Fin. Angel from Maddie. Keychain from Owen. (we all laughed when I opened that one. It’s attached to my purse now of course and that’s where it’ll stay til I switch purses or until it breaks because #momlife. haha)
This dragon… dinosuar thing… he’s been asking for a Yellow eyes (this version in yellow) for 2 years now. TWO YEARS! We’ve searched EVERYWHERE! (found originally at walmart, but then went MIA). Finally David found this on Amazon after repeat trips to walmart and target just to browse the toys…. took the kids to spend Christmas gift cards a few days before Christmas and wouldn’t you know it, David had to talk Owen OUT of buying this exact dinosuar/dragon thing because Walmart had finally restocked em. I about fell out of my chair laughing when David told me that he had to convince Owen NOT to buy the exact thing he’s been asking for for TWO years now. And the fact that after all that crazy searching, walmart restocked and it was there.
Either way, he now takes Fin’s red dragon (red eyes is his name) and pairs it with his Blue dragon (Blue eyes, duh) and they walk around the house growling at each other and scaring the cat and confusing the dogs, so it’s pretty entertaining.
Overall, aside from the sickness that’s going to be the death of me (I’m being SLIGHTLY dramatic, but only slightly… you guys haven’t seen the way this thing hits people), our Christmas was really nice. We don’t have any family local, so we didn’t have to places to be or people to see. We just enjoyed the five of us in all our sickness.
I hope yours was awesome. I’m ready to undecorate now and get life back to normal. Who else is ready for 2018?! *raises hand*
You know what’s more fun than a Holiday sweater?! A husband that sports one too! HAHAHA! We managed to squeeze in a quick breakfast day date the other day and decided it was a must to rock our Holiday sweaters. Because, why not?!
We went to our go-to breakfast spot down in Manitou Springs, Good Karma Cafe. It’s this cute little hole in the wall place that serves locally grown food. Their biscuits & gravy is to die for! SO FREAKIN’ GOOD!
Plus, they’re cute and that helps. Look at the mirror in their bathroom. Full disclosure, they do have an ACTUAL mirror too, but this was too cute. There’s also a quote about growing your own food but not knowing where to find bacon seeds that makes me giggle every single time I’m in there.
Also, LipSense for the win. SIX hours in and still looking awesome! If you haven’t heard of LipSense yet and are wondering what it is, I did a whole post about it here. It’s worth the read, promise!
That’s all I’ve got today, folks. Thanks for stopping by. I hope you enjoyed the sweaters.
David & I celebrated our TENTH anniversary in the end of July. I think I forgot to actually share that though, so here I am today ….sharing.
We tried to plan a nice celebratory evening but ultimately decided we wanted to see Despicable Me with the kids. haha. So that’s what we did. We went out to eat as a family, then caught a movie. We played Dance Dance Revolution, ate lots of candy, wasted lots of money on tokens for the mini arcade and had a really great little afternoon out.
I can’t think of a better way to celebrate our 10th wedding anniversary than this.
I would also like to note that we’ve known each other since 1999. We’re going on 18 years here, people. We tried to count how many anniversaries we’d actually spent together…. we got 3. Haha. Deployement, feild time, army life… We were pretty excited that TEN was actually all together!
People keep asking me how we’re doing, and how life is now that David’s out of the Army. I thought I’d take today to just update you guys on our new life.
It’s weird. It seems surreal. It seems like David’s just on a vacation, or on leave still. Yesterday was his last official day in the Army. (He had 2 months of leave saved up and took full advantage of that PAID time). But it’s officially official. We went yesterday morning to get our new I.D. Cards. His is blue, blue = retired!
Life so far for us has been … interesting. Again though, it doesn’t seem like he’s actually out of the Army, it just seems like a long mini vacation so far. We’re in that weird month of no paychecks coming, so that’s TONS of fun (read: VERY stressful for Amber, the bill payer, and money controller) but other than that, I’d say we’re doing OK.
College is going well. The only class he’s not loving is the “Welcome to college/ how to be an adult” class, but he’s an almost 32 Combat Vet and it’s full of 17/18-year-olds that are fresh out of High School. And it’s taught by a former Mil spouse that emphasizes that she’s a FORMER Mil spouse (divorce that left a bad taste in her mouth about Military members). That’s been interesting to say the least, but overall classes are going well for David.
As far as the kids and I adjusting… well, the kids are excited that Daddy now takes them to school in the mornings & they don’t have to ride the bus. Otherwise, I think they’re enjoying having him home for longer periods than what they’ve ever been used to.
I have witnessed my children approach him and say, “Daddy… can I blah blah blah” <-- Do you know how HUGE that is?! Usually, it's "Mom! MOM! MOM! Dad, have you seen Mom?!" because I've been the main parent for so long. I've been the parent that they rely on, that they know will be there. It's so weird now that David is that parent too. We like share responsibilities, you guys. If you're a Mil spouse with kiddos, you totally get how huge of a deal this is!
They keep asking when Daddy has to go to work again, or if Daddy has to go to the field anytime soon, or if Daddy's gonna leave again soon which breaks my heart, but I excitedly get to say, "Nope! Daddy isn't going anywhere anytime soon. Remember, he's OUT of the Army now, so doesn't have to do that anymore" and they skip off happily. Seriously, it's a dream, you guys! IT IS SO NICE HAVING HIM HOME STEADILY!You guys, I like our new life. While we definitely have our struggles with David's medical stuff, life just seems a lot calmer without all of the day to day Army life stressors. Don't get me wrong, life is far from perfect, but I definitely am enjoying spending more time with my husband. That's a huge bonus.And in case you're wondering how he keeps in shape....
Haha. Bo is loving all the extra attention he’s been getting as well. (Missy too). Even the cat seems happier. <-- THEY GET ALL THIS NEWLY DISCOVERED LOVE AND ATTENTION!I don't really have much else to update with. We've honestly just been enjoying having David home and just hanging out as a family.
This post is a bit difficult for me, so please just be patient while I ramble my thoughts out.
Well, it’s officially a retirement. If you remember this post, I didn’t know much details. We do now. If you remember, we were a bit worried that it wouldn’t be a retirement and it’d just be a severance check. While that check would be nice, losing health insurance, dental, and access to on-post amenities would’ve sucked.
It’s definitely Medical Retirement, which is great because we’ll keep all on post access (Owen’s preschool, commissary -where we grocery shop, PX -the Army’s Walmart, etc etc), we’ll keep health insurance & dental (Thank God for that), and he’ll get a monthly amount instead of just getting booted out with a big ole severance check.
David is a combat soldier. He’s definitely seen combat. He has 3 tours under his belt & each tour was bloody, gory, and hard on him. It’s always been a bit challenging living and dealing with David’s ticks, but it’s a whole nother world when those ticks are put into the form a diagnosis or two.
The main three things that equaled up to the retirement: His back, PTSD, TBI (Traumatic brain injuries) 7 documented ones. This is really hard for me to open up about. I’m usually very “keep things private” which is weird since I have a very public blog and public social media accounts. Those things rated high enough to kick him out of the Army. Can we just stop and focus on that for a second? My husband suffers from PTSD and has brain injuries… enough so that he can no longer do his job. Aside from his brain, his body is failing him too. He has arthritis in every major joint, his shoulders, his back, his knees, his ankles, his hearing… the list goes on and on. (On his Medboard papers, he has 27 different claims that the DRs found). It’s really sad to think about. He’s 31 yeras old. But he’s a trooper. He’s always just toughed it out, worked through the pain, and he’s always been good at his job. Ask anyone that knows David and they’ll completely agree with that statement. David has always been damn good at his job.
Up until now. For the past few months, he’s taken soldiers with him to meetings because “my brain isn’t what it used to be”, he constantly thinks he says things that he didn’t, he can’t walk for very long without hurting, he can’t even bend over to pick something up without his back screaming at him. It’s hard to see him going through this. Part of me wants to barf just typing this out. It’s so personal and really hard to share.
After 13 years, he’s almost done. He was a “Lifer” meaning he’d reenlisted to go Indef (Til retirement at 20+ years) We’re not sure the exact date that he’ll be out, but it’s coming quickly. They don’t expect him at work anymore and get shocked when he stops in to check on things. Aside from DR appointments and wrapping up the MedBoard, he’s basically already done. A few weekends ago, we sat in the basement going through all of his Army gear and sorting it for keep/turn in.
It’s just so weird to think about… as long as we’ve been together our life has revolved around whatever Uncle Sam has told him to do. I’m really excited to see what life is going to be like for us. It’ll be a weird adjustment, that’s for sure. The first few months will be a struggle, financially as well. We’ve heard a lot of “this will start up 45-60 days after such & such” and “they usually hold your last Army paycheck”… great, right?! Yikes. I’m freaking out a little bit, but we’ll be fine. Things will be tough for a bit, but once everything kicks in and adjusts, we’ll be fine. His finaling out should fall around tax time, so our tax return will help hold us over until things kick in. Financially we’ll be fine 6 months from now… getting there though might kill us.
He enrolled in college (classes start in January). He’ll be going from an aggressive combat soldier to a college kid. He’s going to be surrounded by young people all day that won’t at all understand him or the way he is. But we’re working on that as well. He’s taken up Yoga (because he had to), he’s going to college for photography (and a backup in case things go south – we’re smart people, we have backup plans for backup plans), he even started a blog of his own. We’re working on bringing out his inner hippie self. You can follow him on Instagram or Bloglovin’ to keep up with his transition. I’m not sure how active he’ll be on either, but he’s giving it a go
Just the very idea of him not being in the Army anymore is so strange. It’s just such a foreign concept. He still had a good 7 years of Army until retirement… We had a plan for that… we had 7 years still living our normal day to day life… Now… now we have a few months to figure out our plans and set things into motion.
Life is about to get really interesting, guys. I’m excited and I’m completely terrified.