Wednesday, October 31, 2012

October 2012

It's nearing the end of December. I've missed a few months. My goal is to catch up before Christmas. A few things have happened since December. So I'm combining the whole month of October in one entry. And I won't be editing much. Sorry for any typos.

My Birthday
I'm 32 now. I got chocolate cupcakes. Don't worry, even though I wasn't quick enough to blow out the candles myself, my wish still came true about a month later...

We all enjoyed the cupcakes!

My friend, Katrina, threw a dance party for me and made DELICIOUS food!
 Tate Farms
Tate Farms is a reason for us to visit Huntsville every October. It's a pumpkin patch with all sorts of adventures for kids. We went several times.

The boys bought the bracelet and earrings I'm wearing for my birthday.

Attempts to get them both to look were futile.

This is a huge bin of corn. The boys loved it!

This is Donovan's friend, Bart. (Notice the boo-boo on D's head. He hit a corner)

I think D was tired, what do yall think?
Botanical Gardens

This place had haystacks decorated in all sorts of characters. This was Donovan's favorite. He also liked some ducks, and kept saying "quack quack" at them. 
There was a middle school band performing there. They let the boys play the drums.

Daddy Sends Love

Both boys got a bear from Daddy.

I took a trip with my good college friend, Marissa Widdison, to Nashville.

Bet you didn't know there was a Parthenon in Nashville.

We went to the Grand Ol' Opry and saw Darius Rucker be inducted as a member. Guest artists were Martina McBride, Vince Gill, Dan Marino (he didn't sing), Keith Urban, and others. Super fun!

 Pumpkin Carving!

Not everyone thinks pumpkin guts are gross.

Mason chose the face this year. He does a pretty good impression!

Trunk or Treat

I'm okay if these two get married.


Donovan's first trick or treat experience. It was 32 degrees.

What is his face saying? "I gotta get outta here before someone realizes I have candy!"

He didn't let go of this sucker the whole night.

Thursday, October 25, 2012


I had never done crossfit before I deployed, but it's been a big part of my life over here.  It's extremely challenging and rewarding at the same time, which is why I think I like it so much.  We have workouts at 0600 every day, but we use Sunday as our rest day.

My instructor Nick is a bit eccentric, but he pushes everyone who shows up for his class.  When new people come, the first workout is usually an eye opening experience.  When it's over, Nick will tell them not to worry because we'll be doing yoga the next day.  That puts them at ease, and then he surprises them with an even tougher workout the next day.  It's a little prank he likes to play on the "newbies" as he calls them.  Anyone in the class has to keep an eye open for Nick in the dining hall.   If he sees you eating something he considers unhealthy, you'll owe him 50 burpees the next day in addition to the planned workout.  I can't say I always eat exactly the way he wants me to, but it's helped me eat healthier since I've been here.

Sweating, and sometimes bleeding together, has made our class grow closer over the past several months.  We usually make a point of having breakfast as a group after the workout, which has helped everyone get to know each other.  One of Nick's rules is that anyone not in crossfit is not allowed to sit at our table.  If someone brings a guest to the table that Nick doesn't know, and if that person has chosen to eat something Nick doesn't agree with, he'll ask them to leave or he'll get up and leave himself.  He has no tolerance for anyone not willing to maintain a healthy diet and take care of their body.  He's a little extreme, but at least you always know where you stand with him.

Some of the more difficult workouts that I can remember are:

Murph (on steroids):
1 mile run
100 pullups
50 box jumps
200 pushups
50 deadlift (135 lbs)
300 air squats
50 push press (45 lbs)
1 mile run

Deck of Cards:
-Hearts = Burpees
-Diamonds = Pull-ups
-Spade = Kettle bell swings
-Club = Sit-ups
-Joker = 400 meter run

Aces = 15 reps, Kings = 13 reps, Queen = 12 reps, Jack = 10 reps

Deadlifts:  135lbs
KB swings
Knees to elbows

The 21-15-9 workout was too much for my hand.  This happened on my the last knee to elbow...

It looked a lot worse than it felt, but the worst part was I couldn't do pull ups for the next few days.  I can definitely say I'm stronger and can push myself farther than I could before I started crossfit.  Hopefully I can keep doing it when I get home... which isn't too far away.  Whoohoo!!!


I had my last workout today, so I took my camera to get some pictures before I leave tonight.  I'm going to miss this group...

This was the workout I came up with for my last day.  Nick always creates the workout, but he gave me the honors since this was my last day with the group.

The infamous Nick.  Aside from being my crossfit instructor, he worked for me at the Host Nation Coordination Office as one of my Cultural Advisors... great guy!