Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Call me "Muffin Queen."

I feel fat.

(I promise this has a happy ending).

I've felt fat for, oh, a few weeks now at least. The stupid scale at the gym with its dumb high number plus my jeans being tight ... yeah. I feel fat. And it's a totally consuming thing. Every single minute I think anew about how fat I am and how I DO not feel wedding dress or bikini worthy and how ... yeah. I could go on.

So I've been running every day. And trying not to stuff my face with stuff that isn't good for me (and believe me, working in a coffee house there is PLENTY of that around). And avoiding ice cream. And making lower-calorie meals. And drinking lots of Diet Coke and water.

But there is a problem ...

Enter my muffin obsession. I LOVE muffins. But muffins are not healthy. In fact, muffins are the opposite of healthy -- unless, of course, you are an awesome muffin maker like myself.

This morning I made a fairly delicious banana muffin with only 111 calories. That's right, 111. I did this by altering an already low fat muffin recipe to exclude pecans (which I dont like anyway) and oil and substituting applesauce instead. Bye-bye 70 calories.

And they are not bad at all. A little squishy with the banananess plus applesauce, but not bad. I think I could probably add more oats and a tad more baking powder to achieve a little bit of a dryer muffin with a higher rise. But that is neither here nor there.

I Heart Muffins.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

The Price of Sugar

The commissary is a wonderful thing, no lie. It's like having Costco prices for non-bulk items. I don't have to buy a giant vat of olive oil to qualify for a deal. Life, in short is good.

But that still doesn't keep us from spending, oh somewhere around $70 or more on groceries each week.

After deciding that was a too-high number, I decided to analyze our grocery bill.

It was then I realized the terrible truth -- the high price was to be blamed on ingredients for making desserts and meat.

Let's ignore the meat.

Ah, baking. I love baking for Luke, for other random people, for his platoon. I only make his dessert once a week, and his platoon dessert every other week (or so) and yet it costs SO MUCH.

Think I can get away with calling the price of sugar a "donation?"

In theory, I love running. I like thinking about doing it, contemplating how good it feels after/before, mulling the calories I'll burn.

But in practice, I hate it. Every single step is torture.

I feel the opposite about swimming. I hate thinking about it/getting ready for it. The putting on of the the swimsuit, the getting in the cold water, the driving to the pool -- all of it is a tremendous hassle.

But when Im in the pool -- ah, heaven.

Today: coffee house, World Vision stuff, running (see above), contemplating ways to cook without meat as a main dish, memorizing Romans 12, thinking about knitting (but never actually doing it) and doing some laundry. Riveting, I know.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

I Heart Fort Lewis

... or The Day We Stole A Fern

The never ending love/hate relationship with the Army has gained a new point in the "love" category.

Fort Lewis has forest, and it's in our backyard.

This is a picture from our porch. This side of the fence is the apartment complex. The other side is the Army base.

Friday evening was lovely and we wanted to go on a walk ... so we hoped the fence to Fort Lewis and strolled in the woods of what I call the "back 40" and what the Army calls TA-East. Whatever.

It was WONDERFUL. Saturday morning we went running in it (I'll come back to that statement in a moment). Saturday evening we went for an hour and a half long stroll in it.

I decided it reminded me of the woods in some lovely Tolkein novel. Like somewhere between Lorien and Fangorn if you're an elf, but with a clearly marked path and the occasional land-nav point.

I liked it and all its completely soothing vegetation so much that I decided what I really needed more than anything else was a fern on our front porch. A fern that we would snag off some random spot on the post.

And thus, my new pet plant, Isabella.

Now, you may have noticed my statement above that "we went running." I think I deserve about 2,000 cool almost Army wife points for being brave enough to go running with PL Lt. Bushatz, who daily says something like "I totally smoked my guys during PT this morning," meaning he ran so hard/fast/much that he basically killed a portion of his platoon, a group of people who run several days a week and at least are somewhat physically fit.

I was afraid. Can you blame me?

But I went running with Luke, and it ended up not being that bad of an experience. As in, an experience I may choose to repeat.


I don't think we're quite to the "take your wife to PT day" yet, though. Don't get any ideas.

Friday, April 25, 2008

One Good Thing and One REALLY Bad Thing

I think I'm going to start with the bad one first, just so that by the end of the blog all the happy good things will have erased the bad thing from my memory.

(not likely to work but let's give it a go).

We all remember Amy's weird complex where she's terrified if gets close to people they'll leave her.

Coming into the Army I realized that this was going to be a fact of life. I decided to embrace it, to get over myself, to not let people coming and going every three or so years bother me.

Remember: three or so years, and I'm good.

So when Washington State BFF Abigial announced (with, for the record, great frowning and pouting and many sarcastic remarks) she is PCSing (permanent change of station) in the next four to six months to either Georgia (I'd say "ew!" but we'll likely move there eventually) or Kansas (EW!!! fo' sho).

But wait! wait wait wait (selfish rant coming, beware): WHO is going to whine with me when the boys go into the fields for three thousand days at once?! WHO will eat cupcakes? WHO will work with me at the coffee house?!?!?

There is nothing good about this.

I would like to be not selfish for a moment now and note that this is also sad because Abigail, like myself but more so, is just really getting into establishing friendships and being That Girl -- you know, the one people go to when they need a friend. And it would suck to have leave that as soon as you've found it.

Boo in general.

Now for happiness newly discovered ---

ON DEMAND What Not To Wear! That's right. Not only do I have DVR and can basically tape it. Not only is on all the time anyway ... but it's also FREE ON DEMAND!


And I'm going to save the other happy story for another post. I mean ON DEMAND What Not To Wear is good news enough for this post.

Monday, April 21, 2008

4.5 hours I will never get back

When he said "the fight starts at 7 p.m." I should've said "no way, but thanks."

Instead I found myself sitting in a room surrounded by a variety of crash individuals listening to them pontificate on "fing" this and "fing" that and how they would "do" that girl or this girl while watching some poor guys get punched in the face and squirt blood everywhere.

The joy of that portion of the night, of course, was proceeded by an hour of the worlds most stupid Asian game show and an hour of COPS, a non-educational show, no matter what my father may claim.

By the time we left I was so mad that I had been put in the situation in the first place that I literally exploded as we walked out the door.

Not. Good.

The lesson learned for everyone was: do not take your girl to fight night no matter what and Amy must be eased into the full truth of keeping company with the Army. I am more than willing to try. I just need to get acclimated first.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Hooah? Not so much.

Good morning blog world.

Having consumed a blueberry muffin and some delicious tea, I am now ready to take on creation.

Sort of. I guess getting dressed would be key as well.

Let's start off with a small happy dance -- Luke is not going to Umatilla, the mythical, magical place on the Oregon/Washington border that must be guarded by Army boys with Strykers. Can we say "yay?"

Like I've said so many times, I'm all about Luke doing his duty. I would just rather he stayed here to do it. That's all.

In the words of Jenny, a PL who attends our Bible study and will deploy in September, "I'm really not that hooah."

Maybe it's because he doesnt think of me as hooah that Luke plans to take his platoon white water rafting without me. Now, if you look at Amy's long lost list of life goals, you will see that white water rafting is on there. Luke, apparently, does not know that (I plan to tell him). And as if to prove that I'm not hooah (a word Im suddenly tired of using so now I shall stop) instead of white water rafting my lingerie shower (courtesy of Abigial) is scheduled for the day of his trip. What can be more opposite from tough-man-ness than a bridal shower? I rest my case. No wonder he thinks I'm a pansy.

But my desire to prove my toughness only goes so far. For example, I was on the verge of suggesting something like "take your wife/fiance to PT day" as a fun MWR activity, when I realized that was the worst idea in the history of the world.

(And that's saying a lot because, I mean, look at the contenders for that title -- the Hindenburg, Spam and letting people like The Jonas Brothers play music on the radio -- tough crowd).

We've come to a rather pivotal point in my journey from Washingtonian to Northwest Resident. A final hold out in my fight against moving and a much loved unique feature about Amy is the way cool D.C. tags on her car.

Unfortunately, tags expire and mine give up the ghost on the 24th of this month. Short of having someone mail me my new registration from D.C., I am doomed to switching to Washington State tags.

So I did.

Ugh. $91 later, I have the tags and they are waiting to go on the car.

I suppose Ill wait until the last possible moment before letting go my last shred of cool-D.C. identity.

I did run into a woman at the coffee house the other day who lived in NoVa and is moving back to the area in a few months. It was so glorious talking about my "home" city with her ... could've gone on for hours ...

(Also I happen to really like this woman because she and two other people come in almost every Friday, order a ton of drinks and sandwiches and then tip at least $6. Woo!)

I suppose, though, it must happen. I think I'll just have Luke do it.

For the record, I do use every time someone says "D.C. tags? That's cool. I've never seen a tag from that state," to go on a little rant about how the District is NOT a state, the first signal of that being that it has no reps in congress or the senate, a fact that sadly does not seem to bother anyone but me. I think I'll still rant about this even after I get stupid Washington tags. I will find a way ... maybe I'll take to throwing tea in bodies of water or something.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

The Best Laid Plans

I decided last night that it's time for me to start making lists again. Lists of things I want to do every day or accomplish or, well, you know the drill.

This happened yesterday morning as I found myself making more blueberry muffins and cleaning the house -- again. Obviously, I need a plan.

Ill let you know when I come up with something ... stay tuned.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Emotional Wreck 101

If anyone would like lessons in being an emotional wreck, please see me. I am quite the expert at the moment and would be willing to pass on the wisdom if you, kind readers, are interested.

It's like there are two fighting Amys right now. Fighting Amy One says "it's MY wedding day. It has to be perfect the way I imagine it because you know I only get one, and hello, did I mention it's MY wedding day?"

On the other hand, Fighting Amy Two says "whatever. I dont care. I just want to get married and get it over with. Do whatever you want."

Amy One sounds awfully selfish. Concerned parties want to do their bit on the cheap (we know I am a fan of doing things on the cheap provided it's still way classy, so nothing wrong there), but that means doing things far from the way *I* believe they should be done or have imagined they would be done. And that makes me mad. "Just do your part!" I scream inside.

Amy Two is way too lackadaisical to actually be an Amy that will ever exist, so we know that can't be right.

Somewhere in between these two there is a happy place. I am not sure where that is, but I am positive it does exist.

Meanwhile I am a wedding stress puddle. And Luke is asleep on the couch either from exhaustion from his day or exhaustion from dealing with me -- either or a combination are entirely possible. And once again you, oh fair blogosphere, are my faithful listener when things just make more sense by typing them out.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Done Mov-ed

Maybe that's an overstatement. We've moved all of my stuff ... and most of Luke's stuff, but minus what I shall from here out refer to as "sundry crap."

He has a lot of it.

And we are, of course(!), still unpacking.

This weekend came with a few surprises -- the cable salesman managed to suck us into getting cable... which is the last thing I wanted next to any sort of video game system (I HATE video games). This wouldn't be the worst development ever if I knew we'd do normal things like, you know, watch Law and Order or re-runs of Friends, but you KNOW it's going to be on ESPN basically 24/7.

Oh, did I mention we dont have a TV?


Another surprise: worst migraine in a long time Saturday night/early Sunday morning. I woke up with it this time and it hurt so bad that I was actually laying in my bed crying. Sad moment for Amy.

Another surprise: the faucet on the bathtub/shower is broken, leaving us to turn the dern thing on with an impressively large pair of pliers Luke produced from afore mentioned sundry crap. They better fix that asap ...

Spending my day at pre-marital counseling and World Vision. Woop-de-do.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Moooo-ving Day

No cows here, but we are moooo-ving. (Man, Im a dork)

Five or so hours at the coffee shop this morning, plus moving and now I smell like a fun mixture of coffee and sweat. Lovely.

It is so nice outside today, very sad I cant be out doing something other than, you know, walking about with boxes.

(And this qualifies as the most boring post ever)

Oh! I do have something almost interesting to say... possibly going to a girls night with a bunch of women from Luke's battalion ... my first Army wives thing.

We'll see how it goes.

Friday, April 11, 2008

The rant that wasn't

Had I sat down here to write this last night as the blog post was fuming in my brain, this post would've become a rant like none other -- a succinctly written run down of all the reasons sacrifice and love go hand in hand in both a Biblical framework and a practical one.

But since I slept on it I don't feel nearly as ranty as before.

I'm torn about how I feel about this, really. I was kind of looking forward to getting a good rant out. On the other hand, it's better than I don't spew forth a pontification aimed at someone who may or may not eventually read it.

As a side note: did you know this blog is the last remnant of the journalist life ... a sacrifice, which, by the way, was totally necessary and totally worth it.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

And then she screamed "I've been defrauded!"

Don't you just hate that feeling of someone taking something from you that doesn't belong to them and you are powerless to stop it?

I felt this way those stupid people broke into my car in D.C. and stole my case of Diet Coke (the nerve). And when they broke in again and stole my rad radio/tape deck. And that time when someone ate the blueberry muffin that I had clearly labeled as "Amy's muffin. Do Not Eat." Seriously. What is the problem?

I was reminded of these feelings this morning when I looked at my bank account and noticed a $50 charge from my former gym in D.C., Will Power.

Do I live there anymore? Nope. Do I fly across the country daily to use a gym? Nope. Then WHY are you charging me for a membership?!

I left a message. And an email. They better fix that. Hmph.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

We were on a break!

I've decided to take a wedding break.

If we were already married this would be a bad thing. But since the wedding is still 80 or so (ok, exactly 80) days away, a wedding break isn't a negative at all.

By order of me: I will not do anything wedding related (unless something pressing comes up, like me basically forgetting to send Luke's Aunt and Uncle an invitation ... that's right, they got missed when I printed the labels) until May 1.

And that is all there is to it.

Had one of my first anti-Army career thoughts this morning. "Why can't Luke have a normal job?"

And then I thought "but I dont really want him to have a normal job ... the Army is the right thing."

I sense this will be a life long wrestle.

Spent all day yesterday up at World Vision doing mind numbing data entry. I'm so glad that's over. In comparison to serving lattes, you'd think data entry would be a nice change. Not so much.

Wanted: one rich dead, long lost grandfather to leave me tons of money so that I can go on cool trips all the time.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Blinded by the Light

I returned home from work yesterday afternoon to find Luke cowering on his bed under several pillows. He always seemed to think my suggestion that he hang curtains in his room (if for nothing else than to block out that stupid security light that shines in his window all. night. long.) was silly, but now it seemed to have gained some validity.

His apartment was a virtual shinning castle in the afternoon sun and under those two, sad, pillows was the only place he could find solace from the burning sensation in his eyes. The eye surgery, PRK corrective laser surgery, to be exact, had caused him to be uber sensitive to the light. No curtains = no escape.

I hung a sheet in the window.

Life immediately seemed better (and much, much darker).

I am no marketing expert. I am spending serious time, however, pouring over marketing letter templates for my world vision project. Part of the problem, really, is that I've never actually experienced the Experience, the event Im attempting to market.

That is something that will hopefully soon be fixed, though. The traveling exhibit is coming here in a few weeks and I hope to drag my entire small group into participating. Yes, I am just that kind of witty and scheming. It'll be around the corner from my house in Tacoma (as opposed to Luke's house in Lakewood where I spent the bulk of my time), so the location couldn't be better. The only sad point -- Luke is scheduled to be in stupid Umatilla that weekend -- a mystical magical place in Oregon that, for reasons I dont really understand, needs him to guard it. They say something about "targeted nuclear facility" but I think thats a bunch of silliness.

Not really ...

And that brings us to a new subject ... his need to go traipsing about doing his "duty."

I'm not the bitter almost-Army wife, really. I came into this whole thing willingly and knowing exactly what I'm doing -- ie jumping head long into constant loneliness caused by his absence and need, nay, requirement to be traipsing about guarding stuff or training or whatever.

That does not mean I have to like it. That does not mean I do not cry every. single. time. he leaves. That just means that the pain is self inflicted and that I have no right to be a hater when it comes to the Army. Yes, its unfair. Yes, it sucks. Yes, its scary. Yes, I will do whatever I have to do to get by.

But I reserve the right to complain on my blog. So there.

Perhaps I'll post a long, more thorough, Army wife manifesto at a later date.