30. January 2013 · Comments Off on MapMyFitness Test for GeekMom · Categories: Uncategorized

I’m testing a capability for a GeekMom review of the new MapMyFitness app.

Running race directors — or leaders in running groups — can plot a course, then upload it to a website for folks to import to their MapMyFitness accounts.

When they run the race, the app will live-track others on the course and you can see real-time progress of other users, I believe this is with the MVP membership.

I’m running this race on Saturday.

View this Course on MapMyRun
24. January 2013 · Comments Off on Florida Discoveries 36: Pensacola Dog Fanciers Association Agility Trials · Categories: Uncategorized · Tags: , , , , ,

The first week of January, I caught a status update on Facebook from the blog Pensacola with Kids. It’s a great Facebook page to follow when you’re looking for stuff to do on weekends around here.

They suggested the four-day-long Pensacola Dog Fanciers Association Agility Trials¬†that started on Thursday of that week and lasted through the weekend (January 3-6, 2013). With our boys’ affinity for border collies, this was a no brainer.

It was a fun, super-laid-back event. We were very sad that we didn’t bring Howie, dogs were welcome to come as spectator. There were a few rules about keeping the visiting dogs from distracting the dogs, but Howie would have been perfectly fine.

We had a fun time! The kids LOVED watching the dogs compete, especially the more novice dogs that were VERY easily distracted…one of them saw a “friend” across the arena and completely STOPPED his course run to go and visit.

I took our telephoto lens with our new camera, but it’s clear that I have a lot to learn about our camera. I had a hard time capturing the super-fast dogs, but it’s a work in progress.

Here are some pictures from our day….


Timmy saw a friend from school and the two of them hung out most of the time.


What you’re looking at here are the handlers walking the course, like a rehearsal.


This kind woman was the emcee for the event, and in between events she brought animals up for the kids to pet.


Melt my heart! I switched to my 55-200mm telephoto lens and could get these detailed photos while still sitting up in the stands.




I have a lot to learn about photographing action. This is what most of my pictures look like of the dogs in motion. I fiddled with the exposure and f-stop somewhat, but I didn’t do much better than this.


That border collie was CRAZY fast!




My favorite of all the action pictures.


When the dog goes through the ring at the end of the course, the timer stops.

The boys and I are getting really excited about the mountain life!

The boys and I are getting really excited about the mountain life! This is a view of Pike’s Peak from the Garden fo the Gods, courtesy of Wikipedia.

I’m back from Nebraska, the trip was pretty good. Uneventful…I feel relatively caught up on my Air Force Reserve life now. I’m looking forward to investigating some full-time AF work opportunities while I’m living in Colorado Springs. I learned through the grapevine that there’s quite a bit to do, I can’t wait to learn more and toss my name in the hat for the occasional odd job. ūüôā

While I was in Nebraska, I had the time to really start investigating the layout of the community and how the schools are. Jacob will be going to middle school (yikes!) while we’re living there, so it’s time to take things up a notch and really get smart on this stuff.

We’re getting excited about it!

For now I don’t have that much to do — we haven’t even decided if Dave is going to try to fly out earlier to find us a house. We figured we could take a couple weeks right when we get there and take our time looking…we simply don’t know. ¬†And for now, we aren’t stressing about it. Don’t worry, there will be plenty of stress to go around in about 8 weeks.

Have you ever lived in Colorado Springs? What advice can you give to our family? I’ve never set foot in the area, Dave had spent 4 days there in early 2010.

08. January 2013 · Comments Off on Because I Can! · Categories: Uncategorized · Tags: , ,
No, I don't mind chewing my orange juice one bit!

No, I don’t mind chewing my orange juice one bit!

Of course I miss my family when I do my reserve duty, and I have to deal with flying in the month of January, but there are a few perks to being on my own for a week.

Such as getting to buy and drink “HIGH PULP” orange juice!

And working through a box of Raisin Nut Bran cereal for breakfast every day I’m here.

I eat sushi for dinner without commentary from the peanut galley.

I can stay up as late as I like to read my book…when I’m not studying for my first Air War College exam, I’m working on World War Z by Tom Brooks right now. Yes, a zombie book, but there’s another layer to it that makes it a very worthwhile read: do YOU have the skills to survive for a generation or longer without electricity, fuel for your vehicles, or the Internet?

For the first few days I truly enjoy the quiet when I’m off duty. I don’t talk much, I get to surf the web without feeling guilty, the TV is on the channel I want. But after about 4 days of this, I do begin to get lonely. I begin to surf online albums of the boys’ baby pictures and pictures of Dave and me enjoying life.

Of course, I’ll take this over a long deployment…and kudos to those who are separated for much, much longer than this.

Here we go again! This big orange truck (as Jacob called it) was from July 2008.

That’s just move #8 since Dave joined the Air Force.

This had been a long time coming; we’ve been waiting almost 6 months to tell our other-than-family-and-closest-friends our big news!

This past summer Dave was invited to apply for a professor position at the US Air Force Academy. He got the job, but had to keep quiet until all the assignment-world ducks were in a row. He’s going to teach physics and meteorology! Today he found out his report date, and we can start the ball rolling on our next move…


…in a mere five months!

That seems pretty quick, doesn’t it? For some reason, this is such old hat to Dave and me, that I am calm…for now.

I wrote a post 5 months before our North Carolina-to-Nebraska PCS discussing the types of things that went through my mind at the T-150 day point.

That’s about where I am now: plan to work through my pantry, mentally inventory things that we want to sell before our move (i.e. a riding lawn mower, outdoor furniture), and start researching the boys’ school options.

I’ve written quite a bit about the other two PCSs we’ve had since I started this blog, in 2008 and 2010. I put some of those posts on a Pinterest board, if you’d like to learn more.

You can also view any moving-related posts here, but that could get lengthy.

We’re thrilled about Colorado Springs, the hiking, the shopping, the skiing, the camping, the opportunities to explore the American west! We have friends stationed out there, too, who we can’t wait to see after so many years.

Stay tuned for the inevitable rants and raves about our PCS preparations.  For now, we are basking in the excitement still.

05. January 2013 · Comments Off on Major Mom’s Back to Basics Campaign: Crazy Easy Applesauce · Categories: Uncategorized · Tags: , ,
When life gives you apples, make APPLESAUCE!

When life gives you apples, make APPLESAUCE!

In this next installment of “Back to Basics”, I’m going to share how crazy easy it is to make applesauce for your family.

Before I found “Natural” applesauce for my family, I tended to avoid buying applesauce because of the added sugars. Mott’s and White House both now make “natural” applesauce that comes in nice containers for lunchboxes. I feel a little better about it.

Nonetheless, I came into a huge bag of red delicious apples when some of us spouses were setting up Christmas stockings for Dave’s squadron’s Christmas party. I had this bowl with a pile of apples throughout the holidays, and only Timmy was eating them. The rest of us hate red delicious apples, other types taste so much better.

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04. January 2013 · Comments Off on To Those Who Use the Multi-Use Trail on East Bay Blvd. · Categories: Uncategorized · Tags: ,


When I take long training runs, I think about a LOT of stuff. Here are some of the wacky things that crossed my mind on today’s 8 mile training run, which took me on to County Route 399 near the airfield. Take it or leave it.

  1. If you let your dogs poop on the sidewalk and don’t clean up — YOU ARE WRONG. It’s bad enough when they’re aren’t cleaned up from the grass on the sides, but the SIDEWALK? On the 2 mile stretch of trail between Hidden Creek Golf Course and the Holley NOLF airstrip, I saw at least 4 piles from assorted sized pets, one of which had been stepped in…not by me, thankfully! Do the right thing and clean up after your pet.
  2. Just east of the PGA Blvd. intersection with East Bay Blvd. is a bridge that crosses over a creek. What died near that bridge? It smells AWFUL!
  3. Girl running this morning with the red gloves, do I really look that terrible? That face you gave me…in both directions…was pretty telling. Other people smile and say hello, even when drenched in sweat.
  4. Is it¬†apropos¬†that the last song that played on my Pandora at the very end of my run was “Misery” by Maroon 5?
  5. Is it in poor form to run down the very center of the street if the traffic is light enough? By the time you’ve run 4-5 miles, the slope on the roads starts to fatigue my ankles. I long for sidewalks in Holley by the Sea…
  6. Why did I run so slowly this morning? I average 9:15-9:20 miles but today they were 9:35-9:45 miles. Maybe I need to look into that jog.fm app that gives you music that matches your desired pace.

Okay…time for lunch!



02. January 2013 · Comments Off on Major Mom’s Back to Basics Campaign: Getting Control Back! · Categories: Uncategorized · Tags: , , ,
This isn't my house. But this is how I feel like my life becomes at times. Messy, chaotic, out of control. I resolve to do better this year.

This isn’t my house. But this is how I feel like my life becomes at times. Messy, chaotic, out of control. I resolve to do better this year.

It’s 2013 and resolve to get my life back under control.

Since when do I actually abide by those resolutions? “Lose 20 pounds.” “Save more money.” “Eat out less”. “Bake my own bread.” “Run a half marathon every season.”

Have you ever had “training” on how to set goals? I remember getting some training on it in AFROTC many years ago, back when we had an ENTIRE SEMESTER on Quality Air Force, which was the Air Force’s adaptation of Total Quality Management¬†in the mid-1990s. Part of the training was about how to set meaningful, reasonable goals.

Feel free to Google “Goal setting” or “how to set reasonable goals” and you’ll see all sorts of tips. What I remember is ¬†the following:

  • Goals should be realistic.
  • Goals should be¬†achievable¬†in a timely manner.
  • Goals should be achievable with resources available.
  • Goals’ successes should be measurable.

As you can see from the title, simply declaring “Getting control back!” is not really measurable, is it? After all, how do I know whether my life is in control or not? To a fly on the wall, it might seem like my life is in control: my kids are clothed, fed, they’re taken to piano, Scouts, sports and school at the proper times. Bills are paid, I meet my AF Reserve obligations, and I remembered everyones’ birthdays in 2012 (I think).

I need help with meal planning and keeping up with housework. Every once in a while I’ll fuss about these two things on Facebook or Twitter…or here on this blog. These are the two items that will fall by the wayside FIRST when our lives get busy. I’ll get into scenarios where I don’t have time to cook, the laundry and dishes will pile up, and my poor floors get filthy, and the dust tumbleweed starts to roll.

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01. January 2013 · Comments Off on Florida Discoveries 35.5: LEGOLAND Florida · Categories: Uncategorized · Tags: , , , , ,
Timmy's trying to be a Minifigure here. We love our funny guy!

Timmy’s trying to be a Minifigure here. We love our funny guy!

I can’t believe I forgot to post about Legoland! <Facepalm!>

We surprised the boys with a brief trip the day after Christmas, on our drive home from spending the holiday with Dave’s family in Tampa. Instead of writing a bunch of dialogue about it here, I will drop the Google+ photo album here and you can enjoy the captions. Enjoy!