Friday, April 27, 2007

Finally!

This week I FINALLY got my Personal Training certificate in the mail! Now I am officially a certified group fitness instructor and personal trainer! Once we move, I would love to work at little bit but I don't think that will be feasible with the baby coming just a couple of months later. Hopefully soon after she's born I'll be able to start doing a little something though.
Speaking of baby, the doctor's office called on Wednesday and rescheduled the appointment I was supposed to have yesterday. Now I am going on Tuesday. This is the 2nd time they've rescheduled me so hopefully this one will stick.
I realized I had never shared any pictures from when my mom and sister were here. Below are links to our pictures from Prague and Rome.

Prague

Rome

We're attending the Brigade Combat Team ball tomorrow night so hopefully I'll have a few good pictures to share from it soon.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Milblogging.com Interview

You can read all the background information at the link below, but here's the very short version. Wendy asked if she could interview me for milblogging.com. I didn't know how good of an interviewee I would be, but I agreed to participate. She now has a post about it over at her blog. I am so appreciative of how nice it is and all the kind things she said. Thanks again, Wendy!

All Ahead Full

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

PCS Season Has Begun!

We are in total PCS mode now! We fly in just over a month and Bryan has made most of our arrangements. We have our housing pre-inspection the first week of May, then our Household Goods are getting picked up a few days later. Our Unaccompanied Baggage is getting picked up the 3rd week, and we're turning in our car and having our final housing inspection right before Memorial Day weekend. As of right now we're supposed to stay in lodging for 5 days, but since the last of our stuff is getting picked up so early, we're trying to get the approval to stay in lodging for the full 10 days. Thinking about everything we have to do is stressful, but I'm sure that it will be an adventure as it always is!
I have my next appointment with the specialist on Thursday and we're really hoping that it will go well so I will no longer be considered "high risk".
On Saturday we are attending the Brigade Combat Team ball. It will be our 3rd ball in about 4 months so we've definitely had enough of them! I was lucky to be able to find a maternity dress I like so that made me feel a little better about going. Since it is a BCT ball, it will also be fun for us to be able to spend some time with our friends in other batallions.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Veterans Return Desks

I recently read about this and was suprised I'd never heard the story before - especially since it's such a good one!

No Desks

Friday, April 13, 2007

Basketball Grannies

I hope I can do this one day. I've copied and pasted the story below, but the actual link is: Hoop Dreams

Grannies have hoop dreams, too
It's a league of their own, started in Iowa and growing in popularity

By Natalie Morales
NBC News
Updated: 7:59 p.m. ET April 11, 2007

ALBURNETT, Iowa - It's just what you might expect a group of grandmothers from rural Iowa to be doing — four sisters — Dolores, Marjorie, Virginia and Arlene — catching up over their quilting. But get them on the basketball court and they pick up the pace.

"We play dirty — we're sisters!" says Marjorie.

Delores is a center for the Curvaceous Chicks, a team in the nation's first Granny Basketball League.

"She's going to be 82," Marjorie says, pointing at Delores, the most senior player in the league.

"I don't have any aches or pains or anything, and it just energizes you," Delores says.

For her sister, Virginia, who is 71 and has Parkinson's disease, it's a way to stay active.

"I wish I had half their energy," she says.

Barb McPherson, 62, started the league two years ago with about a dozen players. Barb wanted to keep herself and her friends active, but thought that the gym was too boring and bicycles hurt her rear end. Instead of prescribing a more conventional geriatric activity, she harkened back to her teenage years as a high school basketball player in rural Iowa, and founded the league.
"Yeah, we decided no rocking chairs for us," Barb says. "We're gonna die on the court!"

The roster has grown to nearly 100, and new teams are starting up in other states. For these gals, it's more than a social club, it's more than exercise — it's their great Midwestern American pastime. On the court they're equal.

"Everybody feels 16 when they get out here," Barb says.

But youth does have its limitations.

The rules of the game have been "grannyfied" — their games are based on old-fashioned "girls" rules — six-on-six — three players on offense, three on defense, and the half-court line dividing the game into two. The grannies play a slightly modified version, though. There's no running, jumping or physical contact of any kind. And no showing too much skin — their uniforms are also a throwback.

The games are fundraisers, bringing in thousands of dollars for various charities. On the night of the Alburnett tournament, a handful of hard-core grannies drove two hours to raise money for new lights on the softball field at an athletic boosters event.

They're also part of a legacy here for many. Basketball has been a family affair, played by generations of Iowa women.

"I think that's what Iowa is known for," Barb says. "I mean, just about as much as corn!"

For the league's many fans, family and friends among them, it's a source of pride.

Although March Madness has come to an end, the grannies will be suiting up through the summer, even opening for the Harlem Globetrotters on April 15 at the Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines.

NBC Research Assistant Amber Payne contributed to this report.

© 2007 MSNBC InteractiveNBC

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Extended Deployments

I was heart broken to see this on the news this morning. It wasn't as much for myself as for our friends who are currently downrange and will have to be there 3 months longer than they had expected. It is good that the Army is making this a "policy" though, rather than having to extend so many units at the last minute like they've been doing.

Gates Extends Iraq Tours to 15 Months
Associated Press | April 11, 2007
WASHINGTON - Beginning immediately, all active-duty Army soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan will serve 15-month tours - three months longer than the usual standard, Defense Secretary Robert Gates said Wednesday.

It was the latest move by the Pentagon to cope with the strains of fighting two wars simultaneously and maintaining a higher troop level in Iraq as part of President Bush's revised strategy for stabilizing Baghdad.

"This policy is a difficult but necessary interim step," Gates told a Pentagon news conference, adding that the goal is to eventually return to 12 months as the standard length of tour in Iraq and Afghanistan.
He said the new policy does not affect the other main components of the U.S. ground force in Iraq: the Marines, whose standard tour is seven months, or the Army National Guard or Army Reserve, which will continue to serve 12-month tours.

Gates acknowledged that the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are making life difficult for many in the military.

"Our forces are stretched, there's no question about that," Gates said.

He said the new policy also seeks to ensure that all active-duty Army units get at least 12 months at home between deployments. He said it would allow the Pentagon to maintain the current level of troops in Iraq for another year, although he added that there has been no decision on future troop levels.

Without changing the standard tour length to 15 months, the Army would have been forced to send five brigades to Iraq before they completed 12 months at home, Gates said.

Some units' tours in Iraq had already been extended beyond 12 months by varying amounts. The new policy will make deployments more equitable and more predictable for soldiers and for their families, Gates said.

"I think it is fair to all soldiers that all share the burden equally," he said.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007