Monday, April 27, 2015

Attitude of Gratitude #4

Last week I was at the sim as you could have guessed from my last post. I got the pleasure of sticking around and hanging out with my sister and her family for one night after it was over. Those kids are growing so fast. It is fun to see their little personalities. She has three girls and a boy. Alex is the oldest and he has typical boy interests in computer games and leggos. The rest of the house is a flurry of pink and princess as they all fight over the newest my little pony. They are the tiny girl version of the three musketeers complete with sword fights and charming anecdotes. They're adorable.

Poor Rob had to stay home all alone last week but he was incredibly productive getting all his studying done for some of the commercial equivalency tests for his civilian licenses. He will get his ATP (Air Transport Pilot) license done when he heads to the sim this summer. It was wonderful to come home to my husband however, there was a melancholy addition to our living room as Rob acquired a bag full of deployment items and has begun collecting things he will need for his trip this year. I am thinking I will move it to the garage.

Last weekend before I left for Dallas, Rob and I participated in a charity WOD at our Crossfit gym. It was to benefit Angels of America’s Fallen, "which was founded to help children of fallen military and first responders develop into strong and successful adults by providing them positive mentoring and developmental activities when they are at their most crucial developmental phase of life."  It was a really cool event and we got to meet some of the kids the foundation helped to mentor.

Therefore my gratitude list this week is kind of human centered:

1. That we got the opportunity to participate in and finish the Angel WOD. It is an awesome organization. The WOD was of course challenging but we finished and were pretty proud of ourselves.

Rob gutting out the kettlebell swings
Me gutting out the burpees

2. That we are in a position to help when and where we can. We never feel like we are giving enough but it feels good when we have the opportunity too. 

3. That I was able to visit with my sister and her family. My nieces and nephews are so stinking cute. They are hard to resist buying toys for when we take trips to the store. 

4. That we won the genetic lottery and are living in a great time in history. Humankind has never had it so good. 

5. That Rob and I have some really great people in our life. Truly solid friends and family that we can count on if needed. 

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Top Ten Best Things about the Simulator

I used to dislike going to Simulator. I have never lived close to a Sim for my airplane so it has always required a trip away for 5 or so days. I'm not really sure why I use to dread it so much. There are so many things to like about the Sim, but I think it was because it I didn't enjoy the challenges to save a broken airplane regardless of whether it was real or not. I felt stressed that I might crash the Sim, despite it not being real, it is an eerie feeling to hear the Sim crash and see the screen go blank. In my new aircraft I get to go twice a year. I have come to relish going to the Sim, which is good since it is an obligatory part of my job.

Here are the top ten reasons I like going:

10. Slack-ademics--getting away from the office and focusing on systems for a few days is a nice change of pace and good for developing a better understanding of your aircraft. Two or three days of this is just about right anything more and I start getting a little antsy with the death by powerpoint.

9. Emergencies--Seeing and working through some theoretical emergencies. God forbid we ever have to deal with any of this stuff in real life but it is nice to know you have at least run through the checklists before and put your hands on the switches

8. Marriot reward points--I've banked quite a few airline miles and hotel points from trips to the Sim. These come in handy when I have to feed my skiing habit.

7.  Sim Dinosaurs--The Sim instructors are usually older gentleman who have thousands of hours in your plane or at least thousands of hours in something and a lot of knowledge about flying. These guys are like a band of yodas teaching us all how to be pilot Jedis. However, I still have a way to go before I can lift a downed X-wing out of a swamp.

6. Free coffee/cappuccino/sugary treats--The flight simulator companies understand their clients.

5. CRM discussions--We usually have a pretty healthy portion dedicated to Crew Resource Management. We hear about different air disasters and discuss the missteps in the chain of events. While it can be disturbing to hear about someones demise it is incredibly beneficial to dissect the logic of the pilots at the time of the mishaps. We are are not immune to making the same mistakes.

4. Meeting pilots from all over the world--There are so many fascinating flying jobs out there and it is fun to chat with peers doing cool things.

3. Making a vacation out of it--I hiked Stone Mountain in Atlanta, went to a film at the Toronto film festival and have gotten the chance to visit my nieces and nephews in Dallas. Finding new places to explore always makes a sim trip a worthwhile endeavour.

2. V1 cut day--Losing an engine on takeoff after V1 speed but before rotation speed then taking it airborne is extremely challenging...Bring. It. On.

1. Being done with it for another 6 months!

Ssshh don't tell anyone that I actually enjoy it...They might decide it is too good of a deal.

Monday, April 20, 2015

Our Secret Wedding

I suppose the title of this post invariably makes it a not-so-secret wedding but for a while there we were trying to keep it in on the down-low. We got married in the church before we got married in Costa Rica. Roughly 5 days to be exact, however, for all intensive purposes our anniversary will forever be March 1st; for a couple of reasons.

First, it is not fair for a husband to have to remember two dates, I get that, I work with mostly guys, most are not good with remembering dates etc. (I am blaming Rob but in reality I am the one that is not great with anniversaries or birthdays, just ask my sister).

Second, it was important to me that we get married in the Catholic church and they will not recognize a wedding done outside. Therefore we had to arrange an extra ceremony either before or after our wedding. We went through the entire Catholic marriage prep and finished up just in time for our ceremony. The marriage prep or pre cana is not for the faint of heart. We had 6 months to prepare which, naively I thought was plenty of time. It wasn't. We  finished most of it prior to our ceremony, but still had one Natural Family planning lesson left to complete. We spent many hours working on the online coursework, attending mentoring sessions and learning about fertility. Apparently, the Catholic church wants you to go forth and multiply (I kid, I kid...but really, they want you to have lots of them). They graciously let us get married without completing the last lesson.

Third, it is a bit of a pain in the a$$ to get married outside of the U.S. There would have been a month lag in order to receive the paperwork to make it official. Plus, since we love the old US of A we decided to have the paperwork made official on our home soil. Being type A I wanted to have it all shored up by the time we got home from the honeymoon, so we did. This way we were able to return home from the honeymoon and sink effortlessly into married life.

Good friends who showed up to witness
Finally, we didn't want to make a big deal out of it. We knew that in February there was a good chance there would be a snow storm (and there was). I personally didn't want people to travel to Colorado during possible bad weather.
We wanted to keep it private.  We knew that if we advertised the event we would end up having two weddings, which is what we were trying to avoid. Instead, we had a few close/local friends show up to be our witnesses. It was extremely low key. Rob went to work that day. Deacon Dick ran the ceremony (he is the old guy in the priestly robes). He is also retired Air Force Lt Col.
Our friends did the readings and we said the vows that we had picked out for our Costa Rican wedding. It was a nice evening and great dry run for our special day! My favorite part of this not-so secret wedding was signing the Marriage certificate. There was something awesome about signing on the dotted line therefore making a legal commitment for life. We were in agreement that our dream wedding in Costa Rica was our actual union, however, the church nuptials were part of this process.

I love Rob's smile in this picture. He seems to happy so lock it down.

Friday, April 17, 2015

Attitude of Gratitude #3

The past two weeks have whizzed by in a frenzy of business. I have been working/flying/homemaking etc. Mostly working. I flew a few missions and taught a few yoga classes. Rob has been busy with work as well. We have started a countdown until he is out of his current job and into a a much more suitable slacker job. We both enjoy balance in our life and in particular we try to avoid long hours at work. Don't get me wrong, we work hard if assigned a task or we are intrinsically motivated by a goal but we are not workaholics. His current job is keeping him at the office for over 12 hours a day. He works SO hard! I am so proud of him but don't want this pace to last forever. I am looking forward to having him around more and he is looking forward to having some balance back.
I have been working towards my goal of competing in a bikini competition so pardon me if my thoughts seem is from lack of carbs. Here is my gratitude list:

1. My amazing husband. I flew a mission to Alabama on Sunday. I was gone the entire day. He went grocery shopping, cleaned up and had flowers waiting for me when I got home. Nice work!

2. I had to drive up to Denver to shoot the 9mm gun as a qualification for my job. It had snowed that morning and was 20 degrees out at the range therefore my fingers were frozen. I am super grateful for the program lead. He is a really nice retired cop who helped me load my magazines and got us through the training in an hour so we didn't freeze.
3. We got our wedding photos back from my good friend and photographer, Sheryne Cadicamo. I will blog about the whole day in another post but for now I will spare you the gushing. Here is one of the party favors we got everyone. I thought they were funny...but I may have been the only one.

4. My health

5. That I get to live in Colorado. I love this dang state. Seeing Pikes Peak everyday never ceases to ground me and make me appreciative to live in such a beautiful place. 

Hope you had a great week. What are you grateful for?

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Attitude of Gratitude Week 2

Happy Easter! He is risen!

I love the Lenten season it gives you the opportunity to be mindful of what Christ went through for us. It is amazing how giving up a few comforts can help you focus more on him and your faith. Easter is such a joyous day. My mother came down and we went to church then I made brunch for us. Even thought Rob is 36 he still enjoyed the Easter egg hunt I set up for him. He of course beat out all the other kids by collecting 52 eggs. j/k I probably need some more kids in my life.

Rob and I gave up pre-workout. While I have to admit our workouts were a little less frequent, it was good to power through them with out the extra push. Before Lent I felt like I was overdoing it big-time with the caffeine. I also gave up soy milk in my Americano's but I will have to continue with that since things just got real with my diet. I am going to attempt my first fitness comp in 6 weeks.

So many things to be grateful for today I am not sure where to start. I'll start with the most important thing.

1. Christ's sacrifice and Resurrection

2. We received this AMAZING quilt in the mail from family friend's of Rob's. I was brought to tears at how beautiful it is. It is done in patriotic colors and she stitched stars on the edges. The patchwork is very intricate. It is gorgeous!

3. My awesome husband.

4. The beautiful 70 degree weather we had for Easter

5. My mother being able to spend Easter with us

Have a great week!

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

A Uniform Adustment

Before you begin reading this rant. I'll warn you that I'm going to tie the military into the whole yoga thing again so if that is not your cup of tea I'll let you politely excuse yourself from this blog without judgment to your rationale. But of course I am hoping you keep reading. 

It is no secret that the military has dress requirements. The uniform we were is designed to make us exactly that, uniform. We drop quite a bit of our persona as we put on matching outfits with similar hairstyle and accessories. Black or green socks, subdued hair-ties, flesh colored nail polish, sleeves not rolled up, nothing hanging from the uniform. There is an entire publication dedicated to telling us how we are supposed to wear our uniform like everyone else. The uniform makes it difficult to categorize one another based on their personal style. For instance, I would often be startled to see someone I worked with in cowboy boots or biker attire outside of work. However, as much as I did not enjoy wearing an unflattering, baggy out fit, it definitely served it's purpose. In a lot of ways, it evened the playing field. It made it difficult to judge me based on my attributes, style or overall general appearance. Even though it did not completely eliminate judgment it was certainly helpful.  In my opinion, the military uniform can be an aid to helping us practice Yama of Satya or truthfulness.

This Yama is about living a truthful life without doing harm to others. In practice of Satya, one must think before he speaks and consider the consequences of his actions. In order to do this one must be aware of her thoughts. The key to truthfulness lies in our thoughts. Consider this, thoughts become words, words become actions, actions become habits and habits become values. By bringing awareness to our thoughts we must work on not judging. By dismissing your biases about someone based on their appearance you can more accurately evaluate their character.

I know what you are thinking. This chick is crazy, some people deserved to be judged! Some people leave the house wearing a fanny pack and knee high socks, some belt their pants at the base of their man boobs. Some people chew really loudly when they are eating. Some people make weird sounds when they are exercising at the gym.  

Satya would offer that judgment is harmful because the energy of criticism lives in us. It affects us, negatively. By practicing non-judging we can better see someone for who they truly are, and by consequence know ourselves better. Have you ever heard that whatever you don't like about someone else is really what you despise in yourself? Heavy, right?

First, let me say that I do not believe that yoga would have us do away with our legal system. I am not talking about reacting to bad behavior. I am talking about those mean girl, petty high school thoughts that make you feel superior or inferior to someone else. Also, I am not suggesting that you can just all of a sudden stop judging others. In fact, it is probably bordering on the impossible. We judge others ALL DAY long. We do it without thinking. But perhaps next time you find yourself thinking a thought about someone else, bring awareness to your thoughts. Observe your thoughts, if it is negative, stop it. It does not serve you.

"Everything that irritates us about others can lead us to an understanding of ourselves."

-Carl Jung