Month: January 2016

Another Dirty Word

Something weird happened to me yesterday. I sat down, slouching into the soft couch, to watch one of Grunt’s favourite shows with him. At one point, he climbed into my lap and I looked down to make sure he was going to get comfortable in a way that wouldn’t hurt me either.

And then I realized: I can see my legs. Not just my legs, but the tops of them. And not just the tops, but I can the rest of my body underneath my tummy. Somewhere along the way of losing weight and getting more active, I actually got thinner than I remember being in a long time.

This is an important milestone for several reasons. Since puberty, I have had this annoying large stomach that protruded over my lower abdomen, the tell-tale mark of someone with PCOS. It has only gotten more prominent since having Grunt, as I carried him very high. And since my accident, I have had a much larger behind, thanks to all that fluid that stuck around the injured areas because of the nerve damage done. So, when I look in the mirror sideways, all I see are these two problem areas; my torso gets lost somewhere in the middle.

In 2015, MiniSir and I decided we were going to get healthy – lose weight, eat better, take care of ourselves a little more. The previous 4 years had been a cluster of serious, terrible, and exciting things; a time in our lives we could not forget even if we wanted to. But 2015 we chose to start fresh, and give Grunt positive role models right at home. We purchased pedometers, started counting calories, watching portion sizes, and intensely meal planning. MiniSir started exercising right away, and his weight melted off. He has since managed to successfully lose over 50 pounds. Exercise has always left a dirty taste in my mouth, so I focused on being active with Grunt and trying to hit my 10000 steps a day. It was easier said than done, but by the end of the year, I had lost nearly 40 pounds.

We found as we got doing it that it felt good. We enjoyed it, and it helped us keep our grocery costs and food waste to a minimum. Helping ourselves and helping the planet? Okay! We decided to purchase home exercise equipment for our joint Christmas gift – we had a friend looking to off-load his and we were given a great price. So now we have a treadmill and a recumbent bike, and since MiniSir is a runner, you can guess which one was for me.

I was reluctant to start seriously exercising – what if I hurt something, what if I made it worse, what if what if. Finally, I made up my mind to try without judgment, and I got on the recumbent bike and pedalled. The next day, I got on it again. And the next. Throw in a little yoga once or twice a week, and suddenly you know how I’ve been spending my time while Grunt naps since the start of the year.

Some days I just can’t even, and I still get on the bike. Today, for example. I’m biking and writing this blog. I have no qualms about multi-tasking, and if this helps me feel better about time I spend on me, then it’s a win-win. I can only bike for about a half hour before my back and pelvis tell me I’ve done enough, but I can work up a sweat in that time which tells me I have indeed done what I came to do.

I’m hungrier, downright starving some days. Last week I ate supper and then an hour later I had a bowl of oatmeal and almond milk. But I feel good when I’m hungry – it means I need the fuel.

So maybe exercise still sounds like a dirty word to me. And maybe I hide my scale in my closet so I don’t obsess over my weight. Maybe I’m taking anti-depressants still to help me sleep.

But you know what else I am doing? I’m kicking that bulletproof, armoured bank truck right in the ass.

You can’t beat me, truck. What didn’t kill me has made me infinitely stronger: physically, mentally, emotionally.

Bring it.


Army Snobs?

I have never, ever (not once) been accused of being a judgemental or rank-obessesed military spouse, but last night I had the following interaction with a civilian neighbour:

Her: “Oh, I see [our neighbours] out in their fatigues all the time! Did they come to your party at Christmas?”

Me: (still snickering at ‘fatigues’) “No, none of our neighbours were invited.”

Her: “Oh, so you’re army snobs then?” (winking)

Me: “What? No! It was just that we hosted Staff Officer Carolling, and they aren’t Officers.”

*crickets chirping*

Me: “They don’t even work with my husband. (Proceed to name the ranks and trades of our neighbours in an attempt to explain how very far from working with my husband they are.) He only really ever sees them when he’s home.”

Her: “But they are in the army.”

Me: “Yessssss…. No. They didn’t come to our party.”

Her: “Ooooh! Army snobs!”

Me: *sigh*

I then spent all night worrying to myself: am I really an army snob? What if I am? What if I appear snobby to other military families and they secretly hate me, only putting up with me because of MiniSir’s irresistible charisma? It could happen!

This morning, when I woke up, still worrying I was the worst possible military spouse even and a giant army snob, the “In Case You Missed It” link from my good friend She Is Fierce‘s blog pointed to this post – Sure, Let’s Go There: Military Spouses and Rank. Re-reading it, I was relieved – I’m not an army snob after all! (At least, I’m pretty sure I’m not.)

Military rank holds a purpose, and in the workplace it’s a very important one. Outside of the military, it holds none whatsoever, and if it had been a block party we were hosting, I would have invited ALL our neighbours. But the party we were hosting was technically a military function, and much like an office Christmas party for a specific division of employees; this just happened to be for the Officers working at the headquarters.

Sometimes putting aside rank and rolling crits to kill undead monsters with people who just also happen to be in the military is really, really fun. And sometimes it can make people uncomfortable – especially if one party or the other feels that they are out of place. Like inviting a janitor to a teacher’s union meeting, or asking the CEO of a company to a birthday party for one of the receptionists. It isn’t un-doable, it just isn’t very comfortable. And besides, no one wants the CEO there anyways – once the birthday champagne is open you just know you’re going to say something you shouldn’t about his toupee.

I think I spend more time worrying about MiniSir’s social standing than he does – I want to be as good a military spouse as I can be; he’s going places, my hardworking man. I would like to be memorable for being a wonderful partner in his journey and making everyone feel welcome in our home no matter who they are or what rank they hold. Someone said once that I “will make a great Colonel’s wife”; I just hope I get to prove them right.

As long as my neuroses don’t get the best of me before then.

2016: A Year of Reaping


Happy 2016, everyone! I just know in my heart that this is the Year of Krista, and I am looking forward to making the most of it.

We could call last year “The Road to High Readiness”, in true army fashion. It saw a lot of ups and downs, for me and our little family.

We all started the year off with terrible colds, and I managed to get lice, an eye infection, and a lung infection on top of that over the holidays. Grunt decided he would start furniture walking as soon as I got sick, too, and became much more mobile while I attempted to get better. The constant barrage of demands from the condo board and MiniSir’s trip to Europe in March nearly did me in as I tried to be a mum, a home owner, and run the condo board all by myself.

But… we celebrated Easter in Walt Disney World and had a wonderful underwater-themed first birthday party for Grunt when we arrived back home.

We put the house on the market right as the price of oil collapsed, and nearly sold it twice only to have the buyer unable to get financing. I hired a management company for our condos, and struggled through our piece-meal finances with their accountant to get our books in order.

But… MiniSir got promoted, and we celebrated with the champagne he brought back from France. We had family visiting us in June, July, and August, and in between we had a whirlwind trip to Ontario.

MiniSir went to fight fires in Saskatchewan, but then we visited Banff and Lake Louise for the first time on an epic road trip, and it seemed like maybe we were finally getting ready to relax into fall.

And then my PTSD, depression, and anxiety all made a comeback and I’m back on medication to help me cope.

But… MiniSir completed an amazing “rugged” marathon called Mountain Man, a result of his hard work, training, and the loss of 50 pounds. He also got great career news and now we know we will be here in Edmonton for at least another 4 years.Grunt started walking and talking. The condo board took on new members and it now feels like we are a team instead of a one-woman show. I have lost nearly 40 pounds, with just a couple stubborn ones left to reach my goal weight. And we celebrated Christmas here, together: our little family with matching pjs in our little house.

Honestly, looking back, I can see the ups and see the downs, see the curveballs life has thrown at us and see the gifts. I wish for nothing more in the new year than for 2016 to hold more gifts than disappointments. I sowed many seeds last year, and I’m ready to reap the rewards. If I close my eyes and dream, I can see them all lying out on the path ahead of me. I know this year will be mine, and I’m ready for it.

From our home to yours: Happy New Year, and may your unexpected gifts be numerous!