Army Paisley – Her Life Now

Long time no see… So over the last year I got a bunch of emails from soldiers who were getting ready to go to MIBOLC. They asked a lot of questions and also let me know how helpful this blog was. Happy to hear…. but I failed to respond because I was busy creating and then taking care of this ball of joy…

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Not sure if you all knew that I was pregnant, but now you do. 

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Harper – born June 24th, 2013 🙂

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To say the least, it’s been crazy over here. She’s beautiful, wonderful, happy and smells like Heaven.

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I’ll start posting different things about being a mom because that is now a new component to the life of Army Paisley.

Speaking of… I got promoted. I’m now a First Lieutenant. Nothing really has changed, but I just can’t mess up as much. I’ve been working on my OER for the past few weeks. That stuff is so fun. Not. It’s hard to remember all that you’ve done in the past year. Especially when you’re only at drill two days a month. Oh yeah and then add a pregnancy and a baby in the mix… Forget about it!

As for running, that has been very limited these days. If you’ve ever tried to run with a stroller you know what I mean. It’s just not the same. Baby starts crying and then you have to deal with that. Your 3 mile run just turned into 2 hours. I’m good. But, I am totally back at CrossFit. I’m pretty much sore all the time because of it. But it’s the best feeling. Well that, and just not being pregnant any more. Pregnancy blows.

Lastly… I’m also back at my civilian job. They are allowing me to exclusively work from home which is totally awesome. I’m constantly surprised at how lucky I truly am. I’m using my mom’s camera these days so I’ll start snapping more pictures of my life. I don’t know that it’s more interesting… just different. 

Keep sending me questions via email, I love hearing from all of you. 

armypaisley at gmail dot com 🙂

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San Jose Refresh

Ever had one of those days where you just feel like pouting?

Maybe you shattered your brand new phone?

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And then you went to go see if you could get it fixed… and learned that it would cost you another $200, minimum.

And then things start to turn around…

Boyfriend tells you that he might be able to fix your screen for $28.66.

Instead of wallowing in my frustration, I put on my walking shoes. (And a VERY colorful ensemble.)

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While on this walk, I started thinking…

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Because that’s what people do on walks: think. I really do love San Jose. I do. And I got to thinking of all the great things about living in the bay area.

Bay Area Greatness:

  1. The landscape is beautiful. There are so many trees, green grass and TONS of flowers. Just walking around my neighborhood is gorgeous.
  2. Amazing running territory. There are so many places to run — places that I’ve yet to explore.
  3. San Jose is only 30 minutes from the beach. Enough said.
  4. Beautiful people. Tons of fun restaurants and bars filled with young professionals. I like pretty scenery.
  5. Not too far from my family. I can drive home (parents house) if I need to. But far enough to be “away.”
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When I got home from my walk, I was feeling happy, energetic and ready to cook something!
A few weeks ago I bought a tub of Trader Joe’s Chicken Curry Salad. It was delicious. I put it on salads and had to pry myself away from eating the entire tub in one sitting. Last night I went on a hunt for a similar recipe, this is what I found:

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It was delicious. I did my own rendition, of course.

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MY Chicken Salad:

  1. Dump drained chicken in with mayo, TONS of curry, garlic powder and pepper.
  2. Add big scoop of almond butter.
  3. Throw in a 1/2 cup of trail mix.
  4. Mix, enjoy!
With all this fresh air, I was inspired to do some cleaning too…

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Okay, maybe not cleaning, but definitely soaking. This silver/grey wristlet is great, but gets SUPER dirty, fast. A little dish soap and elbow grease should do the trick!

Later, I whipped up a very, very green smoothie.

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In the mix: coconut water, coconut milk, frozen kale, frozen banana and vanilla. Cold and refreshing — hit the spot!

I went to bed feeling happy and refreshed. All it took was a walk and a self pep talk. It’s amazing… all those studies done by doctors — well, they actually know what they’re talking about! Fresh air and exercise is the perfect medicine for the mind.

Have you ever had a day where exercise made all the difference? Was it just a funky mood?

I know that exercise makes me feel better, yet sometimes the hardest part is simply putting on my running shorts!

XO

Paisley

Good Stuff

I love writing the Things I Love posts… but some of these things aren’t products. It’s just GOOD stuff. Stuff that happens in my life that doesn’t always find a spot in the blog. But definitely deserves one.

– Baby ducks. I spotted these guys on my way to breakfast the other day. So stinkin’ cute.

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– Mexican ceaser salad. Never knew it existed…

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– Copious amounts of honey dew. And I mean copious. This time I added some fro-yo to the top. I love that my work gives free food — which includes frozen yogurt.

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– Chocolate mint water. I waited a very long time before I tried this stuff. But oh em geeee!!! It’s so amazing. It’s literally like drinking chocolate. I usually drink 3 every day I work. Chocolate wasted, anyone? ha…Oh and those shoes in the background. I finally got them fixed at the shoe repair store (there’s one right by my house)… and I’m probably going to wear them every day for a week. I’ve missed them. It’s like getting a new pair of shoes!

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– Sitting outside at work on sunny days. The weather is so perfect. And I work in such a beautiful area. I’m a lucky girl.

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– My new phone. And looking at that picture every time I use my phone. (Check out the weather… jealous??) hehe

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– This guy. Many of you know me personally. With that, many of you know the history of Jay and I. Here’s the skinny… Girl meets boy at age 15. Girl and boy fall in love. Girl and boy fight like the Notebook. Girl and boy can’t stop loving each other. Girl and boy give up fighting. 7 years later… Girl and boy are happy.

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XO

Paisley

What are you loving these days? 

Giant Dipper

On Monday night, Justin arrived at my apartment. We quickly headed to Trader Joe’s for all the ingredients for these: Cherry Mojito’s.

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Jacqueline accepted a drink as well. It was agreed, we’re definitely cherry-mojito fans.


I also made an easy dinner of sweet potato wedges and GF panini’s.

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Can you tell I love my grill??

After dinner, and a few more Mojito’s… Sean, Jacqueline, Justin and I played a game…

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I honestly can’t remember what it’s called. But here’s the basics: a “fill in the blank” (kind of like MadLibs) is put down. Each player puts a card face down that they think corresponds with the black “fill in the blank” card. The person, or judge then gets to flip over each card and decide which answer they like best. Whoever the card belongs to, they get the black card for that round. The one with the most black cards at the end of the game wins!

I didn’t think I was very funny at first, but soon got the hang of it. At some points I was laughing so hard that I was crying. It was an amazing Monday night. I’d say the first “roomie” night ever!! 🙂

The next morning Jay and I headed to Santa Cruz. We spent a few hours on the beach. We wanted to stay far away from the boardwalk… but couldn’t resist any longer.

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We found ourselves in a long line filled with excited high schoolers. I LOVE the Giant Dipper. I could ride it over and over again. I don’t know if the ride itself is the fun part… but I think it’s a mixture of all the Santa Cruz memories and great times that I’ve had there.

This day was no different.

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And away we went!! WEEEE!

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After the beach we went to CrossFit West Santa Cruz. I’ve been to that gym before, so I was excited to go back. Jay was stoked because it has this huge fake grass strip in the middle. It’s literally the “Disneyland” of CrossFit gyms.

We loved the gym and coaches both so much that we even bought their T-shirts! I’m not biased towards any CrossFit gyms… except for my home CrossFit Envy. But one of my favorite things to do is go and visit other gyms in different cities and states. I think it’s cool that almost every CrossFit gym has the same look and feel. Working out is only a small portion of CrossFit culture.

I’m especially fond of CrossFit West because while I was there on Tuesday, I learned that I didn’t actually lose my pull ups. They had AMAZING pull up bars (aka: the kind for small grip girls like me). I hopped right on and knocked out about 10. I jumped off and turned to Justin, “DID YOU SEE THAT!?!?!”

About a week ago I was really sad with myself because I couldn’t do pull ups at CF Campbell. Being that I took some time off from CrossFit, I immediately attributed this to a loss of strength. Although some of that is true, turns out it was a bar issue. I’m used to a smaller bar!

I’ve found a home at CrossFit Campbell here in San Jose. They don’t have the pull up bars that I’m used to — so my goal is to master pull ups at the big boy bars too. This whole idea proves my point that pull ups are a technique issue, not always a strength thing.

After CrossFit, Justin and I headed back to the apartment to wash off all the sand and sweat. And headed to dinner…

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Wednesday morning it was back to work for the two of us. Bummer. But we had a great few days. I’m really starting to love the bay area. ESPECIALLY this 70 degree weather. I’ll take that all summer, yes please!

XO

Paisley

The Lake is Baaaack!

The other day I was tasked with a mission: Find white bedding.

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Instead of leaving the store with bedding… we left with pillows. Go figure.

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And an evening at the lake. Bedding can wait, right?

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Ever been pillow shopping? I have a few times. And I’m convinced that the only way to truly find the right fit is to just lay on the ground and see for yourself! And if anyone looks at you like a weirdo… they’ll quickly understand the necessity of trying it before you buy!

Today:

After 10 glorious, much needed hours of sleep, I rounded up the running gear.

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And headed out for a 4 mile run around my town. It was only 60-ish degrees which was perfect running weather. It’s been so hot here all last week, I was grateful for the change of temperature.

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G.I. Jane and I decided that a lake day was much over-due. Ice tea and rainbows? Looks like a perfect afternoon.

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We looked at the lake from the shore. Way too chilly to swim.

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When I got home I did one of Jillian’s workouts. Since I’m in limbo with my whole living situation, I can’t commit to a full month of crossfit. Therefore, at-home workouts and running are still on my agenda. Well, with the occasional class…

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Jillian kicked my butt, as usual. But I was excited because I got to use REAL hand weights… instead of water bottles. I’m so moving up in the world.

I also finally had internet connection ans was able to purchase the Nike Training Club app. I’ve been wanting it for months now and just never got around to it!

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Tonight MommaG and I got frozen yogurt. Delish!!

Tomorrow I’ll finally get to go see/ride my horse Benson!! Miss that guy like crazy!

XO

Paisley

Something to read: Don’t have “time” for a workout? Great tips on how to find/make time.

The Long Awaited Trip Home

My car spent some time in the shop.

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And then she spent some time at the shower.

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Why? Because my time in Arizona had come to an end. And I will no longer be driving the rental car… which I’ll dearly miss. Seriously… the new 2012 ford focus is an awesome car. I retract all negative statements I’ve made in regards to Ford… they stepped up their game this year.

On January 2nd, I boarded a plane that brought me to the sunny state of Arizona.

On May 3rd, I boarded a plane that brought me back to the (currently raining) state of California.

Before I could do that though, us Lieutenants had to clean all our gear.

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We turned it in, processed our paperwork, graduated and off we went.

Unfortunately I didn’t take any pictures of graduation. Let’s just say I wanted to get the hell out of there as fast as possible. Pictures were the last thing on my mind.

I pretty much despised 90% of my classmates, therefore making memories was also not a priority of mine.

Steph and I… Tucson bound!! One last trip to Wilko was a necessity before I could leave my love, Tucson.

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A big plate of cheese!

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We got to bed early and prepared to reunite with the most important people in our lives.

I was so excited when that plane finally hit ground in Sacramento.

I told you I’d be able to fit all my crap back into my bags… Barely.

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Today I’ll get to see my family for a few hours and then it’s right back to Army land… only California style this time!

I’m home. She’s baaaaaaaaack!!

XO

California Paisley 😀

One of the BEST

This week is going to be one of the best weeks. BECAUSE I’M GOING HOME!!! I’m smiling to tears at writing this. I’m so excited that it’s becoming emotional.

This morning I danced in front of a mirror. I was like a little kid. It finally hit me. I’m done!

I’m continually packing. Packing is a time of transition for me. I can’t help but think of all the many more experiences I’ve yet to experience. I wonder… where will I travel to next? Where will the Army take me over the next 5 years? Who/what will I be in 2 years? It’s accomplishing goals that spurs these thoughts.

BOLC is my last hurdle in my 6 year plan that I set up for myself when I was 16 years old. I decided roughly what I wanted my life to look like and it’s been such a blessing to experience the highs and lows of it all.

For those of you who don’t know… My life has looked a little like this:

16 years — graduate high school

17 years — start Jr. college

18 years — Enlist in the Army

19 years — graduate with my AA, graduate basic & AIT (boot camp), move out of my parents, start at UC Davis

20 years — Start OCS

21 years — graduate college, commission to become an officer, complete basic officer leadership course

What’s next? Big girl job. Interview is on Tuesday. This girl doesn’t waste any time.

Thinking: “You must make your choices one at a time, since each is contingent upon the decision that precedes it. Instead of trying to create a mental map of your path through this day, focus on My loving presence with you. I will equip you as you go, so that you can handle whatever comes your way. Trust Me to supply what you need when you need it.”

My word is a lamp to your feet and a light for your path.”

XO

Paisley

Warrior Dash 2012

Saturday AM = CrossFit Works in Tucson

Um hi sexy coach Chris. And hi bad ass gym. Why didn’t I come here sooner!?!? ugggggg! It was so much fun! I was there for 2 hours. “Okaaaay. Now we’re going to do cleans. Okay now we’re going to do a ‘test’. Okay now go run 800 meters. Tired yet?”

I’m beyond sore. But I think I’m just weak because I seem to ALWAYS be sore these days.

But yah, CrossFit Works is fantastic. And it’d definitely be my box if I lived in Tucson. But I don’t, so at least I got to enjoy it ONCE while I was here. A great way to finish off my glorious Tucson weekends.

After CrossFit I checked into my hotel, showered and went out to do what I do best… shop. I needed to make a special trip to Trader Joe’s for Ryan. I mean, the guy is fighting a war in Afghanistan. It’s the least I could do.

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I’m still LOVING my hair. And finally got to wear my new yellow shirt that I got in Phoenix with my mom.

I also saw Safe House, the movie. With Denzel Washington and Ryan Reynolds. Um… hello sexy man!

Yes. Please.

Sunday Morning = Warrior Dash!!

As every good morning does, it started with a coffee.

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And running clothes. I stuck with black. It tends to do better in the mud… ha.

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If you look really close, you can see my “CrossFit hickey’s” from the barbell. OUCH.

After some minor navigation issues, Philip and I made it to the race. Barely!

The run was a blast. There was a TON of obstacles. And everyone around us was having a really great time. I loved the energy and motivation. The costumes were fun too!

After crawling though 2 feet of mud… my shoes had seen better days. I was perplexed. To throw away, or not. I decided to chuck them. I added to this monstrous pile! Gross, right?

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And so it was… hot and muddy.

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Warrior Dash was awesome. They might of had me at “free beer” — but the mud was fun too.

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After being pressure washed by fire hoses. Literally. We paid a visit to my favorite, In N Out. And yeah… I ate the WHOLE bun. Kill me.

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Super cool souvenir… a wrist band. It’s like I went to a club.

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And the shirt is awesome!!

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Now I’m putting together the Afghanistan packages.

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And eating copious amounts of cookie butter.

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Because it tastes like cookies. And butter. And my goal is to be 200 lbs. Obviously.

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Because I’ve heard that I’m “0% body fat. And one big muscle with twigs for arms.” Love ya too, bullies!

Mud runs are a blast. But it’s not so fun digging mud out of unspeakable locations. And wringing mud out of your Lululemon shorts… yah I just cringed a little bit too.

XO

Muddy Paisley

Packing?

Today involved too much cuteness.

Exhibit A:

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Exhibit B:

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Exhibit C:

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Stephanie and I paid a visit to the pet store and got to play with puppies and kittens. I was in animal heaven.

The cocker spaniel was my favorite. She looks JUST like my childhood dog, “Penny.” My parents got Penny when my mom was pregnant. And she lived for 13 years!

We also got well-deserved pedicures and had lunch at the Greek restaurant. I had a gyro pita. Yum!

It was the best 4 hours of the entire week.

Afterwards I started packing.

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Let me repeat myself… I STARTED PACKING!! It feels like not too long ago I was packing to come here!

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Totally surreal.

It’s looking like I’ll be able to fit everything. Barely. Good thing I lugged a bunch of stuff home 2 weeks ago. I’d have a hefty UPS bill if I hadn’t.

Tonight I’m laying low because this weekend is a fitness extravaganza!!

In the morning I’m going to Tucson’s CrossFit Works… for the first time. I figure it’s fitting. You know, visit a CrossFit gym during my 16th weekend (last) here.

I decided that I NEED one of these:

And so does Dianna.

Because we have a growing collection of traveling CrossFit t-shirts. And I’ve yet to re-pay her the favor. 🙂

Oh. And she’s picking me up from the airport — again. Because she thinks I’m awesome.

I’ll also be doing a sunset run with Steph tomorrow night. We’re thinking Rillito river or Sabino Canyon.

Sunday is the Warrior Dash.

I hear it’s kinda cool? We’ll see… Mud and obstacles… the new fitness craze these days.

Something I love:

XO

Paisley

Counting My Lasts

Last weekend I was talking to my family about my Arizona life. Courtney told me that I’ve done an amazing job of making poop sparkle. The rest agreed. Geee… thanks.

I hadn’t thought of it that way until then. But they’re right. And I’m pretty proud of myself. I’ve been able to turn a some-what (actually, very) crappy situation into a good time. Overall I’ve had a blast here. I’ve been able to explore several cities. Take a few trips home and to San Diego. I’ve met new friends. Bought some awesome stuff/clothes. Learned how to adjust my fitness goals. And practiced writing.

As my time here comes to an end, I’m starting to count my “lasts”…

1. My last box of Keurig k-pots

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During one of my first weekend Costco trips, I decided that in order to ensure happiness at BOLC — I NEEDED a Kuerig. I was concerned about dropping so much money on a coffee maker. But decided it was worth it because it ensured flawless coffee for the next 4 months. And oh my gosh, I was right on the money with this one.

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I love my Keurig and I totally support spending money on good, FAST coffee — the kind that doesn’t involve driving to and waiting in a line to pay $4 for… ahem, Starbucks. I can make it hot or iced. I can pick the size/strength. I can make tea. And all I have to do is push a few buttons. No grinds or crazy cleaning hassles to deal with. I love it. And the 60 k-pots that came with it was pretty much the exact amount that I needed. If it could brew beer, I’d probably marry it. The only problem is that I’m going to have to lug or ship this sucker home! I can see it now… To the southwest customer service: “Please be careful with that suitcase, because it has my Keurig in it!”

2. Last few ruck marches

This one I’m not going to miss. I’ve never been a fan of lugging around a bunch of weight on my back. I have a hard time breathing and my legs are short. Enough said. Every time I think about my short legs I instantly think of my Dad. He thinks this attribute of mine is very comical considering he’s the one who gave them to me. Thanks a lot, stubs!

Also, rucking a backpack instead of a ruck is not normal. Nor is in comfortable or logical. And 2ish miles really doesn’t deliver any fitness benefits. Therefore, Wednesday morning is a wash. I only have one more and I’m not sad to see them go.

This morning was one of those legendary ruck marches. I kept moving my legs. And with every step I thought, “I only have to do this one more time.”

3. Last few weekends

I only have two of them left. It’s bitter sweet. My weekends here have been my Heaven. I look forward to them and put a lot of thought and planning into them. I usually spend them alone which is peaceful and enjoyable for someone who spends most of her weekdays surrounded by people and constant talking.

This weekend I only get one day due to my dreaded staff duty. I asked Stephanie to join me in a Tucson day trip. I’m looking forward to enjoying Tucson for one last (maybe) time before I jet back home. There will be running, pedicures, lunch, grocery shopping and exploring involved… all key ingredients to an Army Paisley weekend.

4. Last few “I love you, Auntie” picture text messages from MommaG

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Every Wednesday my Mom watches Kenzlee and I get to join in on the fun through pictures. They usually involve two amazing things: my niece and my horse.

I’m looking forward to being able to physically join the fun. But they are definitely a sparkle in my week. 🙂

Tonight:

I planned on going grocery shopping, again. I made the list and planned it all out. I only have one egg left and no greek yogurt. Translated, that means breakfast is kind of non-existent. I live for breakfast so this is a problem.

I was cruising around and found this recipe and decided that I really didn’t want to get in my car after all. And I have “enough” of the ingredients to get by one more day.

And then I saw this in my refrigerator:

There’s only 2 left. And since I’m in the spirit of counting my lasts, I decided to celebrate. Celebrate what? Counting my lasts, duh.

And then grocery shopping was canceled.

Thanks to Jillian Michaels, I can barely walk. James told me that I was walking as if I needed to go to the bathroom — except in slightly more visual terms. Sore on so many levels it’s embarrassing.

Jillian Michaels kicked my ass. And I’m a CrossFitter (ex-CrossFitter these days). And I’m well aware of how this makes me look: lame. 

So I grabbed the beer, put my PJ’s on, bought a new book on my Kindle and I’m calling it a night.

Although this chapter at BOLC is ending, I’m happy to say goodbye. I’ll miss the gorgeous Arizona mountains. I’ll miss my rental car. And I’ll miss my weekend get-away’s. But that’s the way things go. All good (and bad) things must come to an end.

As I count my “last’s,” I’m keeping a positive outlook. I feel that I was blessed with the opportunity to become an intel officer. And I feel happy that I was able to train in Arizona over the winter. As many bad things have happened within my class (mostly frustrations), I’m thankful for the opportunity and the experiences.

And… Jillian Michaels, I’ll be back at it tomorrow, but for now…thank goodness for ibuprofen.

XO – Paisley