Student of the Month

I’ve been off the grid, traveling Spain and eating all the delicious (albeit sometimes scary looking) food and drinking all the wine and cold, cold beer my little stomach could handle. I am back now, and still half asleep.. so I don’t have much to share, yet. 

But I couldn’t not share this. ‘Cause I kind of feel like a giddy elementary school kid.. 

I was named student of the month at my yoga studio! 

So I’ll leave you with this:

Meet Gabriella! Gabriella is our July student of the month! And she more than ever deserves to be student of the month! She has been coming to the studio for 2 years now (almost everyday!) and started straight out with the monthly unlimited membership and jumped right into the 30 day yoga challenge!  (and has completed 3 challenges since then!) Having Gabby in class and getting to know her has been so amazing. She is so determined and excited about her practice and her life and you can feel it! Always challenging herself and challenging those around her, whether it’s in a YOD class, power flow class or even off the mat! Gabby is the most sweetest, honest and kind human and we are lucky to have her apart of our family.  Thank you for continuing to show up fully, kick ass and sweat with us everyday! We love you girl!

“I found The Yoga Roots 2 years ago, shortly after moving to the AV. I had tried yoga before but it wasn’t really my thing. After a few weeks of working from home in my new town, I realized I needed to start leaving the house and interacting with people before I went insane. So, I decided to give yoga another shot. It was pretty much love at first sight with TYR. After trying out my first week, I dove right in to the unlimited option without hesitation and started coming to the studio 4-5 days a week. I was ready to be challenged… and to sweat like crazy!

When I first started, I was in the middle of planning my wedding from across the country and I was adjusting to the reality that my life would forever be filled with unknowns and lots of moves that I would have little to no say in (yay military life!). Yoga really helped to keep me grounded as I approached this new phase of life. It also helped me look amazing in my wedding dress. 😉

I love being able to reflect and see how far I’ve come in these 2 years, both personally and in my yoga practice. I love that the back pain I’ve lived with for the last 5 years seems to disappear when I am practicing regularly. I love the sense of accomplishment I feel when I realize that one of those crazy movements & poses that Shannon and the rest of the TYR team asks you to try suddenly doesn’t seem impossible. I love being pushed to “just try it”, because our bodies are capable of more than we realize.

Thanks to the whole TYR community, teachers and students, for creating an awesome environment and for teaching me so much!”

Here’s a link to the post: http://www.theyogaroots.com/spotlight/#/july-2017-gabriella-lavin/

Thanks, The Yoga Roots! 💓

Independence 

I pride myself on being any independent person. (Cue the double snap, “I don’t need no man!”) But there’s something about not having your partner physically present that reminds you that, although you CAN do it all on your own, it’s nice to know you don’t always have to. You’ve got someone in your corner. And someone to pawn unwanted tasks off on. (Honey, can you go get my tires changed? Pretty please?)

I recently had to get new tires on my car. And my car battery died. And the air conditioning in my home died. All within a couple weeks. (I had heard about deployment Murphy’s Law, I guess it struck!)

I’m 100% capable of dealing with these things/situations, but I was suddenly acutely aware that I do not enjoy dealing with these things on my own. Kudos to me for handling these things (and with only mild freak outs! Broken a.c. in the summer in the desert, I think you’d freak out too), because I have to right now. But just because I can, isn’t a good enough reason to not ask for help here and there. 

Besides, I have a husband who kinda enjoys car related things, so why not hand over the keys and let him take the wheel? (Pun totally intended, by the way.)

I’m realizing that maybe I don’t like being 100% independent. I’ll take 50%, please! 

Unfortunately, I still seem to have a physical reaction to the term “military dependent”. It’s what the government calls me, as the wife of a military service member. It feels like I’m being stripped of that 50% independence I’ve just alotted myself. I know it’s just a term, and it doesn’t define me as a whole human person… but man, c’mon! 

I’m still working through my feelings on that one… 

Until then, I’ll keep rocking my independence and embracing my dependence. 💪✌

Dance

I took my very first dance class about 20 years ago, I think I was in 5th grade. Little did I know that this class would be my gateway to growth and self-expression. I was a pretty shy kid, but somehow that shyness melted away once the lights came up, the music blasted, and muscle memory took over.

I remember my mom telling me she cried after watching my first dance performance. She could not believe that her shy little girl was confidently leaping and turning across the stage in front of a packed auditorium. I can’t explain it, but being on stage just felt so good.

Was I even a good dancer? Hard to say. If you asked my mom, I’m sure she’ll tell you I was amazing. 😉  I can honestly say I wasn’t the best on the team. I also wasn’t the worst; I think I sat comfortably in the middle of the pack, which I am ok with.

It wasn’t until a high school dance class assignment that I realized what dance was for me – an emotional release. It was a way to express my love, a way to express my pain. I performed my midterm dance assignment, a self-choreographed solo that was meant to express my feelings about someone. I chose my father as my “muse”… they were not positive feelings I was attempting to emote. I don’t remember the dance. I don’t remember the song. I don’t remember anything outside of crying my eyes out almost immediately after my performance ended.

Sweet relief!

Those were bottled up feelings I’d discreetly tucked away for years. And here they were, surfacing after leaving it all on the dance floor. Such a cathartic experience…

Fast forward almost 15 years.

As I sat there watching a recorded episode of World of Dance, I realized dance was still a beautiful, emotional crutch for me. These powerful performances tugged at my heart and next thing I knew, my eyes welled up with tears. Once again, sweet relief.

In the midst of the crazy, unsettling news I’d recently heard from that side of the world, I’d mostly avoided letting myself feel any particular way outside of recognizing that it was a terrible tragedy. I guess all it took was watching strangers perform a beautiful routine in the hopes of winning $1,000,000. Noted. I’ll keep that in mind next time I need a good cry.

…Or maybe I’ll just put on some jams and dance it out.

Dance

Sharing 

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A weird thing happened this week… I shared this blog with family and friends. (Hi mom!) I started this not really knowing if I’d ever share it with anyone or if I would even be “good at” blogging. (What does that even mean, right?!) The jury is still out on that one. 😉

It’s a weird feeling, having someone read your blog. It’s kind of like discovering that someone’s read your diary… except that you’ve intentionally left them the key and the instructions on how to jimmy the lock.

So, here I am, with an audience!

What I’ve learned is that I have not given my friends and family an accurate depiction of what life is like as a military spouse. I was surprised to hear that this blog provided a way to relate to me & the military life that most of us know nothing about. Honestly, I barely understand it myself and am mostly just winging it as I go… so, I guess it makes sense that my loved ones don’t really get it. Maybe I’m just rocking it, and making it look easy (I like how this sounds, let’s go with this).

…But that is hardly how I feel.

I have felt an overwhelming amount of love and support for this weird life I’m living. I’m incredibly appreciative that you all have tuned in and are able to catch a glimpse into this world. Just knowing that you are there & sending your loving vibes means so much. It encourages me to continue to share this journey, and whatever else inspires me along the way.

So, thanks for the push. Thanks for encouraging me to express myself.

xoxo 💓

Moments Between Moments

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I was just emailing with one of my sisters and these words ever so eloquently traveled from my brain to my finger tips:

“…that’s where relationships and bonds form, in a moment that wasn’t even meant to be ‘a moment’”

I stopped after I typed that, and I reflected on how true this was. (What can I say? Sometimes I surprise myself!)

Think about your best friend. Sure, you’ve shared plenty of real moments with him or her. But what was the moment you knew you’d be lifelong friends? You probably knew after the most innocuous, mundane moment. You found a common thread somewhere… and that thread color perfectly complimented your own crazy colored threads, and you weren’t even looking for it.

The same is true for romantic relationships. I love getting dolled up and going out, being spoiled, wined and dined, and showered with gifts and things. I love all of that fun stuff! But what I love most is those seemingly unimportant moments. Standing in the kitchen together, making dinner, talking about nothing important or maybe just chopping away in silence, listening to whatever Pandora radio station seemed appealing that day. Sitting on the couch, watching a movie, and silently fighting over the bowl of popcorn resting between us. Hearing the freezer door open and knowing I’m about to steal a spoonful (or five) of ice cream from Husband.

I think love is built in those moments between [bigger] moments.

That’s what I miss the most while Husband is gone. Those little moments that seem so meaningless and unimportant.

It’s also what I feel like I miss out on the most with my family. Those little moments… the moments where inside jokes are made, where memories are made.

Military Spouse Appreciation Day

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Happy military spouse appreciation day, guys & gals! I just learned that this was a thing.. that we get a day of appreciation. So, hooray! How am I celebrating this special day? Probably by making dinner for 1 (aka a bowl of cereal). I know, I’m really pulling out all the stops for myself today.

Military spouse appreciation day got me thinking… what does it mean to be a MilSpouse or MilSO?

It means trying to learn (and understand) all the pertinent rules, regulations, and acronyms.

It means wishing you had a cheat sheet for those acronyms. (TDY, PCS, PT, UDM… seriously, it will make your head spin.)

It means moving across the country (or world!) away from family and friends.

It means learning how to make new friends.

It means saying bye to those awesome new friends.

It means having friends all over the world.

It means making your rented house or apartment feel like home.

It means packing up your home and starting over every 2-4 years.

It means sacrificing your career (sometimes).

It means taking any ol’ job that will hire you, because you are desperate for a paycheck.

It means questioning your self-worth when no one calls you for an interview.

It means learning to be comfortable with being alone for days, weeks, months, years.

It means lots of altered plans.

It means saying goodbye to your husband/wife/boyfriend/girlfriend.

It means finding out that your loved one is being sent off to the Middle East and you only have a week to cram in as much quality time as possible.

It means lots of video chats with horrible lags and terrible connections.

It means making and sending lots and lots of care packages. (Jo has an extensive list of care package ideas that are all pretty awesome… I may or may not have taken a lot of ideas from her!)

It means discovering a sense of pride you never knew you had for your country and for the men and women who serve to protect you.

It means loving someone so damn much that you are willing to deal with all of it.