Saturday, November 12, 2011

day of thanks #12

Today I am thankful for beautiful fall weather. Nothing feels/smells better than fall. A warm, crisp, clear fall day is amazing. This morning I woke up to one of the most amazing views to date of Mt Fuji and it's snow capped top. The air was totally clear and the mountain looked as if it were in my backyard. It almost caused me to get into an accident as I drove to Evelyn's cheerleading and Gavin's football. Which is another great part of fall! I love seeing my kids be active outdoors and have fun on team sports.
After they were done, we went for bike rides, cleaned out the back yard and storage areas, went to the par 3 on base and just enjoyed time together as a family! Thank you fall!!!!

Friday, November 11, 2011

Day of thanks #11 11/11/11

Even though it is Veteran's Day and I usually reserve this day to recognize all the amazing men and women in the military.... Today I want to recognize and appreciate JoJo. My dear friend, Joanne. Joanne has impacted my life on so many levels it is frightening! She hired me for my first 'real' job. She helped guide my career path to get my MBA in Healthcare Administration and eventually take over her position as Director of Athletic Training Services for NovaCare Rehabilitation. But most importantly, she introduced me (and blatantly NUDGED me) to Patrick. I specifically remember the very first day that Patrick and I met....

I was helping JoJo get ready for a Quarterly meeting with all the ATCs in the area. She had me create and hand out some ice breaker questions. I remember meeting Patrick and totally thinking he was cute - but after the meeting she said "You are going to marry that guy. I just know it. You will be Mrs. Patrick Bull one day." I thought she was crazy...mainly because I had a boyfriend at the time and had no interest in anyone else. But as that relationship changed and dwindled...JoJo would set Patrick and I up together for work functions and put us on assignments together. One day, Patrick won Wings tickets (Philly's professional lacrosse team) and JoJo nonchalantly told Patrick that I love lacrosse. This was just after I had broken up with my old boyfriend and Joanne had a plan!!! The rest, as you would say, is history.

JoJo has also been an amazing inspiration and spiritual guidance for me also. And I came to realize that the number 11 was very special to her. She believes that The symbol 11 shows us that we are all a reflection of one another, a reminder that we maintain balance in life by serving others. She has taught me to love life, to help others, and to always be at peace. Every email or phone conversation ends with Namaste.

So on this special day (that most of us will only experience once in our lifetime) I have been thinking of her and her contributions to my life all day. Please check out her site - which helps people help others...

Miss you JoJo and love you! Namaste!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Day of thanks #10

Today I am grateful for the amazing men and women who serve in the .5%. The .5% of Americans who serve in the US military. The 1/2% of the nation who have courageously risked life, who have run toward the danger instead of away from it, who have rescued others, freed others, removed genuinely bad people from this Earth, those who have sat in a foxhole, or been shot at, or who hid in a jungle or drove along a city street, waiting for the inevitable explosion that would maim him, or her, or a friend. The ones who fought for this country, do what they are told and understood their place on the team. To all of you, thank you. Thank you for volunteering, for committing, for fighting, for getting our country closer to where it is, and to where it can/needs to be.

I am grateful for you and for your families. I had NO clue...NONE - of what it was really like to have a husband or wife, mother or father, leave for war. To see a half packed bag in the corner as the d-day slowly approaches. To try to pretend you will be totally fine for 6 months while your partner is half a world away. To feel the sadness of seeing your baby crawl for the first time and have to explain it over skype on your next weekly call. To feel the utter romance as your man in uniform (that you haven't seen in 6 months) gets off that plane and whirls you around as if in a dream. To truly be proud EVERY TIME you hear the national anthem playing.

It is easy to take liberty for granted when you have never had it taken from you. Now, I have seen first hand. I have seen the young men and women VOLUNTEER to do this. They GIVE. They UNDERSTAND that more powerful than the will to win is the courage to begin and that freedom is never free.

I still tear up everytime I see a family reunited. I get proud (and a little selfishly annoyed sometimes) when I see bases performing "exercises' to practice real-life situations to make sure they are the best they can be. I see military kids that are stronger than almost all of the people I know. I still get excited every time I see a C130 take off and especially when an F 15 lands on base. I love that I can tell the difference of the planes now by their sounds and my kids know which base they came from by the call signs on the tails. I get chills every time I go to the movies on base and the whole theater stands at attention and salutes while the anthem is played.

All of these pleasures I am thankful for. And they are all graciously provided to me by the US military. So on Friday, please take a moment to thank and appreciate what these people have done for you.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Day of thanks #9

Today I am thankful for Pinterest. My friend Shelby got my hooked onto it and it has been a huge hit in my house! This site is a virtual pinboard where you can keep all of your favorite ideas organized into one place. It also acts like Facebook in the fact that you can 'follow' your friends favorite items also. Anytime you are online and you see something you like, you can 'pin' it to your page. It has recipes, craft ideas, ideas for the home, funny quotes, party ideas, gift ideas, holiday ideas, - ANYTHING!!! This week it gave me an idea to take a picture of Evelyn in my wedding dress to give to her on her wedding day. I am meeting with a local photog on base to do this. I also made many of the recipes which were a hit with the family! AND I can make super easy crafty things in no time! It even gave me an idea for Patrick's b-day gift (a GPS watch with all the golf courses loaded on it so he will always know the distance to the next pin). It has given me my Christmas card idea, my mom's Christmas gift idea, and Christmas decorating ideas. It has given me a cleaning schedule, work out schedule and other organizational ideas. It has been great and I am very thankful for it!!!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Day of thanks #8

Today I am thankful for my mom. There are a million reasons why everyone should be thankful for their mom....heck - there are a million reason why everyone should be thankful for MY mom. Tishymom is a legend among many of my friends and my sisters' friends. She is open and caring and kind. She is someone who dreams great dreams for you, but then she lets you chase the dreams you have for yourself and loves you just the same. She is there to pick you up when you fall, hold you up until you can stand on your own again, and cheer you on when you are on your way. She is someone, who when she sees a pie with only three slices left, will say she never like pie anyway - so my sisters and I could each get a piece. She always makes us feel loved.

It wasn't until I had children of my own did I fully appreciate my mother. I remember looking at my children, love bursting at the seams, and finally understanding how my mother could love so much. She is an amazing Grandmother. She is an amazing friend. She is an amazing human being.

I hate being so far away from her right now - and I truly an thankful that we are as close (relationship speaking) as we are. I have always had a close bond to her and I hope I have many many many more decades to grow with her.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Day of thanks #7

Today I am thankful for my family being healthy. Another generic comment - but I am an extra proud momma today as my kids went to their annual dental exams this morning and neither one had any cavities! I know a lot has to do with strong teeth and good genetics - but they do brush their teeth twice a day, they don't drink soda, and they water down juice (ok - I brush their teeth twice a day, don't let them have soda and only give them watered down juice....but whatevs). I grew up with no cavities - but saw my middle sister, Anna, have to fight the teeth battle her whole life...and it does not look fun! Luckily, we have great access to dental care here on base and some of the best dentists and hygienists I have ever met! And even more lucky is that we don't need them usually for more than just a check up!!! Thanks Yokota Dental team!!!

PS - Lynnie...tell your hubby we will be coming his way soon. Even though my kids have great teeth - they are too great and have too many teeth. Gotta pull and shift :-)

PPS - This pic is from a long time ago - it was the only one I could find showing off teeth!