Friday, August 31, 2012

through the camera {instaFriday}

Here are some pics of what we have been up to lately.  This is picture overload which tells me maybe I should blog more often.

The fire department raised $5,248 for the MDA {Muscular Dystrophy Association}  Proud of my husband for putting it on and so grateful for the guys and gals who were able to make it out and help.

Went to the Del Mar horse races where we won love!  We decided to leave our money there.

 Family reunion/Grandpa's 90th birthday with my dad's side
{This is where my son gets his height from}

 Wood Family {minus 10}

 Grandpa with his 6 kids

 The cousins {minus 3}

 The cousins kids/ great grand kids {minus 5}

 Amazing sunsets lately

Amazing sunrises lately

 My new morning seat to watch the sunrises

The schools all started up this week but my kids go back next week since we do the hybrid homeschool program.  We headed to the very empty beach for a homeschool surfing lesson.

Does this get any cuter?

It's been a wonderful and busy week.  I'm still in bed and the kids have crawled in with me.  I'm hoping they want to stay here all day with me because for some reason I'm having a hard time getting out.

Happy Friday, happy weekend and happy Labor Day!!!!

Thursday, August 23, 2012

a "why me" moment

On the way home from our date last week I had one of my moments where I wished things were different with my health.  It's been over 3 1/2 years since I have been able to run around on the beach.  Its been over 3 1/2 years since I have been able to go for a long walk.  Its been over 3 1/2 years where a day doesn't go by and it's not on my mind.  As we were driving down the coast with the windows down and warm air blowing through the car I wanted more.  I really feel like I have accepted the disease and am grateful for all that I DO have but last week, I wanted that walk on the beach holding my husbands hand.  I wanted to walk around just like the thousands of other people were but the truth is, I just can't... YET.  I keep waiting for my prayers to be answered and all my energy and strength restored but each day that passes I can feel something sneak in me.  I'm not losing hope but I am realizing that maybe I won't get better.

My mind doesn't work like most peoples so when someone tells me that today will be the best you'll be and tomorrow you'll only get worse, I don't listen.  There is something in my mind that blocks that noise and shoots it right back out my ears.  But last week, on that car ride home,  a little bit of that voice snuck in.  So as we were driving home I told Anthony how much I wanted to do the things we used to do.  I said I was going to and I didn't care about the consequences.  He gently told me that I just can't do it right now and because I knew this, I cried.  I tried to hold it in so I stopped talking.  Otherwise it would have come full force, tears, unintelligible voice, the snot, all of it.  Anthony looked over and asked if I was crying so I nodded.  He grabbed my hand so I looked out the window, as if that was going to stop me.  It didn't.  I cried. Hard. Wiping my tears with the back of my hand saying it just wasn't fair anymore.  I really don't feel like I did anything to deserve this so why me?  There, I said it.  Why me?  I want to play.  People don't even realize the amount of energy they take for granted.

You probably don't think twice about planning out your day according to your energy level.  I have to think twice about when I am going to go to the grocery store because after that, I'm spent.  If I want to go to Target... I need to pick a day where nothing else is planned and the next day will be slow so I can recover.  I want to have swimming races with my kids.  The other day I swam across the pool and it felt so good.  The kids swam with me and half way back I wasn't sure if I could make it all the way.  These little reminders that I'm not physically strong are starting to wear on me.

We will just have to do things a little differently.  We went on a little family walk the other day and this is how it looked.

Just a little different now.
I couldn't be more grateful for my husbands love and the care he provides.

Maybe it's foolish of me to keep the amount of hope that I do but it's what I choose.  It's what gets me through the day, knowing that I really can wake up tomorrow and feel better, completely better.  Because with Him, all things are possible.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

a perfect day

The day started off early, watching the sunrise with my son as my daughter slept soundly next to my bed from last nights sleepover.  The kids got to watch a movie last night but the only way to make it possible was to set up camp in my room so this mama could fall asleep.

It was a hot day, a very hot day.  The inside temp in the house was 91*

So we found refuge on the stone floor hoping if we laid completely still we could cool off and feel a breeze come in.  We are part of a summer saver program through our energy company so our AC is shut off during peak hours.  There are about 2 days a year I regret being environmentally conscientious and frugal, but in the end it is totally worth it!

That evening, Anthony got a rare opportunity to go on a date!  A date that didn't involve going to Costco or running any errands.  We had dinner with his twin brother and his wife {who noticed I haven't been blogging much}  I'm hoping when the kids are back at school a few days a week, I will have a chance to sit in peace and quite and get back into the swing of things.

After dinner we headed one mile west to put our feet in the sand and watch the sunset.

The water felt SO good but I had a dress on and it was too crowded to just jump in fully clothed.  I settled for half way and enjoyed the refreshing salt water splashing my legs.

A day when I watch the sunrise and then the sunset makes me feel complete.  My soul is rejuvenated and my heart is full.

Just the two of us for a few hours.... beautiful!

Monday, August 6, 2012

RIP Sgt. Eric Williams

This past Saturday I attended a funeral for a fallen soldier.  A real American hero.

I didn't know Eric personally.  My husband works with and trains his brother, Rob.  When Anthony received the phone call from Rob saying that his brother had been killed in Afghanistan we got that sick feeling in the pit of our stomach.  Another soldier has just left behind his wife and many people who loved him dearly.  This man put his life at risk for our freedom and he saved many lives as a medic.  While at the service we listened to many people speak about what a great guy Eric was.  He loved people and he loved helping others.  

One of the men that spoke at the service was saved by Eric a few years ago.  He had been shot in the lungs and was unable to take a breath in and as his mouth was filling with blood, he realized that this was it.  And then he heard Erics calm voice telling him to take a breath.  Eric attended his wounds and when this man looked up at Eric, hoping to see from his expression how bad his condition was, he saw a smile on Eric's face as he said, "You took the zig when you should have taken the zag."  He saved this mans life.

What these guys go through, I will never understand.  What their families go through, I will never understand.  These men and women who are fighting to protect our country are heros.  Honor them daily for the service they selflessly provide.

Eric kept a blog while he was overseas.  This was the final blog of Eric Williams titled "Coming Home": 

Tuesday July 17, 2012. 

This deployment is coming to an end, in a few days we will be on a plane back to the United States to rejoin our family and friends and to try to readjust to a certain semblance of what we think life should be. The truth is everything has changed, we collectively have changed. We have changed as people, as an army, as citizens of the United States. We face uncertainty in nearly every aspect of our lives. Our families have been without us for a year and we have only two weeks to try to enjoy the extremely limited time we have with them before its back to the daily grind. Two weeks to try to reconnect, although this process can take weeks, months or even years. There is no promise that any of us will return unchanged. But we collectively have been granted access to something few ever see, or choose to see for that matter. We have bared witness to the atrocities of war. We have thrust ourselves into the midst of chaos in order to do something so important, so visceral, that few will ever understand what it means. We collectively have risked it all and put everything on the line to save our fellow man, regardless of nationality, race, religion or sex. I for one will reflect on these experiences for decades to come. And I know my comrades will as well. I cannot begin to describe the things we’ve seen, felt, or heard. We have lost brothers and colleagues. We have felt the sting of losing someone we tried our hardest to save. We have cleaned up the blood and reset our equipment in order to go back out and do it again. These people I work with are some of the most dedicated men and women I have ever met. They come from all walks of life and although different in so many aspects, all come together collectively to accomplish this mission. I’m proud to say that I work with some of the most professional people there are. But now we are going home. Were out of this god forsaken country, but we take with us the weight of a thousand missions. To try to dissect them as best we know how.

Now I am preparing to jump on a plane and return to a world that I don’t really understand anymore. When I was younger I used to think I had it figured out. The older I get and the more aware I become the more lost I feel. There is a widening gap between service member and civilian, our economy is still struggling, jobs are scarce and I can only sit back and watch as our home slips into a more prevalent ideology of entitlement. Where we are inundated with political pressures, told how to think and feel, who to vote for because of a political party, and try to voice our intolerance by “liking” a status on Facebook. It’s sickening to me now. Our youth are hamstringed by a failing education system, the poor are being cast out and pushed aside. Veterans of these wars are living at an all-time high of homelessness and joblessness. You can’t throw a rock in this country without hitting dozens of heavily medicated veterans. But the general public cares less and less about them and us. For the general public, unless you have something personally invested in these wars they just want to get along with their day. Without having to be reminded of what these men and women endure on a daily basis. Its unfathomable to them. Thus the widening gap grows. In times of random occurrence we hear “thank you for your service” in an airport, a restaurant, in passing at the realization that you served, although I’m sure most appreciate it. I know when I hear it, it almost sounds forced. Like it’s some sort of requirement to say. It’s become trite and cliché and it just feels fake. I’m sorry if this just hit a little too close to home for some of you reading this but I’m just tired of trying to appease everyone I come across. The truth is that the general American public couldn’t give a shit about us. They want their Starbucks and celebrity gossip and their “16 and pregnant” We are breeding a generation of young people who have no idea what this country is founded on or what its citizens had to go through in order to make this country great and more about what time jersey shore is on. We are losing…we are struggling. Not in some great sense of the word as though every generation has its great struggle. We are just losing. Losing ground on what we thought was right, what we thought life was supposed to be, and we are becoming very pissed off. It seems that the more time passes by and the longer im away from the US the angrier I become. We cannot live in a world where we hold onto the ideals that bitching solves anything, where we believe that things will be taken care of for us. If you want something done, go out and get it done…period.

So in closing, while reading this you might think I’ve become some angry disillusioned man, someone who sees things so much different than the average citizen, well maybe your right. But I can only hope that things someday will change. As for our accomplishments here in Afghanistan, I’d do it again in a heartbeat. I will forever hold these experiences close.

Posted by Eric Williams at 2:38 AM

You can read his original post on his blog at

Friday, August 3, 2012


Here are a few instagram photos from what we have been up to lately...

Enjoying a weekday at the beach
Wyatt surfing
Alexis and I holding hands on the car ride home
Breaking out the crimper for 80's night

Sleeping beauties

Wyatt at the otolaryngologist (say that a few times)

 Wyatt photographing mom and dad "touching noses"

We have been enjoying the lazy days of summer; staying out late playing in the street with the neighbors; sleeping in; swimming; beach days; watching movies; and just soaking up as much sun and relaxation as we can.  I hope you all have been enjoying yourselves!

Want to follow me on instagram? I'm akafieri or you can use followgram. Leave me your name in the comments so I can see what you have been up to :)

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