What Goes Up

What goes up, must come down. Or so goes the saying. In this case, it’s mighty true. While the arrival of my airman caused elation, his departure caused sadness. I guess I had hoped that the goodbyes would get easier as time goes by, but this has turned out to be false. True, I have more peace of mind now that he’s comfortably in his role, yet it doesn’t change the fact that I miss having him home. The myriad of emotions that the military parent goes through is like the tallest roller coaster at Universal. It’s one hell of an exhilarating ride. The goodbye is so tough, but we couldn’t be more proud of what he’s accomplished.

His visit, unlike most Mondays, went by in the flash of an eye. Like seriously, I’m pretty sure he just landed yesterday. At any rate, it was so good to have the house full again. Our sweet Anakin, albeit shy at first, took quite a liking to Jake. Athena and Maya were stoked to have him back home again. Unbelievably, Athena seems to know when he was leaving. As we prepared to go and took the last few pictures in front of the tree, she sat on the couch looking downcast and depressed. She’s quite the perceptive puppy. When saying goodbye, I try my best to be stoic. He’s the kind of kid that would feel guilty and that’s the last thing I’d want. Admittedly, this time I failed in my attempt to be stoic.

Truly, the best gift was seeing my three boys together. Since Jake’s left for the service, his relationships with his brothers have shifted dramatically. After he left, the first question I asked Jake was if he missed his Siamese twin. Throughout his visit home, the Mayor had attached himself to Jake’s hip. If we went anywhere or did anything, he had to sit next to Jake or ride home with Jake. Previously, he would have balked at the suggestion. Meanwhile, Goalielocks and Jake also spent quality time together. Perhaps my favorite memory from his visit home was his brothers fighting over who got to ride home with him from Uncle Jon’s.

And now, here we are the first Monday in 2021. The boys are back in school and I’m working late. There’s been no grandiose shift since the new year has started. I’m still working my way through BBG, which is amazing. In the midst of Jake’s visit, I didn’t get all the workouts down last week, so I’m repeating week 33. Fortunately, I really enjoyed the leg workout from work 33, so I’m looking forward to the repeat. I had hoped to run this morning before work, but the weather and my stomach were not so accommodating. Oh well, I shall try again tomorrow.

Here’s a list of our day’s activities:

*I read The Red and The Black, by Stendhal

*It’s day 1 of BBG 3.0 week 9, which means it is leg day.

*Still trying to get the Mayor a rapid COVID test. This whole thing sucks.

*Today I thought about running two miles and that’s as far as it got. Somes days it’s just not meant to be.

*What goes up, must come down. Unless of course, you’re talking about my, post thyroid disease, weight, which only stays up.

*Today’s word of the day is galavant. I cannot wait to go galavanting through Europe once this pandemic is over.

*I love the footprints the puppies leave on the patio when coming back in every morning. I’m a bit sick of them tracking in the mud on the freshly vacuumed white tiles. It has been so humid here in the mornings that they’re getting a bit muddy in the backyard.

*I took my puppies including sweet Anakin for a walk. Today Anakin is wearing his Christmas bow tie. He looks mighty dapper if I say so myself. Naturally, I bought all three dogs Christmas outfits. I can’t wait to share the pictures with you. You’ll love them.

Today’s song of the day is Here Comes the Sun, by the Beatles.

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Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas from our family to yours. As I write this, we’re still celebrating with family at my brother’s house. I thought I’d write while we wait for the the steaks to be finished. Lord knows I could use some protein after carb loading this morning. Speaking of morning, I started my day early since I decided to make a double batch of caramel rolls.

Before we opened presents, I started the second batch of caramel rolls. Meanwhile, I set out the first batch to bring the dough back to room temperature. Fortunately, the boys sleep in later on Christmas morning now that they’re older. I even managed to make a quick trip to Dunkin to grab a coffee before we opened presents.

It was awesome having Jake back home to open presents. We definitely missed him last year. Although he was the highlight of last year’s brunch when he called us from BMT to wish us a merry Christmas. I know having him home for the holidays is the equivalent of winning the military lottery, so I’m cherishing our holiday all together. I was definitely filled with jubilation when I heard his leave had been approved.

We had a wonderful brunch with family and friends, who have become friends. In addition to our traditional mimosas, I added a peach Bellini to the drink menu. Additionally, my sister-in-law added some coquito to the mix. Unbelievably, we went through more than 40 rolls, a pan and a half of cholesterol bake, hash browns and countless cookies. Needless to say, we were all in a carb coma after the meal.

Afterwards, we cleaned up the leftovers, while the Roomba vacuumed up for us. The hubby took a quick nap and then we headed over to Mel’s house for games. At Mel’s we played dachshund themed Monopoly game followed by poker. I lost badly at both games.


Now we’re finishing the day at my brother’s house with another awesome meal. Fortunately, this one is heavy on the protein. Albeit, I couldn’t pass up Brandi’s incredible hash browns. Consequently, I have now eaten enough in one day to meet my calorie requirement for the rest of December. For the love of humanity and my clothes, I should probably fast all day tomorrow. Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night!

All I Ever Wanted

“All I ever wanted, all I needed was you…” Yep, my happiness can easily be summed up with the lyrics from a Depeche Mode song. Now all I want for Christmas is all three of my kids under the same roof. Our airman made it home safe and sound for Christmas earlier in the week. Hence the lack of communication here. Obviously, I’ve been spending my time with him these past few days. However, I’m working today and he’s out on a lunch date with his beautiful girlfriend, so here I am.

The reunion between Jake and our puppies was absolutely priceless. After all this time, they remembered him like he left yesterday. There was a lot of excitement on their part. In fact, Athena, who is not a cuddler at all, spent Sunday morning cuddling with him on the couch. A dog’s love is wholesome, complete, and unconditional. It was a beautiful thing to witness. Initially, we let out just Maya and Athena, so they could reunite with Jake without interference from Anakin. Eventually, Anakin joined the party and welcomed Jake home with lots of kisses to his ears.

We headed to church with Jake to surprise Mel, who was signing that morning. It was a fabulous service. Afterwards we headed to brunch with Mel and her family. Goaleilocks had to work, so he and Papa Nerd stayed home. As for the rest of the time, I’ve really made no plans. Whatever my boy wants to do that’s what we’ll do. Lord knows he has plenty of structure in the service. In the mornings, he’s been hitting the clubhouse gym, which pales in comparison to his gym on base, with the Mayor. I went with them Tuesday, so I could complete my leg day workout. My workout schedule is all sorts of off this week. Nevertheless, the clubhouse gym provided a much needed opportunity to amp up my workout.

I’ve been baking for our Christmas brunch all week. Initially, I had some pretty ambitious plans, but I have decided to keep it simple this year. Mostly because it took three attempts to get the mint cookies completed since the dough goes quite fast. Yesterday, I baked another batch of mint cookies, the joulutorts (Finnish star cookies,) and mint bars. I’m going to start my caramel rolls this morning, so everything is ready to rock and roll tomorrow morning. I’ll also get the pulla baked today. Both take significant time to make, but most of it is not active time. There’s a lot of waiting involved for both breads. Late this evening, I’ll knock out the Krumakes if I’m up to it. Those could be easily made tomorrow morning before guests arrive. We will be filling them with whipped cream, cloudberry jam, lingonberry jam and blueberry jam.

Speaking of cookies, my dear friend Brian dropped off his famous Christmas cookies Tuesday afternoon. It was such a gift to see him. Naturally, we really enjoyed the cookies. In fact, they didn’t see Tuesday night. Moreover, my airman and him were able to speak about their experiences in the Air Force. It was nice to be a party to the conversation. As we celebrate Christmas Eve tonight and Christmas tomorrow, my heart will be full. Rest assured we will savor every moment we have with all three of our boys during the holiday season. While our hearts our full of gratitude, we hold in our heart the servicemen and women that aren’t able to be with their families this holiday season. Lastly, we send them and their families our love, gratitude and prayers.

Here’s a list of our day’s activities:

*I read The Red and The Black, Stendhal by Fyodor Dosytoevsky

*It’s day 4 of BBG 3.0 week 7, which means it is cardio day. However, I still have to complete the arm workout.

*I’m so excited!!!! He’s here!

*We’re headed to church with Mel and her family for Christmas Eve. Afterwards, we’re heading to my brother’s for some appetizers and games.

*I will, hopefully, finish my baking.

*I am enjoying the MN Christmas blizzard from afar. Our temps are a bit warm today as we head back into the 80s.

*I actually know that today is Friday and I’m pretty excited about it. It’s here and I’m pretty damn excited about it!

*Today I ran two miles and walked a quarter of a mile. I’ve started running with Anakin outside since the weather has been nice. He’s much faster than me, so it’s been quite the adventure. Fortunately, he hasn’t killed me trying to pursue a lizard or mouse.

*Today’s word of the day is rejoice, which is pretty fitting for my current emotional state.  

*I love the footprints the puppies leave on the patio when coming back in every morning. I’m a bit sick of them tracking in the mud on the freshly vacuumed white tiles. It has been so humid here in the mornings that they’re getting a bit muddy in the backyard.

*I took my puppies including sweet Anakin for a walk. Today Anakin is wearing his Christmas bow tie. He looks mighty dapper if I say so myself. Naturally, I bought all three dogs Christmas outfits. I can’t wait to share the pictures with you. You’ll love them.

Today’s song of the day is Carol of the Bells performed by Lindsey Sterling;

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It’s here!

It’s here! We have a new fridge. I gotta admit I’m pretty excited about the newest appliance in our life. In fact, dare I say I was a bit verklempt as the installers finished their work? Truly this would be no exaggeration of how I felt as I looked at my new fridge. First of all, it’s shiny and new and looks great. You should have seen the scratched up exterior of the old one. It looked horrible. Secondly, I no longer have to traipse between the garage and the kitchen when cooking. Lastly, did I mention that it looks awesome? I mean, it really looks much better than the old fridge.

The Before Pic

I was pleasantly surprised that the installers came early in the delivery window. They were pleasant, professional, and quick. Honestly, they had a new fridge in, hooked up, ready to go, and the old fridge out of the house in less than 20 minutes. They were awesome! Moreover, the timing couldn’t have been better. Since it takes a fridge for about three hours to get to the proper temperature, the fridge would be ready to go when my groceries were delivered after 12:00 pm. The boys love the new fridge since it easily accommodates five gallons of milk and their lemonades Fortunately, the new fridge provides much better usage of the space and will hold a lot more. In fact, it has enough freezer space, so we can finally defrost and clean our deep freezer.

Anyway, I had hoped to spend the Christmas season in Norway. It’s really how I envisioned celebrating my 40th birthday. While my birthday was in March, I’d really like to experience the winter holidays and Aurora Borealis in Scandinavia. Unfortunately, the pandemic has been the great destroyer of plans and travels dreams. Ultimately, it will work out better since this Christmas will be able to spend it with Jake. Nonetheless, my dream of a Scandinavian Christmas will live on and planning will commence once the world reopens.

Since I couldn’t get to Scandinavia this Christmas, I’ve decorated the house in Scandinavian fashion. Albeit, the decorating has not yet been completed. I’m waiting on Amazon to deliver some additional decorations to complete the look. Hopefully, they’ll arrive before Christmas. Needless to say, Christmas nisse will look a bit out of place come January. I found some great items on Amazon to compliment the ornaments and decorations I bought on my travels, so I’m pretty excited.

Truthfully, there is nothing I am more excited about than having Jake home for Christmas. It’s really the only present I wished for this year. The countdown clock is winding down and the anticipation is killing me. These last few days are going to take a century. I can feel it! It’s amazing how fast time has flown. It’s already been more than a year since he left for Basic. As they say, time flies when you’re having fun.

Here’s a list of our day’s activities:

*I read The Idiot, by Fyodor Dosytoevsky

*It’s day 5 of BBG 3.0 week 6, which means it is ab day

*I’m so excited!!!! I’m counting down the days until my oldest boy comes home for Christmas! His arrival is getting closer!!!!!

*I actually know that today is Friday and I’m pretty excited about it. It’s here and I’m pretty damn excited about it!

*It’s here! I took delivery of my new shiny fridge! I’m so happy it’s here!

*Today I ran a mile and walked a mile. It went well today.

*Today’s word of the day is procrastinate. I continue to procrastinate in completing my life insurance exam.

*I love the footprints the puppies leave on the patio when coming back in every morning. I’m a bit sick of them tracking in the mud on the freshly vacuumed white tiles. It has been so humid here in the mornings that they’re getting a bit muddy in the backyard.

*I took my puppies including sweet Anakin for a walk. Today Anakin is wearing his Christmas bow tie. He looks mighty dapper if I say so myself. Naturally, I bought all three dogs Christmas outfits. I can’t wait to share the pictures with you. You’ll love them.

Today’s song of the day is Cleopatra, by The Lumineers

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Still Don’t Know What Day It Is

I still don’t know what day it is. Early into the pandemic, I wrote a post about having no idea what day of the week it was now that everything is on a from home basis. Flash forward to now and I still don’t know what day it is. You would think it would have gotten marginally easier as time elapsed and some normal activities have started again. But alas, I’m still lost. In fact, I spent much of today thinking it was Friday. However, as my calendar so painfully reminded me, it is only Thursday or Friday eve.

It would be magnificent if it was Friday as it would mean my new fridge would be here and the workweek would be almost over. As it happens, I’ll have to cook one more dinner traipsing between the garage fridges and the kitchen. Our fridge is scheduled to be delivered tomorrow between 7:00 am and 1:00 pm. If there anything like AT&T, they’ll arrive in January. Obviously, I’m hoping that there on time and nice, professional people. Honestly, I’m a little fearful of having them deliver a fridge without the hubby home. After all, a delivery man employed by Best Buy’s delivery contractor murdered a woman last year when delivering an appliance. If you haven’t read the story, it’s horrific.

Also, if it was Friday, I’d be one day closer to Jake being home. I mean, the countdown is on! I cannot wait to have all three of my boys back under the same roof even if it is only for a short time. As for the younger two, they’re pumped that Jake will be home for Christmas. We are all looking forward to seeing how Maya and Athena react to having him home. Athena is quite perceptive. Every-time he would come home from the recruiter’s office, she would be depressed. It was like she knew that recruiter was going to her Jake away from home. Needless to say, I think she’ll be beside herself when he gets home.

Here’s a list of our day’s activities:

*I read The Idiot, by Fyodor Dosytoevsky

*It’s day 4 of BBG 3.0 week 6, which means it cardio day. However, I was feeling a bit under the weather yesterday, so I’ll be completing the upper body workout today.

*I’m so excited!!!! I’m counting down the days until my oldest boy comes home for Christmas! His arrival is getting closer!!!!!

*I still don’t know what day it is…..

*Today I ran a mile and walked a mile. It went well today.

*Today’s word of the day is bomb. I hope I don’t bomb my life insurance licensing exam tomorrow. Instead of decorating with rustic simplicity, I’ve been studying the nuances of life insurance.

*I love the footprints the puppies leave on the patio when coming back in every morning. I’m a bit sick of them tracking in the mud on the freshly vacuumed white tiles. It has been so humid here in the mornings that they’re getting a bit muddy in the backyard.

*I took my puppies including sweet Anakin for a walk. Today Anakin is wearing his Christmas bow tie. He looks mighty dapper if I say so myself. Naturally, I bought all three dogs Christmas outfits. I can’t wait to share the pictures with you. You’ll love them.

Today’s song of the day is Forever (Garage Version) by Mumford & Sons:

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It Gave Up

It gave up. After serving us dutifully for over 14 years, our refrigerator has decided 2020 was the year to stop working. Yay! Fortunately, for us, it decided to give out during the holidays. A time in which there are no added expenses or stresses. We first noticed this wonderful gift when the dogs began licking the floor around the fridge. I mean, dogs like to lick stuff, but licking the floor constantly is a bit weird. That is when I noticed some meat had defrosted and was leaking through the seal, which clearly doesn’t work well, and on to the floor.

Last night, it was only the freezer that wasn’t freezing. Well, this morning I noticed the fridge side has also thrown in the towel. In case you were wondering, it is loads of fun to move things from one fridge to the next. Fortunately, we have two fridges in the garage and a freezer. Thank god for the garage fridges that are a true hallmark of raising teenage boys. In fact, we could probably add another garage fridge and be just fine. Who knew humans could eat so much and gain so little. This human is a bit jealous. I watch them eat and gain weight.

Nonetheless, some good will come out of this. All of our kitchen appliances will finally match. Until now, all of our appliances except for the fridge are stainless steel. For some inexplicable reason, the original homeowners selected a black fridge for the kitchen. Truly, it was the one bad choice they made when it came to building this house. Needless to say, it will be nice to have all the appliances matching for the first time in fourteen years. It does, however, suck to have to spend some serious coin on a boring refrigerator this holiday season.

Here’s a list of our day’s activities:

*I read The Idiot, by Fyodor Dosytoevsky

*It’s day 2 of BBG 3.0 week 5, which means it cardio day!

*I’m so excited!!!! I’m counting down the days until my oldest boy comes home for Christmas! His arrival is getting closer!!!!!

*Today I ran two miles and walked a mile. It was not easy, but I did it!

*Today’s word of the day is laud. I laud folks that continue to wear masks out of respect for others.

*I love the footprints the puppies leave on the patio when coming back in every morning. Today’s footprints may have included some ashes since they knocked over the grill. There are, however, no kitties in this house.

*I took my puppies including sweet Anakin for a walk. Today Anakin is wearing his Christmas bow tie. He looks mighty dapper if I say so myself. Naturally, I bought all three dogs Christmas outfits. I can’t wait to share the pictures with you. You’ll love them.

Today’s song of the day is Seasons of Love from RENT.

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O Tannebaum

O Tannebaum that wonderful Christmas song celebrating the arboreal symbol of our greatest holiday Christmas has been playing in my head since yesterday. Last night, we put up our new tree. I had ordered it after Thanksgiving and they finally delivered it yesterday. To be fair, when I say we, I really mean the hubby put up our new tree. While it needs some plumping and some time to decompress from its packaging, it still looks pretty good. Immediately, it’s presence transformed the house into a place of holiday warmth and good tidings. It’s no wonder we left it up so long last year. It’s hard to be upset or disappointed when looking at a beautiful tree.

Hopefully, we’ll be able to start decorating the tree tonight and this weekend, which will only add to the cheer it brings. This year I’ve added a few Air Force ornaments to celebrate Jake’s service. Over the years, I’ve also picked up Christmas ornaments throughout our travels. Scandinavians know how to do Christmas, so I bought plenty of Christmas decorations while in Norway, Sweden, Denmark and Finland. Not only do they represent our heritage, but each decoration carries with it memories from our travels. Consequently, since we haven’t been able to travel much this year, our memories of journeys past will have to sustain us during this time of pandemic.

As we get ready to decorate the house, I’m reminded of how much I need to bake. This year I’m planning to make Pulla (Finnish cardamon bread,) Joulutortu (Finnish Christmas star cookies,) mint cookies, Krumkakes (Norwegian cookies,) Kringla (Norwegian cookies,) and lefse. Ordinarily, my mom and grandmother make molasses cookies, which I love. I have found, however, that with the humidity in Florida it is hard to make good molasses cookies. They usually come out to wet or way too dense. Nonetheless, I’m looking forward to baking this holiday season. For the star cookies and krumkakes, I’m planning to use cloudberry, lingonberry and blueberry. My personal favorite is the cloudberry.

Unrelated to Christmas, Anakin starts puppy kindergarten today. He really needs training as it has been delayed due to COVID. Due to the pandemic, we’re bringing someone into the house to work with him one on one. He’s a fabulous puppy, but he needs to be better trained. I’m excited to see how he does with the trainer.

And now for some entertainment, here’s the Mayor singing his version of O Tannebaum on a random drive to the rink nine years ago.

Here’s a list of our day’s activities:

*I read The Idiot, by Fyodor Dosytoevsky

*It’s day 5 of BBG 3.0 week 4 and I’m doing the ab workout today. If it’s anything like the other two workouts, it’s going to kick my butt.

*Today I ran one mile and walked a mile today.

*Today’s word of the day is propine, which means a gift.

*I’m looking forward to crashing on the couch after work with my beloved puppies!

*Before I crash with the puppies, I will be cooking up a delicious meal courtesy of HelloFresh.

*After today, my running streak stands at 4 days.

*I love the footprints the puppies leave on the patio when coming back in every morning. Today’s footprints may have included some ashes since they knocked over the grill. There are, however, no kitties in this house.

*I took my puppies including sweet Anakin for a walk. Today Anakin is wearing his Christmas bow tie. He looks mighty dapper if I say so myself. Naturally, I bought all three dogs Christmas outfits. I can’t wait to share the pictures with you. You’ll love them!

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Holiday Weekend

It was a glorious holiday weekend, which I decided to take off after tequila derailed my good intentions Saturday night. Honestly, I had a lot of emotions swirling in my head. This July 4th was my first Independence Day as a military mother. Truly, I have always loved the patriotism and fireworks that come with the fourth. Naturally, it was more poignant since my son now serves. Unfortunately, I found some of the inane drivel on Facebook disheartening. While I understand things are not perfect here, to say that there is nothing to celebrate, is an insult to the men and women who have defended our freedom since we declared it in 1776. In fact, if I was wealthy, I’d pay for the plane ticket to leave, but alas I’m not wealthy so they’ll have to leave on their own volition.

Anyway, we had a really good fourth of July. We spent the morning just relaxing around the house with the puppies. After lunch, I dropped Goalielocks off at his friend’s house to hangout social distancing style. Meanwhile, my Hubby and the Mayor headed over to our neighbor’s for a BBQ. Once I got back from Boca, I headed over to there as well. Not to worry my friends, this BBQ was outside with ample room for social distancing. We also enjoyed enough margaritas to kill any virus, bacteria or parasitic infection once could encounter in Florida. The decision to imbibe was made somewhat impetuously, but the night was fun.

Sunday was a lazy day. Neither of us felt like doing anything, so we binge-watched the Jeffrey Epstein documentary on Netflix. If we didn’t feel sick to our stomach before, we certainly did after watching the documentary. We haven’t even finished it yet, so I can’t imagine how much worse it is going to get. In 2005, we relocated to Palm Beach County. As the Epstein story started to leak out, it was obvious that there was a major issue there. I mean, in what world is it acceptable for a fifteen-year-old to massage a naked middle-aged man. Right?!? The fact that it’s 2020 and justice hasn’t been served makes me sick. Hopefully, Ms. Maxwell will sing before she ends up dead in her cell.

Last night, we headed to Boca to have dinner and game night with Mel’s family. Naturally, we were missing Jake and her mom. We began our evening with yummy grilled chicken, some veggies, chips, and a cookie cake. Yum! Afterward, we played some games, which were a lot of fun. Goalielocks and the Mayor love playing Jackbox. We played two games on the system. The first was one where you have to finish a sentence or describe something. People then vote for the best response. In the end, Goalielocks won that game. The second game was a murder mystery trivia game and I won that. It’s a lot of fun.

Afterward, we headed to Aunt Kathy’s house to play “Murder.” What’s “Murder” you ask, it’s a hyped-up version hide and seek. One player is the murderer, one or two are a sheriff and the other are prospective victims. First let me say, my night vision sucks. Naturally, I didn’t excel at a game that relies on a night vision. Perhaps the best moment of the night was when Mel, my hubby and I all ended up in the same hiding spot. We were trying so hard not to laugh, but we were failing miserably. In the end, my hubby was the murderer that round. Consequently, Mel and I were eliminated immediately. And by immediately, I mean instantaneously to the game beginning.

Here’s a list of our day’s activities:

*I read Shirley, by Charlotte Bronte. It is an absolutely amazing book.

*I worked!

*I recovered from the holiday weekend.

*Gentle Flow with Monica from Yoga Mundo

*Morning and afternoon meditation

*Took obligatory picture of Anakin!

*Obedience training Anakin

*Week 8 BBG 2.0 day 1 legs and yoga

*And now I’m off to bed early!

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Introducing Flat AB Jake

Introducing Flat AB Jake our personalized, more handsome and improved version of Flat Stanley. Let me bring the uninitiated up to speed. For those of us whose kids went through elementary in the last decade, we were subjected to literary character Flat Stanley that travels the world. Each kid in class brought a paper Flat Stanley home for a weekend to take wherever they went. The kids would then take pictures or document their travels in a journal. 

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I got the idea for Flat AB Jake through the Air Force Moms BMT page on Facebook. By the way, This group has been a godsend. Instead of the character, you make your airman into a paper “Flat Stanley.” You take them where ever you go and then take pictures. When you write your airman next, you include the pictures of you and your Flat AB.

We made them up on Christmas Eve. I printed two versions a large headshot and a smaller standing pose. I printed it on card stock, so the paper would be relatively firm. My hubby, who is a rockstar, cut them out using an exacto knife. Needless to say they came out better than I expected.  Since we were going to church with Mel, Jake’s girlfriend who we adore, and her family I was able to bring her both versions. She loved them! Fortunately, I was also able to get a picture of Flat AB Jake enjoying her duet (O’ Holy night and it was awesome.)

As we move through the weeks of training, you’ll see AB Jake make numerous appearances. It’s beneficial to always have him near, but it’s more beneficial for him to see he’s always in our hearts and on our minds. We had our first Christmas without him yesterday and that was tough! As a family we did, however, get some pictures with Flat AB Jake.

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We did get the best present a parent could ask for yesterday: a call home from our airman. I was near tears as my phone started to play Teen Spirit, which is my custom ringtone for him.  It was a spiritual experience.  He sounded amazing. To hear the confidence and happiness in his voice was beyond reassuring. I felt a weight literally being lifted off my shoulders as he told us he had found “where he belongs.”  He met the PT requirements his first week out and is now working with his FLT to exceed them together. He is wearing the blue belt as described in my week one post.  Jake described with joy how close he and his fellow airman had become. It was clear in that phone call that he had made several life long friends.


Perhaps the best part of the call was that it happened while we had Christmas Company. Jake has a lot of people in his corner and a lot of them were able to speak with him and wish him well. My sister in law, who is a genius and makes the best cheesy potatoes, suggested conferencing my parent. We were able to do that successfully and my parents were able to hear first hand how well he is doing. More than anything hearing his happy voice made our Christmas wonderful. It’s still tough to imagine that he’ll miss most Christmas celebrations in years to come, but he’s a part of something bigger than himself, loving it and service his country. We couldn’t be prouder of our AB Jake!

Blue Christmas

It will be a blue Christmas in our household as we celebrate our first holiday with Jake away from home. We’ve never been apart on a major holiday like this, so undoubtedly it will be tough on all of us.  I’ve found it hard to get into the joy of the season.   In fact, I haven’t even decorated the tree or put the tinsel on the railings.

For Jake his blue Christmas will likely include the issue of his dress blues, but also the loneliness of celebrating Christmas away from family and friends. This holiday season keep the airmen, Coasties Marines, sailors, and soldiers serving our country away from family and friends in your prayers. Being lonely during the holiday season is the worst! If you’re so inclined, please send Jake a holiday cRd at the address below.

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