Wednesday, May 16, 2012

What She Said.........

I'm not the only one doing this whole dress dare challenge thingie.

Read what some of my friends who joined the challenge are saying:

From a Hawaii friend:
‎15....days.....down.....S​IGH. I SUPPOSE I should say 14 since I "cheated" the day of my final and wore jeans to the lab. There are days like....well, not today, but maybe where I just want to throw some shorts on. I'm doing ok, but getting tired of wearing the same skirts and dresses day after day after day after day after.....well, you get it. ;) This is a long month. ;)

And another Hawaii friend:
I put on capris one evening to go to the movies (after spending all day at the beach in a dress and swim skirt) & totally felt different! I apparently carry myself differently in skirts and dresses!

And the friend who started it all:
Greetings from Demanda! You may recognize me as the culprit that started this whole thing....
So, I have worn a dress or skirt every day starting 2 days early.... well except the one Saturday that I was so tired, and cleaning, and cooking the entire day preparing to have a farewell party at my house on Mother's Day. On that one Saturday I wore a HUGE sweatshirt and a pair of comfy running pants... I felt guilty nearly the entire time, but since it was something that I would wear to bed and work out clothes, and the weather dropped 40 degrees that morning... I kept my pants on. I have found that I can get away with wearing my little bit dressier dresses because I am going to work or church 6 days a week! But, that also tends to make Saturdays seem all the more a sacrifice! I mean really... I just want to stay in my sweats and sleep all day! And, now that the weather is back down so cold that snowflakes were reported this morning I had to wear the pair of jeans that are the closest thing I have to skinny jeans and pretend that they were jeggings under my polo shirt dress today just so I wouldn't freeze to death in my office! But I noticed quite a few things... 1) you can't wear frumpy shoes with Dresses or Skirts... and since I've been wearing a lot of "church dresses" that means wearing a lot of shoes with heals. After three days in a row of heals my calves were a bit sore! 2) Being dressed nice so often also means putting my face on more often... I never used to wear makeup so often! 3) Pantyhose, you need to make sure that your alligator hands are moisturized and your nails aren't gnarly so that you don't snag them before you even wear them. I've already killed 3 pairs in the last two weeks! 4) Overall posture, whether walking or sitting is better. 5) Dresses and skirts are easier to find good fits in... I put them on and feel better and look better then when I have on pants or slacks because a good fit in pants is just nearly impossible to find. 6) I really love frumpy workout clothes!
7) People are more ready to help a lady in a dress and heals carry the huge water jugs to the car, then they are the lady who just found her way out of the gym... or so they assume. I do Love dresses and skirts more than I thought, but my casual wardrobe is much more summer... not so much for the 40-50 degree days.

Overall the dress dare is really forcing me to be more feminine and thus making a noticeable difference between me and the men around me.

Half way through the month of May

I am half-way through the month of May and half-way through my Dress Dare Challenge. 15 days of wearing skirts and dresses and 16 more to go. How do I feel? Really tired of skirts!

No, really. I have lots and lots of beautiful Sunday dresses. However, my Sunday dresses are a little too much for every day wear. I have found myself wearing the same daytime skirts day after day.

I have a basic denim skirt that hits right at my knee. I tend to wear this one with basic short sleeve polo type shirts.

I have a basic kaki skirt that hits right at the knee as well. And when I wear my baskic short sleeve polos with this skirt, I look like I am in a school uniform.

I also had a poly/knit black skirt that hit slightly below the knee. This skirt was an a-line with an elastic waist. When I wore this skirt, I felt like a pentecostal!! Alas, the first time I washed it after wearing it three days in a row, the elastic snapped. I didn't like that skirt much anyways. Today, I picked up an identical black skirt at the px in a size smaller so hopefully I won't feel so pentecostal.

I have some longer broom stick skirts as well but I seem to revert to these three skirts over and over again.

Have I been faithful to wearing skirts every day? Weeeeeellll, mostly. One Saturday morning, I worked out, walked the dog and spent the day frantically cleaning my house for a party the next day. I wore capri work out pants all day-- even to the commissary for a quick shopping trip. Of course, I ran into two of my MCCW friends. Including one friend who was doing the dress dare with me. And what was she wearing? Not a skirt!!!

And yesterday, I spent all day at the beach with my brother and I wore swimming shorts most of the day over my swimsuit. But I did wear a skirt later that evening when I went to a friend's house for a meeting.

So, yes. I have worn a skirt or dress for 15 days in a row.

How do I feel? I like wearing skirts. I think it makes my interactions with others softer. I think other people treat me differently when they see me in a skirt or dress. There certainly seems to be a difference in how service workers interact with me, like sales clerks. Maybe wearing a skirt subconsciously makes me want to be more feminine and softer in my dealings with others.

I really don't know, though. Check back in with me in 16 days.

Saturday, May 12, 2012


I've been a Girl Scout leader for 9 years now. My daughter has been a Girl Scout for all nine of those years, too. She is at the end of her last year of Cadette Girl Scouting and will bridge to Seniors in a week and a half. Cadettes can choose to earn their Silver Award.

Unfortunately, MK was in Cadettes during a transition time of changing from an old program to a new program. She and her troop spent two years working on pre-requirements to even begin starting their Silver and this year, GSUSA went and changed the requirements and made it so much easier to earn the award! Oh well.

Colleges and Universities and scholarship application committees take Girl Scout Silver and Gold Awards very seriously. At a time when many girls quit Girl Scouts because it is no longer the cool thing to do, their future colleges and universities are looking at and considering the leadership skills that their earning.

I've had a lot of contention this year in my troop. When you bring a group of girls from various backgrounds and religious denominations together, there are bound to be questions. My girls were constantly talking religion this year. Constantly. To the point that I think some of the other girls quit. I even had a mom call me to say that we were spending too much time talking about religion.

And these girls had so much misinformation about each other's faiths. Hurt feelings were bound to happen and they did often. For me, things came to a head when we were learning about our World Thinking Day country, Cambodia, and I wanted to start a discussion about Buddhism as part of their culture in this country. The conversation quickly evolved (or devolved) into Buddhists worship Buddha.

Their first Silver Award take action project fizzled. I came across a story about a Girl Scout who conducted an Interfaith conference for a Gold Award project. I told the girls about this idea and a project was not only born but was embraced by my Protestant, Catholic and Jewish girls!!

Their goal was to promote tolerance and understanding. They put together an Interfaith Forum and invited religious leaders from different faith communities- even from faiths that made them a little uncomfortable.

The Interfaith Forum was tonight. The girls did a wonderful job. They gave some of their own speeches. The panel of speakers were awesome and informative. Their goal was to promote tolerance and understanding but I think the people who were most changed in their viewpoints might just have been my very own Girl Scouts.


Monday, May 7, 2012

Hooah Army Husband


This is what my husband does.

This is his bird.

And he's sitting in the pilot seat of this bird.

It's called an OH58 Delta Kiowa Warrior.

My husband rocks!

Saturday, May 5, 2012

4 Days of the Dress Dare Challenge

Today, I really, really wanted to wear pants.

Today was MK's May Day performances and it was raining. And I knew I was going to have to park off-campus and walk a ways to the school. I really just wanted to put on some jeans, or capris or pants.

But, I put on my skirt and a black tank. And I looked pretty cute if I do say so myself.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Confirmed in the Holy Spirit

Beautiful Girl

Tonight this beautiful girl was confirmed in the Holy Spirit in the Catholic Church.

Her name is Mary. She chose Mary to be her Confirmation name. I do believe her Dad and I chose the right name for her.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Day 1: Dress Dare Challenge

I was really looking forward to my first day of the Dress Dare Challenge but woke with a heavy, heavy heart. My friend's husband was killed in Afghanistan the night before. Although I spent the day in a skirt, a denim skirt and a t-shirt, my focus today has been in prayer for Susan and her family.

So, yes. I made it through an uneventful Day 1 of the dress dare. I wore a skirt all day. I didn't feel pretty or more feminine. It didn't affect the way I treated my daughter. I was just very, very sad.

Tomorrow, Day 2, is MK's Confirmation day. We will go for mani/pedis and salon hair in the morning. She has to be at the chapel pretty early, 1pm for a 5pm Mass. It will be easy to wear a skirt and then change into my dress.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

A Heavy Heart

My heart is heavy.

My stomach hurts.

My mind has been in constant prayer mode today.

My face has been a mask for my thoughts because I don't want my daughter to know the horrible thing I know.

My friend had the most horrible, horrific, awful thing happen to her and her children today, truly a living nightmare.

And all I can do is wait.

Wait for news that everything will be okay.

Try to sleep when things are happening 14 time zones away so that by the time I hear the news it will be hours old.

I am selfish as I wait to hear, wanting to hear.

My heart is so heavy for another woman who can only wait, too.

Oh glorious apostle St. Jude, faithful servant and friend of Jesus, the name of the traitor who delivered thy beloved Master into the hands of His enemies has caused thee to be forgotten by many, but the Church honors and invokes thee universally as the patron of hopeless cases--of things despaired of. Pray for me who am so miserable; make use, I implore thee, of that particular privilege accorded thee of bringing visible and speedy help where help is almost despaired of. Come to my assistance in this great need, that I may receive the consolations and succor of heaven in all my necessities, tribulations and sufferings, particularly for the Clark family and that I may bless God with thee and all the elect throughout eternity. I promise thee, O blessed St. Jude, to be ever mindful of this great favor, and I will never cease to honor thee as my special and powerful patron, and to do all in my power to encourage devotion to thee. Amen

Saturday, April 28, 2012

31 Day Dress Dare Challenge

I belong to a Catholic women's Bible study and fellowship group. We are worldwide and a good friend from my last group, we'll call her Demanda, in Germany told me about a challenge she and my old group is doing. May is the month in which we honor our heavenly Mother, Mary. And we should all strive to be like Mary. You know the saying "What would Jesus Do?" Well, I challenge you "What would Mary do?" if she lived today? What would she wear? Who would she hang out? What would she read or watch on TV or at the movies?

Demanda's group is taking up a 31 day dress dare challenge. They are going to wear skirts and dresses for the 31 days of May in honor of our Mother, Mary. She challenged me, too. At first I scoffed! I live in Hawaii!! We go to the beach, and the pool, and hiking, and stuff. And I walk the dog. And sometimes wearing skirts all day isn't so comfy on the inner thighs, you know what I mean?

And then I thought, I live in Hawaii.. How hard can it be? At least I won't have to look for leggings to wear under my skirts on chilly days like my friend Demanda in Germany. And all of the reasons why I CAN wear skirts all month started piling up in my mind. I already have lots of skirts in my closet. But I need more casual skirts. No problem, Old Navy always has a great selection of casual skirts. What about that thigh problem? Time to head to the sports store and Ross to find bike shorts. I can wear t-shirts and my slippah's. I also realized that I tend to wear the same jeans or capris several times a week. So what's the difference between doing that and wearing a skirt and t-shirt?

Demanda challenged me to google the 31 Day Dress Dare Challenge. I did and found a couple of good blogs of women's experiences doing the challenge. D speaks on the rules. You can wear pants to work out and to sleep in. Swimming suits are going to be a challenge here in Hawaii. I already wear a skirted swimsuit and am not planning to get a full body suit. Sorry. I feel I am already modest enough on the beach. speaks to how this young lady felt after wearing skirts and dresses for 31 days. I wonder if I will really feel the interior changes that she speaks of. I'm looking forward to finding out.

I am doing the 31 day dress dare challenge. I also challenged the women in my women's group and there are about 7 joining me. We start on Tuesday and on Monday I will be at Old Navy taking advantage of my 10% military discount and filling in my wardrobe with a few casual pieces.

What would Our Mother Mary wear if she lived today? Would I be someone she would want to hang out with? Will wearing skirts all month help me to be more like my ultimate role model? And who wouldn't want to be more like her?

Who wants to join me?

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Birthdays Last All Month

In our house, Birthdays last all month.
Well, if you are the daughter of the family then your birthday is celebrated the entire month!
Mk's birthday fell on Holy Saturday, the day before Easter. My day was spent taking care of things at the chapel for the Easter Vigil Mass that night.
This is how she has celebrated so far:
Thursday: last day of school before the Easter weekend so we made brownie cupcakes to take to school and share.
Friday: Mom and daughter went to get mani/spa pedis
Saturday: Actual birthday. Uncle Brian made her chocolate chip pancakes and bacon for breakfast and then she had chocolate cheesecake for her birthday cake. Plus she got to open lots of birthday presents. Later, while I went to the chapel, Uncle Brian took her with him to Kailua to drop off a load of things at his new apartment, then they went to Kailua Bay beach part, lunch at Boston's North End Pizza and back home again to get ready for the Easter Vigil Mass.
Sunday: Easter brunch at Haleiwa Joes in Kaneohe.
And finally this weekend is the actual birthday party with her friends.
So Friday night: sleepover with her two best friends, bowling first, makeovers in her room and some Dance Central and Just Dance 3 on the XBox 360. And they are finishing up by sleeping in the living room while watching a movie.
Saturday: Birthday party at Farrell's at PearlRidge Mall and finish up at Fun Factory.
Will follow up with fun pictures!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Wordless Wednesday Waikiki Sunset December 27th, 2011

Why Am I Catholic Part II

In the last post, I told how my mother sparked my interest in the Catholic faith not because she was Catholic or interested herself in becoming Catholic. But because of her matter of fact statements about the Catholic Church, the Pope and the election of the new Pope.
I sat with my mom on the couch and watched the news coverage of the pope being elected. The things I remember are the white smoke coming from a chimney and my mom telling me that white smoke meant a new pope had been elected. Most likely, she didn't know all of this stuff either. She was probably just listening to the news announcers. I sate and watched with her long enough to see the new pope. I really had to see what a pope looked like. Now, I know that what I watched was the election of Pope John Paul II.
Over the next years, I didn't actively seek out the Catholic Church. I was content where I was.
But, the second thing that brought me to the Catholic Church was my future husband. When I was about 16 years old, I used to fervently pray for God to reveal to me who my future husband would be. And one time, He answered me. Of course, He didn't come down and say "Mary, one day you will be married to a man named Matt Fitter". No, it was more like a quiet inside of me and I just KNEW that my future husband's name would start with an "M". That's all I knew. And I believed it and believed in it. I told my two best friends, Carla and Julie. And that was it. I didn't feel the need to pester God any longer about my future husband.
I met Matt when I was 22. We knew each other and were friends for a year before we started dating. After five months of dating, he had joined the Army and left for basic and we spent the next two years dating long distance. And then we were engaged long distance for another year before finally tying the knot. By this time, I had forgotten that God had told me my future husband's name would start with the letter "M". It wasn't until we were almost married that I remembered. And I think it was my friend Carla who reminded me. So, Matt was chosen for me by God before I ever knew him. And Matt was/is Catholic.
And from the time that I watched a new Pope being elected, I had always felt a pull, a calling, to the Catholic Church. And being engaged to a Catholic man was not just a coincidence but a fulfillment of that calling. From then, it was only a matter of time.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Why Am I Catholic?

I am a convert.
My family's church attendance was pretty spotty while I was growing up. When I was little, I remember going to some churches that I would now describe as charismatic. I remember people praying with their arms raised up and faces turned up to God. I remember being scared as I watched grown-ups praying, singing, crying, and sometimes chanting in a language that I did not understand and sometimes falling on the ground.
As I got older, our family settled into a Pentecostal Holiness church ~ mostly because my Aunt was very active in this church and made sure that our family made it to church, too. God Bless Her. But around the age of 12, my parents and my brothers stopped going to church. Thankfully, my dad continued to bring me to church. He would drive me in to town on Sunday mornings for Sunday school and for church service and again on Wednesday nights so I could attend youth group. This church was very instrumental in my faith journey and in growing in my knowledge of Scripture. I still have lifelong friends from there.
But let me explain how I became Catholic.
I'd never heard of the Catholic church. I didn't know what it was. One day, when I was in the 7th or 8th grade, I came home and my mom was watching TV. No other shows were on except for live coverage of this one event. This was back in the days when TV's only had 3 channels and PBS. And all three channels were covering this event. So, no after school cartoons for us. I asked my mom what she was watching and she told me about this place called the Catholic Church, the Vatican and a Pope who had just died and that Catholic Church was voting for a new Pope.
What's a pope? Well, he's the leader of the Catholic Church and they elect a new one when the Pope dies.
What's the Catholic Church. It's a church and the Pope is their leader. It's one of the oldest churches in the world.
And all of this from my mom who was raised Southern Baptist and then became Pentecostal Holiness and then wasn't anything for a long time. What I remember about that conversation was that my mom was very matter of fact about what was going on. There was no negativity, no condemnation, no judgement. This was my first exposure to the Catholic Church.
And this was the first time I really felt like I was being called to become Catholic. As I grew, I heard more about the Catholic Church and a lot of it was not nice. I remember my pastor being excited everytime we had visitors who "used to be Catholic". I didn't understand at the time why that excited some people. I do now. But, negative comments about the Catholic Church only caused to raise my couriosity.
God was still calling me.
So that was the first spark, my first memory of the Catholic Church. And it came from my Mom.

Monday, March 26, 2012

What a Day!

Oh, what a day!
Mass this morning.
Then a joyful celebration of my friend's baby's baptism. 40-some odd people gathered at her house for lunch. Lots of fun, and lots of little ones.
After that, a 1st birthday party for another friend. I think there must have been at least 20 small kids under the age of 7. Babies crawling everywhere, toddlers toddling everywhere, bigger kids creating with finger paint and playdough, and momma's chasing down children everywhere.
And there I sat with my almost 14 year old and having a thankful moment.
There are times that I am hopeful that God will bless us with more children.
But after today, I am thankful for the place we are now in our childraising time.
It was fun watching all of the babies and all of the little ones. But, it's even funner to come home with my teenager and know that she is mostly self-sufficient.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

The Chess Champion

Did you know MK is a Chess Champion.
That is, she's the Hawaii Girl's Intermediate Chess Champion.
She started playing Chess when she was in the 4th grade when her Dad had knee surgery. He couldn't play or wrestle around with her for awhile. So, he taught her Chess. And poker, too but that's another story.
When she started at her new school, Ho'ala, she joined the Chess Team. Turns out her dad taught her all wrong!! But, in a couple of months she learned the Swiss Chess rules, switched her King and Queen on the board and entered her first Chess tournament.
She still has a ways to go. But, we know that Chess triggers receptors in your brain that help with problem solving and most especially math skills.
She's a Chess Champion. And she's a good kid.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Sleepless Nights

Sleepless nights. That's what happens when your soldier is deployed downrange.
Mostly, you can't sleep because that familiar comfortable shape that is usually next to you is not there anymore.
It's also the comfort of knowing you have back-up during the night. Because he's a man. And a soldier. And he's paid to know how to fight. He protects.

On the one month anniversary of his departure, the phone rang at 12:40am. Not my phone. Not MK's phone. Not the landline. Not the skypes on mine or MK's computers. But somebody else's phone rang right outside my bathroom window.

I heard it because all night long my 100 pound dog wouldn't stop going off on barking frenzies. He was keyed up. Kept wanting to go outside. Kept wanting to out back. Basically, just driving me crazy with the barking.

Right before I headed to bed, he went on a barking frenzy and ran at the kitchen door. I shushed him. He'd been doing this off and on for several hours. Kind of like the boy who cried "wolf". I stopped believing him. I did a visual inspection through the windows. All of my exterior lights were on, as usual.

That's when I heard it. I had headed down the hallway to turn on the light in MK's bathroom for a night light. I turned on the light, checked in on my sleeping MK, walked back down the hallway and that's when I heard it. It only rang once and was shut off pretty quickly.

It didn't sound like my ring tone. Plus, I was holding my cell phone in my hand. I went back to MK's room to see if her skype was ringing and to find her phone. Her phone was laying next to her in the bed. The ringing had come from one of the bathrooms.

I was frozen. It took me about five minutes to look up the SB MP phone number and dial them. My phone wouldn't cooperate. My fingers wouldn't cooperate. But, I finally dialed and spoke to desk seargeant and the MP's came very quickly.

The MP's came and walked around my house for almost an hour. The dog continued to bark randomly for several more hours. Mostly because I think he was spooked. MK slept through it all.

Eleven more months until my protector comes home. But, for now, I'll keep this 100 pound deep-throat barking protective dog.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Our happy little family is separated by 15,000 miles.
Matt is on his second deployment since we moved to Hawaii in 2009. One year down in Iraq, a little over a year at home with us and now another year in Afghanistan.
He left last month, January.
And despite all of the grand-standing and promises of politicians, He's still going to be gone for a year. I wonder who exactly IS getting those promised 9 month deployments?

MK and I are trying to make the best of it. The last time he deployed, we had just moved to Hawaii, moved into our housing and he left. We didn't have to time to build a support network. We moved into a unit that had already bonded through a previous deployment together. We were outsiders. That was the hardest year of our married life.

This time, we've been here longer and have managed to make friends. But, I still seem to be the outsider.

MK is doing to so much better this time around. She loves her school. She has a happy attitude. She's adjusting.

This time, I am working on self. Boot camp work outs, healthier lifestyle. Trying to stay positive. Get more involved in my community.

I don't feel like I am succeeding, though.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Hanging Out

I have forgotten how to hang out.

How do you hang out when all of the people in your immediate circle have small children and your one and only child is a teenager?

How do you hang out with people who are all more than a decade younger than you?

My house is not child-proofed. My 100 pound dog is not child-proofed for that matter. I don't have a play room to send all of the little kids to go play. I can't put the kids outside because that's where the dog needs to be so he doesn't knock them all over in his joyful exuberance to have children around.

When I do have a get together at my house, the small kids end up taking over the living room with our leftover playmobil toys from Germany and a TV turned onto the kiddie shows. That means, no grown-up music to listen to and stepping over small toy parts and small kid parts.

Not to mention mommy conversations tend to revolve around your children. And I'm no longer in the diapering, nursing, terrible two's, potty training, preschool topics.

I want to hang out. I want to dust off my Margaritaville Frozen Concoction Maker and try out some new frozen concoctions. I want to invite friends over. I want to go over to friend's houses, too.

When you are a 43 year old Army wife with a deployed spouse, how do you make friends to hang out?

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

The Dog Part

This is Mousse. He is 100 pounds of chocolate Mousse.

He doesn't know that he is 100 lbs.

He forgets his doggy manners. A lot.

He knows when I have been to Petco and or Ross.

He loves squeaky toys, fetching things over and over again, and pooping in the neighbor's yard. New toys last just a couple of hours before the stuffing is spread out all over my house.

It is his number one mission to remove every single squeaker from his squeaky toys.

He likes to go for walks.

He knows how to spell W.A.L.K. So we tried to say "taking you know who for a you know what".

He knows what that means, too.

I don't walk him anymore. He drags me for a mile and a half.

This is "the Mousse".

Monday, January 30, 2012

Here we are. Three Fitters; Matt, Mary and MK. And our dog, the Mousse.