Tuesday, April 8, 2014

See You After Basic Training!

Leaving for Air Force Basic Training

This post begins my blog's radio silence for the next couple of months while I am away at Air Force Basic Training. I can't believe the day has finally come. I've been counting down now for months, and here it is. I'm so excited! 

One of the biggest questions I've gotten after joining the Air National Guard and when people find out that I have to spend 8.5-weeks in Texas for BMT is, "But what about your blog?!" And despite how much I dearly love this blog, I had to face the facts—I was going to have to take some time off. See, in BMT it's not like we get social media and computer time each day. No way, Jose. I won't even see a computer, write a text or even get to think about Instagramming for the entire 8.5-weeks I'm down there. So while I'm gone, I'm truly going to be living in the moment and this place is going to be quiet for a little while (though, as a preface—there will be two special posts that go up while I'm gone—so stay tuned!).

While I'm at Basic Training—though I truly have no idea what to expect—I've been told that I'll be able to call home on weeks 4 and 7, so you can bet that Daniel's will be the first (and probably only) number I am able to dial. I'll have the privilege of receiving letters from my closest family members and friends, and I hope I'll have a few moments to write a couple letters in return. It's so strange to think about leaving my husband—my best friend—for this period of time. We do everything together, you know? Being apart from him is the most challenging part of all of this for me, but I know it will help strengthen our marriage. There's not much that feels better than being able to fully trust your husband and know that he trusts you right back. It's so neat to have such a good friend and partner in him. I'm so lucky!

As for me, I can't wait to see the person who I will have become when I march across those parade grounds on graduation day. I know she's going to be a warrior—and I can't wait for my husband, his brother and my mom to tap me out on the other side. What a special moment that we'll all soon be able to share.

If any of you are interested in what I'll be going through for the next several weeks, go to YouTube and search for Air Force BMT. You'll see lots of yelling, lots of push-ups, and lots and lots of other trainees who are doing exactly the same things that I'll be doing day in and day out for the next few months. There are probably going to be those days when I'm thinking, "What did I get myself into?" but I tell you what, I'm so excited to experience each day, each obstacle, each push-up. Because when I come out on the other end, I'll be an American Airman... and what an honor that will be.

Thanks again for all your support & encouragement. See you all in June. ♥— Future Airman Aunie, over & out!

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Air Guard Student Flight Drill 5

Air National Guard Student Flight, Student Flight prep for BMT

This afternoon, I shook hands with my instructors, hugged my fellow soon-to-be-airmen, and said goodbye to my last Student Flight as a trainee. Oh, Student Flight. How I'll miss it.

I once again got to spend the past two days with my Idaho Air National Guard fellow trainees who are learning what to expect in Basic Training. We did push-ups, we marched, we had "uniform" inspections, did a full PT test (sit-ups, pull-ups, and 1.5-mile run—I updated my scores at the bottom of this post), and yep—we got yelled at a few times. I loved every single minute of it. See, at Student Flight, it's all a game. You're essentially learning and practicing for BMT, and it's all just to help prepare you for the real thing.

341's (pictured above)? Getting one pulled has no real consequences in Student Flight—except push-ups, I suppose. If you get a 341 pulled in Basic Training, that's the real deal. Getting yelled at in Student Flight? Absolutely no big deal—learn from it! I can't emphasize the importance of Student Flight if you're a new enlistee and preparing to go to BMT. It's such an amazing and wonderful experience. It truly will help prepare you for the first two weeks of BMT (or so I'm told), and the fact that you get paid makes the whole deal that much sweeter.

Despite how much I love Student Flight, I'm eagerly anticipating my departure for Basic Training. Also, I have a "break in training," so for four months after I return from BMT, I'll get to return to Student Flight as a BIT—an Airman who has completed BMT but has yet to attend Tech School. I can't wait to put on my uniform and return to Student Flight as an Airman First Class and help out my friends who will still be awaiting their BMT schooling dates. What a surreal experience that will be—returning as a BIT and getting to help the people who I was sitting alongside these last few months. That will be very, very neat.

I'm so grateful for everything that Student Flight has given me. New friendships, a little extra help for my first few weeks of BMT, and an appreciation for the little things in life that make the days tick by and the world go 'round. We'll see you on the flipside, Student Flight...

... Off we go, into the wild blue yonder ...

See my other Air National Guard Student Flight experiences here: UTA 1 │ UTA 2 │ UTA 3UTA 4 │ UTA 5

Monday, March 31, 2014

Air Force BMT Packing List

Air Force BMT Packing List
Packing List for Air Force Basic Military Training

Armed with my BMT packing list from my recruiter (who is also conveniently my husband) and my trusty, shopping-expert mother-in-law, we smashed out my "What to bring to Basic Training" list in a mere couple hours. We made two stops, at Gap and Target, and we were able to check off my entire list. The other bonus? We did this all about a month and a half ago, so I've been prepped and ready without any last-minute stressors before I leave for Basic Training.

The packing list I received from my recruiter recommended to bring three days of comfortable and non-attention-grabbing civilian clothes, plain and easy-to-clean personal products, prescriptions (thankfully, I don't have any), and other important documents. The list was really basic, and after doing some research around the web (mostly at Aim High Erin's blog) and speaking to several friends in the Air Guard, I tweaked the list to bring only the essentials and things I was personally picky about (i.e. sports bras & underwear)—opting to purchase everything else down at the BX when I arrive at BMT. Plus, half of what I'm bringing is going to be locked away and out of reach the entire time I'm there, anyway, (like my cell phone, makeup & civilian clothes), so this is just what I'm planning to use to get me through the first few days.

Here's a list of all the items from my packing list that I'll be either wearing or fitting into my backpack:

CLOTHING & ACCESSORIES
3 Crew neck t-shirts              
1 pair of jeans
Jacket
Belt
Running Shoes (Brooks Pure Connect)    
Black generic shower shoes     
6 Pairs of underwear
4 Sports bras
1 Regular bra
3 Pairs of socks
Diamond studs (for graduation day)
Eyeglasses

OTHER ITEMS
Bible
Military ID
Social Security Card              
Driver's License
ATM card
Prepaid phone card
Watch
Small journal/address book                    
Stamps
Ballpoint Pens
Sharpies
Cell phone & charger

Accordion file (containing the following)
10 copies of orders
Unit personnel records
Marriage certificate
Personal photos

PERSONAL PRODUCTS
Makeup
Shampoo
Conditioner
Liquid Soap
Lotion
Facial moisturizer w/ SPF      
Hairspray (no aerosol)
Chapstick with SPF                              
Toothbrush
Toothpaste
Floss
Deodorant
Razor
Hairbrush
Hair bands (matching hair color)
Bobby pins (matching hair color)
Tampons
Fingernail clippers
Tweezers
Small mirror

What to pack for Air Force BMT
Basic Training Packing List

The idea that all I'm taking to BMT is myself and a tiny backpack is pretty crazy. I've never packed this light! If you have any questions about any of the items or what's on—or not on—my packing list, please don't hesitate to let me know! I'm happy to provide links to the specific items if you'd like them.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Transitions

Blooming Pear Tree

Spring is here—finally. I know winter came rather early to Idaho this year, so the change in the season is a much anticipated transition, and I'm so glad it has finally arrived.

Along with the changing of the weather, it always seems like my blog tends to go through transitional "seasons" as well. In the beginning, my blog was a very random collection of, well, everything with a stronger focus on personal style posts. Shortly thereafter, I became a Christian and transitioned to more of a thoughtful stage of life where I felt like I was truly waking up for the first time. Then, of course, everything moved to more of a pre-wedding phase, where I couldn't write a post without mentioning Daniel or all of the fun that we were having while putting together our wedding. Right after that, this blog moved in a new direction—with a focus on running and marathon training before the big 26.2 that I ran last October. As fast as that came and went, I joined the Air National Guard a month later and—BAM!—off on a new tangent we went again.

While this blog seems to constantly be switching up its focus, one thing is pretty clear—it follows me wherever I go and truly reflects all the changes, ups and occasional downs I've experienced.

It's interesting—there are days when I lose readers and subscribers—and oddly enough, it doesn't bother me. I mean, no one has to like what I write about or decide to feature, right? I know that this blog isn't going to be a perfect fit for everyone, and if it's not your cup of tea at the moment, I don't take it personally.

The coolest thing about blogging is that this place is all my own. The only person I'm doing it for is me. I get paid literally pennies per day to do it (shoot, if that!), so it's not like it's a make-it-or-break-it as far as income goes. The idea of making money while blogging? It's like a foreign language to me. I don't do it for the money... I do it because I love it. Love love LOVE it.

And so that's the thing, this blog will never have a niche, because it just follows the ebbs and flows of my life. It's my story and nothing more than that. So if you're still here—despite whatever I'm writing about—thank you. No matter what kind of sauce is going on in this place, and whether there's one or seven thousand people reading my story... I appreciate you and I'll still be here writing it down either way. Thanks again for all your support during this new transitional season that this blog is going through. I can't tell you what the next several months are going to bring (besides for a short break while I'm at BMT), but I can tell you that I am so grateful for anyone who sticks with me through it all.

Here's to new beginnings. Bloom where you're planted, right?

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Glasses for Air Force BMT

Glasses for Air Force BMT, SelectSpecs Glasses
Glasses: c/o SelectSpecs (my pair here), Shirt: Gap (on sale for $10!)
Glasses for Air Force Basic Training, SelectSpecs Glasses
Plain black glasses, SelectSpecs Glasses
Air Force Glasses, SelectSpecs Glasses

This girl—the glasses-obsessed, won't buy anything unless it has a pattern or brightly colored rims kind of girl—is proud to say she now owns a pair of black glasses. Success!

I currently own pink, yellow, coral, tortoise shell, purple, rhinestone, and white lace-inspired glasses—they all stand out in their own ways and can be switched out to match pretty much any of my work-week outfits. Before marching on down to Basic Training with a pair of frilly glasses that would certainly garner some unwanted attention, I ordered a pair of plain black frames that I knew would not get me any grief—or extra push-ups.

I'll tell you what, I'm super pleased with these glasses. The prescription, which I snagged from my optometrist, is perfect. The frames are lightweight and while these glasses are very simple, they're also really affordable (under $15!). I know I'll be issued two new pairs of glasses down at Basic Training, but for right now and the first weeks down there, I'll be more than comfortable in these ones.

Anyway, just thought I'd share some love for my new online glasses retailer friends. I shouldn't hoard all the good deals, should I? If you're looking for a new pair of glasses or sunglasses (summer's on the way!), here are my two favorite options for affordable glasses online:

 

Disclosure: This is not a sponsored post. The glasses featured in this post were provided to me by SelectSpecs. As a Firmoo affiliate, I may receive a referral commission based on products purchased through links to their page.

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