Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Recipe for Success

I’m thinking I may rename this blog to something along the lines of “annual updates” considering that’s about how often I’ve been blogging over the past couple years. I admit, that was not the original intention of this blog. Every now and then, I get the “blog itch” and I force myself to sit down and hammer out some letters on a page.
Even though I am a stay at home mom and full time student, many would argue that “I’m not busy because I don’t have a ‘job’ and that I should have the time to do whatever I decide to do”…I would tell that person that they have obviously never held such a prestigious position of SAHM. I love my job. I love what I do. No, it is not what I went to school to learn to do; rather it is what I’ve learned throughout life. It is the most important position I have ever held and will ever hold. I am paid in hugs and kisses and vomit and fevers. There are glamorous moments, and not so glamorous moments – but I love it. And right now, I know that it is what I am meant to do.
So when pondering the above situation, and trying to decide how I was going to be committed to not just completing my MBA, but mastering my MBA when I could not even be consistent with something as “easy” as a blog, it really got me thinking. I have the responsibility of a child pulling me in one direction, and the desire to do well in school in another direction…and what sort of role model would I be to my son if I just “slopped” through my schooling – probably not a very good one.
So, here is my secret, which is really not a secret at all. It has truly helped me in staying focused and committed to whatever I set my mind to achieve. I was going through my emails back in March, and I stumbled across a body building article. Now you are probably wondering what in the world a body building article has to do with school and raising a family…but let me tell you from experience that body builders are some of the most committed and dedicated individuals I know! This article was written by Skip La Cour titled Upgrade Your Attitude: 15 Ways To Build A Mindset For Results. This is a rather lengthy article, but a very powerful one. I encourage you to read the whole thing. For the purposes of this blog post, I will only be discussing tip one, which is:
Hmmmm…Ok. While Skip is talking about this in the context of building the body, I took this a step further and applied it to all aspects of my life: raising my child, my school, specific assignments, and even the small insignificant daily tasks that must be completed each day. While I am almost half way done with my MBA, I do believe that this thought has led me to success. This is evidenced by my 4.0 GPA (as of now!) My goal at the beginning of school was to graduate with a 4.0. I was never “great” at school; more of a B student than an A student. The good Lord blessed me with common sense rather than book sense (or at least that is what I tell myself.) So I made it a point to strive for a perfect 4.0. I must admit, when I earned my first A, I was giddy with excitement! I went into my next classes feeling like I could conquer the world. But then, through this article, Skip pulled me back down to reality: Doing task X is the most important thing in the world, while you are doing it. However, once it is done, it is done (La Cour, 2013). Ouch. So I knew what I needed to do. I needed to forget about my A’s and drive on with a new, clean slate. Yes, I could be proud of my accomplishments, but I needed to realize my previous accomplishments would not dictate my future success. I knew that I would have to continually improve myself and this would not be possible if I was living in the shadow of my past achievements (or failures for that matter).
References Used in this Blog Post:
La Cour, Skip. (2013). Upgrade Your Attitude: 15 Ways To Build A Mindset For Results.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

In Remembrance of Genevieve

Many of you may remember David's trip to New York...
...what many of you did not know was that the beautiful lady in the center of this photo had breast cancer. Her name is Genevieve Sounia, the wife of LTC Sounia, David's "boss man".
LT David Clark, LTC Phillip Sounia, Mrs. Genevieve Sounia, Katherine Horton, CPT Stephen Noel
Genevieve Sounia (far left) ... she "snuck" up there & had security in a tizzy, in true Genevieve fashion!
The Sounia's at the 9/11 Memorial

"Mrs. Genevieve Louise Sounia passed to Heaven in the arms of her husband in Pinehurst, North Carolina on Saturday July 13, 2013.

Genevieve was born on August 18, 1978 to Robert and Anne Rickmeyer of Hicksville, New York. She graduated from Long Island Lutheran High School with honors and proceeded to attend and graduate from The George Washington University with a B.A. in International Affairs, while on a dance and ROTC scholarship. During her studies, she interned at the Department of State - Nuclear Proliferation Department and earned honors for her work.

Upon graduation in 1999, she received a commission in the US Army as an Adjutant General Officer and began her service in Wiesbaden, Germany. There, she met her future husband, who wisely informed her on their second date that they would undoubtedly be married. Due to deployment to combat, they delayed their wedding. Genevieve deployed to combat in 2003, during the opening months of Operation Iraqi Freedom, where she was promoted to Captain. Upon return, she married at the United States Military Academy’s Cadet Chapel on June 13, 2004.

The couple returned to Germany, where they traveled Europe and the Mediterranean extensively. They returned to the United States in 2006 to welcome the birth of their beautiful daughter Ava in 2007. In 2008, Genevieve earned her Master’s Degree in Management and Leadership. The family moved to Pinehurst in December of that year. There, Genevieve supported her family through two consecutive deployments to Afghanistan (2009) and Iraq (2010), giving birth to her lovely daughter Elise in 2009.

Genevieve was incredibly active in the 82nd Airborne Division’s Family Readiness Group and served as the Squadron Family Readiness Group Leader throughout 2010 and 2011. Genevieve was diagnosed with breast cancer in May of 2011. She began a valiant fight against this enemy while living life as vivaciously as ever. She never faltered in the extensive care for her daughters, raising two perfect little girls. She accepted every challenge head on: exploring the Redwood Forest in 2011, hiking the Grand Canyon with her husband for four days in 2012, and kayaking the rapids of the Rocky Mountains on a four-day expedition with First Descents in June of 2013. She established a Cancer Support Group at the Clara McLean House in Pinehurst and was actively involved in establishing support for others. I know she would want to thank all of her friends whose incredible service during this time were critical to her family’s life. Genevieve was an active follower of Christ at Our Saviour Lutheran Church and an inspiration to all who knew her."

Genevieve is survived by her loving husband, LTC Phillip D. Sounia, and their two beautiful daughters, Ava Louse Sounia (6) and Elise Genevieve Sounia (4).  

Please feel free to send a memorial donation to ”Genevieve’s Girls” at USAA Account # 0160123585 Routing # 314074269. 

One of my greatest regrets is never meeting you - I've heard so many wonderful things about you. So much so that I feel like I have known you for years. You have accomplished so much in your short life, and I will be lucky to accomplish half of what you have done. You are a true inspiration and you will live on in the memories of everyone who knew you.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

February Snow!

Community Center

It FINALLY snowed here! We have been here since October 2011 and it snowed A LOT the winter before we arrived. This led me to believe that it ALWAYS snowed here at Ft. Bragg - not true...not true at all! Well, after the Winter Holidays came and went, I thought our chance for snow did as well. All my hope to see this fluffy white stuff was placed in NEXT winter...until yesterday! Here are some pics of our wintery fun! By the way, I think it is TOTALLY awesome that our first snow here at Bragg was also Colten's first snow ever! And, he was NOT fond of it...not fond of it at all - a true FLORIDA boy at heart (that's my baby!)

Our Street

Front Yard



Checking out the white stuff

Bella in the window
David & Colten
Me & Colten

Our mini snow man

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Photo Update!

I have been THE WORST at posting photos of our adorable (not-so-baby-anymore) boy! So, here are some random pics:

Standing to look outside - we must stand now...all.the.time.
He is in LOVE with books!
8 month pics!
Hanging with his friend Jack eating celery.
Watching Mickey Mouse - I think I see a trip to Disney in our future!
He literally passed out at the dinner table.
Exploring kitty's food (don't worry, I don't let him do this with her litter box)

Our pouty-gets-me-out-of-trouble face!

He has been sitting for a couple months on his own, he is crawling VERY well now, pulling up on anything and everything, and he will walk up and down holding the couch or his walking puppy. He also gives TONS of kisses and hugs and his most recent accomplishment is blowing raspberries on my cheeks. He is also becoming more proficient at waving bye-bye! He has two bottom teeth now and he is eating 3 solid meals a day along with a few bottles. He is pretty much sleeping through the night now - 7PM to 7AM (YESSS!) He definitely knows his name and "No". He has learned to pout when he does not get his way (like when he tries to play with our cell phone cords). He.Loves.Cords. And cell phones. And me =)

Friday, January 11, 2013

A Piece of Cake – or Tort

Thanksgiving 2012, we went to see some friends in Nashville, TN.  We always go home for the holidays to see our immediate Families, so this past year we received an invitation to do something different, so we hopped on it!
Now, when you think about thanksgiving, what comes to mind?  For me, it is my Family’s southern cooking: Ham, turkey, gravy, stuffing/dressing, deviled eggs, macaroni and cheese, salad, cranberry, and a smorgasbord of casseroles like sweet potato, broccoli, and green bean.  And of course, an array of desserts.
Well Thanksgiving 2012 was very different for our Family – in a good way!  We had the opportunity to see what Thanksgiving was like in someone else’s home.  I do not remember everything that was on the menu, however there was not one single thing that was not absolutely delish!
One dessert specifically stands out the most in my memory.  A Pumpkin Tort.
Why this one thing stands out above all the others, I have no idea.  Perhaps it is because I (thought) I hated pumpkin.  Well, there is no way to describe how amazingly delicious this wonderful dessert is – you just have to experience it!  So here is the recipe (with the link to Taste of Home at the bottom – I am in NO way claiming this as my own!) 
  • 1 package yellow cake mix (regular size)
  • 1 can (15 ounces) solid-pack pumpkin, divided
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/3 cup canola oil
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice, divided
  • 1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup confectioners' sugar
  • 1 carton (16 ounces) frozen whipped topping, thawed
  • 1/4 cup caramel ice cream topping
  • 1/3 cup chopped pecans, toasted
  • In a large bowl, combine the cake mix, 1 cup pumpkin, milk, eggs, oil, and 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice; beat on low speed for 30 seconds.  Beat on medium for 2 minutes.  Pour into two greased and floured 9-in. round baking pans.
  • Bake at 350° for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean.  Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks to cool completely.
  • In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese until light and fluffy.  Add the confectioners' sugar and remaining pumpkin and pumpkin pie spice; beat until smooth.  Fold in whipped topping.
  • Cut each cake horizontally into two layers.  Place bottom layer on a serving plate; spread with a fourth of the filling.  Repeat layers three times.  Drizzle with caramel topping; sprinkle with pecans.  Store in the refrigerator.  Yield: 10-12 servings.


Tuesday, January 8, 2013


Well hello there! Yes, I’m GUILTY. I have not blogged for more than half a year – ever since baby Colten was born.  The (unintended) hiatus was actually nice…and as we all do at the beginning of every New Year, I am attempting my blogging venture - yet again.
I had thought about changing my blog – you know, giving it a facelift for the New Year.  Maybe renaming it, getting a new website, having a different focus, or whatever.  But, I have since convinced myself that just because I have a new blog, doesn’t mean I will keep up with it any better than this one (ouch!)  However, with that being said, this year the focus of my blog will somewhat change.
When I started this blog, it was all about the Army, David, and our adventures that came along with that territory.  While I will still touch on those topics, I am also planning on expanding to topics such as crafts, recipes, cooking, cleaning, fitness, school, traveling, politics, and of course Colten!  The focus will pretty much be anything and everything going on in our day-to-day lives.
I did update the layout of the blog.  I think it’s rather fancy J What do you think?!  I’d like to give a shout out and HUGE thank you to the folks over at The Cutest Blog on the Block ( for the template!  They have an awesome website!  Check them out for sure if you are a fellow blogger (or even if you are not!)
So what has happened over the past six months? Well, I had a baby, we moved (AGAIN!), I gained a (not so) voluptuous 65 lbs (and I still have 20 lbs to go!), we updated our home gym, I joined a commercial gym, I had a birthday, David had a birthday, David had his shoulder surgery, our baby isn’t so baby-ish anymore (they grow so fast!), I got my Spinning Certification, and we have taken a couple trips home (among other places)!
I am looking forward to 2013. I feel like there is so much excitement and things to look forward to in the coming year!  There is nothing specifically I am looking forward to – just everything in general. There is an aura in the air of peace, tranquility, and contentment. And it is much welcomed!

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Failure To Launch...

Well, I had my first (and hopefully only!) false alarm yesterday…a little annoying at 39 3/7 weeks pregnant, if I do say so myself.  I will spare you of all the nitty gritty details on the topic.  My official due date is June 23, so I am hoping our little man will decide to be timely.  Since I’ve been home, I’ve been walking a couple miles a day, bouncing on my exercise ball, eating spicy food, you name it!  I think all I have achieved by the spicy food is giving myself indigestion and giving him the hiccups…but it was worth a try.  I guess in the end, he will join us when he is ready.  Assuming I am still pregnant next week, I have an appointment Wednesday June 27 – and at that point, my CNM will schedule me for a non-stress test and possibly an induction.  Let’s just say that I hope I am no longer pregnant next Wednesday! I am ready for the little man to make his appearance and get into our new routine J

More updates to come!