How times have changed

fish cupcakes

Baby’s first birthday is a popular event in our squadron 🙂

It’s a lot of fun because all of the kids can play together, the girls can chat and the guys can hang out.

It’s funny because every time we all get together -pretty much every weekend- the talk ends up turning to how weird/crazy it is to see everyone with kids and the wild single guys who are now settled down and married.

We were very fortunate to come to Tucson, not only because I’m from Tucson and many of my friends and family are still here, but also because a lot of our original squadron family is stationed here. There was a group of us that initially went to Fayetteville, NC (then down to Valdosta, GA). Many of them moved to Tucson a year or two before we left –we got held in Valdosta an extra two lovely years- but we were reunited when we moved here last summer. We were blessed with an AWESOME assignment; 100% due to the fact that Tom worked his booty off to become an instructor.

Anyway, today we were talking about the shenanigans that went down at Carolina Lakes while we were in Fayetteville. There may or may not have been one occasion where I ended up wearing one of those rented sumo wrestling outfits. I have no idea who won. It was a time of partying on the weekends, but now everyone (including the single guys who used to drink bully me) is settled down, most with little kids running around.

the boys2

It’s been really amazing to see our friends, and now ourselves, make the transition into parenthood. It’s also been amazing to have a group of resources who know the military lifestyle and that I can always count on for honest opinions, advice and tips. At the same time, it’s crazy to think about where we were and what we were doing 5 years ago.

This time 5 years ago, Tom was just getting back from his first of three deployments to Afghanistan. He stayed with me in Tucson for a month (I was finishing up school) then he went back to Fayetteville until I graduated the following May when I went to spend the summer with him. I was fresh out of college. It would be my first time meeting everyone else (who already knew so much about what being married or what being attached to the military was like), and I was really, really nervous about the Stepford wives stereotype I had in my brain. I thought they’d be snobby. I thought they might not like me. I didn’t know if I’d find someone that shared my interests, but I ended up meeting girls that have been great friends ever since.

When I flew into Fayetteville, I rented a car and stayed two nights in a hotel waiting for the guys to get home. One of the wives was my contact point and kept me updated on their status, and I ended up staying awake the entire second night because I was so nervous and excited to see Tom again after all the time apart. When one of the wives offered to pick me up and drive me to base to welcome the guys, I was blown away by her kindness. She picked me up with her four kids, and we all chatted the entire drive the base… and when we got there, the other wives were quick to introduce themselves and make me feel welcomed. It ended up being the tip of the iceberg, and I had no idea how supportive and incredible the fellow wives in our squadron would be.

We had a lot of fun that summer. Everyone in our circle of squadron friends was either a single guy, engaged, or newly married at the time. The deployment was over, and the days were filled with fitness classes with my friends, swimming, and BBQs at night, partying at the lake over the weekend. And now, we fast forward in time 5 years and we’re all changing diapers and talking about breastfeeding. The guys are still drinking beers, but it’s a little more mellow 😉

The military lifestyle is extremely challenging, I’m hoping that it will help Livi foster independence, adaptability and the ability to make friends quickly that I’ve seen in other military children. Wherever we end up next, she’ll be surrounded by kids she’ll be able to relate to, and already has quite a few friends her age to hang out with.


Rewind 5 years: where were you?

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  1. lindsey on March 10, 2012 at 10:43 pm

    Liv is just out of this world beautiful!

    • Fitnessista on March 10, 2012 at 10:55 pm

      thank you- we’re so in love with her <3

  2. Sana on March 10, 2012 at 10:50 pm

    Woah, I was just starting college 5 years ago. My life has changed in so many lovely ways 🙂

  3. MMiller on March 10, 2012 at 10:52 pm

    I’m not even going to get into where I was 5 years ago!! But I will agree with you that military families are the best! They understand and they have been there! They are always there to help…whatever it is you may need!

  4. Stacie on March 10, 2012 at 10:53 pm

    Ehhhh,… this time 5 years ago I was diving head first into a very volatile, unhealthy relationship…took me 2 years to finally let go . Today I’m happily married to the man of my dreams! (not the same guy!!!)

    • Fitnessista on March 10, 2012 at 10:54 pm

      oh my goodness! i was in an abusive relationship before i met tom, and at that time, couldn’t see myself being with someone who treated me well. it’s amazing how things work out, huh?

      • Tyler on March 11, 2012 at 12:11 am

        5 years ago, I started dating my now future-ex-husband (just waiting for paperwork to be finalized) and I never thought it would be a less than picture perfect life. I’m now getting my *sparkle* back. Thanks for being so honest ladies! I needed a reminder that it can only continue to go up from here!

      • Brittany on March 11, 2012 at 12:38 am

        Wow. Being a teenager do you ladies have any advice for me in the subject? My mother has only been with my father and he has never laid a finger on her so she can’t give me a whole lot of advice on it.

        • Fitnessista on March 11, 2012 at 1:00 am

          my advice is that if you’re unhappy, get outta there, no matter how hard it is. my self esteem was so low that i hung around a lot longer than i should have. no matter how hard it may be to believe it at the time, there is a man out there that will treat you with the love and respect you deserve. definitely talk to a counselor or someone that may help with your particular situation
          sending love to you <3

          • Brittany on March 11, 2012 at 8:21 am

            You misunderstood. I’m not in an abusive relationship at the moment. I asked for advice if I ever find myself in that situation. That was great advice though. I will remember that if I am ever in that situation. Thank you for being so honest.

  5. Lindsay McAlester on March 10, 2012 at 11:00 pm

    Oh my! 5 years ago I had a 4.5 month old baby and was just 1 week pregnant. Crazy stuff!

  6. Caryln on March 10, 2012 at 11:05 pm

    It’s so weird hearing you talk about Fayetteville because that’s where I am from (both of my parents were in the army)! Actually just moved away from there in January! It’s not the most “happening” place but there is nothing like the sense of community in a military town.

    • Fitnessista on March 10, 2012 at 11:11 pm

      we loved fayetteville! also loved taking beach road trips to myrtle beach and wilmington 🙂

  7. Brittany on March 10, 2012 at 11:20 pm

    I saw it before but I didn’t realize how much until I saw the first picture, Livi looks EXACTLY like you! I see a little bit of Tom in her but mostly its all you! She is beautiful. I feel like I know this little beauty and I have only seen pictures and read about her. Enjoy her while she is small. She wont be like this forever no matter how hard you try to keep it from hapening

  8. babs on March 10, 2012 at 11:28 pm

    Five years ago I was head over heels in love with a boy that I had been dating for a few months. I was living in DC and just received my acceptance letter to W&M law school. Now, I’m living in Australia, married to the boy, and getting re-qualified to practice over here.

    Time does not stop, so it’s up to us to stop and enjoy each moment.

  9. Jessica on March 10, 2012 at 11:34 pm

    Small world…my husband lived in Carolina Lakes during high school and college since his dad worked for the army! My in- laws just moved out of there a couple of years ago, once he retired. Livi is so cute, by the way. Our little man is due on the 19th and I am so ready for him to arrive!

    • Fitnessista on March 10, 2012 at 11:42 pm

      ahh i’m so excited for you!!
      LOVE carolina lakes- it’s so beautiful out there

  10. Whit @ Whit Likes Fit on March 10, 2012 at 11:47 pm

    5 years ago I was single and probably would be heading out to a bar downtown for the night. Fast forward 5 years and I’m happily married and actually heading downtown to a bar for a friends goodbye party. Ironically to a bar I would have loved back then. Now I can’t wait for this night to be over so I can get home into my jammies at a decent hour. I am so old 🙂

  11. elle on March 10, 2012 at 11:59 pm

    20 years old, complaining about how tough my undergrad courses were, and preparing for medical school interviews! I’ve now got M.D. after my last name and now think of those “grueling” classes as the leisurely good-old-days 😉

    • vidya on March 11, 2012 at 12:14 am

      me too!!! 🙂 have am MD after my name aswell, and how I long to go back to those undergrad courses I thought was sooo difficult!! 🙂

      • Tabi on March 11, 2012 at 11:33 am

        Ha! Just finishing my DVM in the next month and I too thought my life was grueling 5 years ago… riiiiight 😉 Ironically and wonderfully, 5 years ago I was parting ways with the love of my life who I’m now happily reuinited with. Life is a beautiful and crazy thing!

  12. Averie @ Averie Cooks on March 11, 2012 at 12:02 am

    Five years ago today, I had a 6 week old baby! Boy, how MY life has changed! You are in for the best, fullest, and most wonderful next five years of your life…you’re in for the best ride of your life 🙂

    “talking about the shenanigans that went down at Carolina Lakes while we were in Fayetteville” — When we lived in NC in 2000-02 and SC from 02-04, we had some shenanigans too. Fun memories!

  13. Lindsay Loves Veggies on March 11, 2012 at 12:45 am

    Five years ago, I’d just turned 20 (with a crazy wild huge party), was in the middle of my sophomore year of college as a nursing major (I later switched to nutrition, which is what I graduated with), had a lip ring (been gone since I was 21 or 22), chin length hair (now it’s about halfway down my back), and still living in the sorority house! Wow!

  14. Ali on March 11, 2012 at 12:49 am

    SO CRAZY TO THINK ABOUT!! It must be so strange to change diaper with people you used to party with! Five years ago I was in high school, life has gotten way, way better, to say the least.

  15. Laura @ She Eats Well on March 11, 2012 at 1:18 am

    5 years ago I was just finishing my final year of college. Oh man. I really feel like that was so long ago but at the same time, just yesterday. I can’t get over Olivia’s little outfit with the leggings…too cute.

  16. Michaela on March 11, 2012 at 8:23 am

    I loved this post!! Isn´t it amazing how time is changing?!
    You make this whole military thing sound lovely and strenghtening, despite being difficult.
    5 years ago… I was in the middle of an apprenticeship at a hotel. Can´t believe that is already such long time ago!

  17. Amber L on March 11, 2012 at 8:23 am

    5 years ago today I was 23 years old, in my first teaching job, and planning my wedding that would be in 4 months! I can’t believe how much I have grown as a teacher since then. Also my relationship with my husband has become been more amazing, and now we are expecting our first child! I can’t believe how quickly time flies. Thanks for posting this post. It was fun to look back!

  18. Amber L on March 11, 2012 at 8:24 am

    *even not been

  19. Lauren on March 11, 2012 at 8:47 am

    i was a sophomore in college (oh god, i feel old), getting ready to transfer from a community college to syracuse university. i was so obsessed with the idea of going to SU that i don’t think i really weighed all of my options and truly considered what going to such a big school meant. fast forward to august: i lasted 3 weeks at SU before putting in a leave of absence and coming home. i never went back. instead, i worked full time for two years (with kiddos, which inspired me to go back to school for teaching), and then transferred to new york’s best state school (esp for education). it definitely ended up being the best thing for me, and i can’t imagine doing anything other than teaching!

  20. Hillary on March 11, 2012 at 8:48 am

    Good Lord, you have a beautiful baby. I’m just going to keep saying it!

    My boyfriend and I were just talking about this the other night: five years ago, we were seniors in college. I was finishing up my student teaching and he was deciding on a graduate program. He applied to places before we started dating, so he ended up making his choice based on what would be the closest to me—-the closest place was six hours away! We’re now nearly five years into the LDR thang and have just one more year to go. How time flies!

  21. Haley @ Fit, Young, and Fabulous on March 11, 2012 at 9:07 am

    So, so sweet!! Life has a funny way of being amazing! (:

  22. Vanessa on March 11, 2012 at 9:49 am

    Five years ago I had just found out I was accepted to a volunteer program that brought me to Hamburg, Germany. Fell in love and am still here five years later.

  23. Jessica @ BEBT on March 11, 2012 at 9:58 am

    Olivia is SO beautiful! I think it’s sweet that you don’t share a ton of pictures of her – it makes it that much more special when you do! 🙂

    • Fitnessista on March 11, 2012 at 4:28 pm

      thank you- she’s amazing <3 yeah, i just feel kind of weird plastering her all over the blog, but it makes me happy to hear you guys like seeing her 🙂

  24. Sandra on March 11, 2012 at 10:30 am

    I have been reading your blog for a while now and am finally (after years of trying) pregnant! Your blog has been very inspirational for many reasons. I loved this post bc we recently got stationed at fort bragg and live in carolina lakes!! What a small world 🙂 I’m having a hard time adjusting, but am hopefull after reading your post that this community is great! Let me know if you have any insider tips about the area!

    Ps liv is just adorable!!

    • Fitnessista on March 11, 2012 at 4:27 pm

      that is a small world!! LOVE carolina lakes 🙂
      the community is awesome.. definitely check out the step and spin classes at the bragg gym, too
      congratulations on your pregnancy, too! maria (an amazing blogger who has a new baby) is stationed at bragg- hit her up 🙂

      • Sandra on March 12, 2012 at 7:29 pm

        Thank you! I will get in touch with Maria and take a look at her blog 🙂

  25. Stephanie @ Legally Blinde on March 11, 2012 at 10:57 am

    I love the picture of Liv – she’s getting SO big! She’s gorgeous 🙂

    • Fitnessista on March 11, 2012 at 4:26 pm

      thank you! yes, she’s growing so much! 🙂

  26. mallory on March 11, 2012 at 11:11 am

    That footsie photo is adorable!

  27. Morgan @ Morganshines on March 11, 2012 at 11:12 am

    5 years ago I had 1 year old twins waddling around my house in diapers…a boy who bit his sister (HARD!) on a daily basis and a girl who had a tendency to fall asleep anywhere in the house whether it was in her high chair or on the floor surround by toys 🙂 You have so much to look forward to with Livi, Savor every minute of it 🙂

  28. Ava on March 11, 2012 at 11:53 am

    Thank you so much for this post. I don’t know if you remember me because it was so long ago but last year I was just starting to see a guy who was in pilot training and had contacted you. Now a year later, he is about to move to Japan for 3 years while I stay in NY for grad school. Hearing that I’m not the only one that feels intimidated and out of place is comforting. I want to reach out to other military girlfriends/fiances/wives in similar situations but have been too intimidated. Glad to hear things are working out so well for you.

    PS Livi is adorable!

    • Fitnessista on March 11, 2012 at 4:30 pm

      i definitely remember you! i’m so glad to hear that things are going well <3 it's hard not to be intimidated, but all of the wives i've met, and there have been a LOT, have been incredible.
      sending love to you!

  29. Kristen on March 11, 2012 at 11:53 am

    Its funny to look back and see how see how things have changed. You don’t really think about it while its happening and then one day you get to thinking about the last few years and go, “WOW”

    You guys are doing such a great job with Livi. She looks like a perfect healthy growing baby. She’s just absolutely gorgeous. Can you imagine when she gets older? You guys are gonna have to lock her up LOL

    • Fitnessista on March 11, 2012 at 4:31 pm

      haha! thank you, kristen <3

  30. Laura on March 11, 2012 at 12:51 pm

    5 years ago my husband (then boyfriend) was headed to the sandbox. I was almost done with college and was getting ready to move to be with him post-deployment.

    The move never happened, but we got engaged on post-deployment leave.

    It makes me sad to read your posts sometimes – there are some aspects of the military lifestyle that I really miss. I can’t believe I was actually excited when he talked about joining the army and becoming a warrant officer so he could fly helos.

  31. Mary on March 11, 2012 at 1:44 pm

    5 yrs ago I was a junior in college, lonely, estranged from my family and suffering from severe depression and social anxiety. Today I’m slowly letting family members back into my life and because I finally found the courage to seek help I’m making friends and embarking on my first intimate relationship. At 28 I’m finally learning to live life and take risks.

  32. Amy on March 11, 2012 at 1:49 pm

    Lets see 5 years ago I was a single Mom to one who was in graduate school. Now I’m married with three kids, I never thought I’d have three kids! I have my Master’s and decided to leave the PhD program I was in for family life after the life changing event we experienced in Nov. 2011.

  33. Rebecca on March 11, 2012 at 2:22 pm

    Five years ago I was still in high school, just getting started on an IB diploma. I had great friends, a new boyfriend whom I thought I was in love with and was letting school consume me. Fast forward a year and half, my body was done with me pushing it through school tirelessly and rebelled. I wish I could have told myself about balance before having to incorporate it in my life or told myself that I would have more chances at love. But, five years later I am definitely wiser. It has taken me a bit longer to get my bachelor’s then I had wanted but, a year from now I will be down with two bachelor’s degrees instead of one. I am in a loving relationships (five not-so-great relationships later) and am looking forward not back. Gina, you gave Brittany amazing advice, if it doesn’t feel right chances are it isn’t. Most the time when you aren’t happy, neither is the other person in the relationship. The most important lesson I have learned? No matter what I am doing, I want to be happy. If it doesn’t make me happy or isn’t getting me to happiness, aidos. Thank you for this amazing post Gina!

  34. Brittany on March 11, 2012 at 2:39 pm

    Don’t think i’m an insane person!!
    I have been reading your blog for going on 3 years, it’s been my routine to every night before I go to sleep, crawl into bed, turn the contrast way down on my laptop and read my blogs for the day, yours being one of them of course!! Last night I had a dream I babysat Olivia for you!!! haha it was crazy I woke up feeling like a creeper kind of?? even though I know I can’t control my dreams but she was a PERFECT baby!!

    • Fitnessista on March 11, 2012 at 4:32 pm

      hahah! i love it!

  35. Emily @ Perfection Isn't Happy on March 11, 2012 at 4:45 pm

    Five years ago, I was in the middle of my second semester of my freshman year of college. I was 18. I can’t believe how much has changed since then! Now I’m engaged and getting married in July. Who knows where I’ll be in five more years!

  36. Kelly @ Vegolosophy on March 11, 2012 at 8:35 pm

    5 years ago I was a freshmen in college..which feels like ages ago! Crazy how quickly things change and how much we grow in just 5 years 🙂 Olivia is too precious!

  37. Danielle on March 11, 2012 at 9:18 pm

    Five years ago I was in my second semester of my freshman year of college, living in Montreal. I was not in a good place mentally, and I’m so glad that’s over!

    Now, I’m living in NYC (my dream!!!) and finishing my masters in PR, while interning at one of my favorite health magazines. Also in a two-year relationship, which I would have never predicted five years ago! Live gets better and better.

  38. Steffany on March 12, 2012 at 8:22 am

    Five years ago I had just started dating my now boyfriend, an Air Force crew chief, and had no idea all the adventures we would find ourselves getting into (: We just celebrated 5 year mark this weekend ! ^__^

  39. Michelle on March 12, 2012 at 10:46 am

    She is such a sweetie 🙂 There is nothing better than having you and your friends kids grow up together !

  40. Christa on March 12, 2012 at 10:46 am

    5 years ago I was working at the Valdosta mall, and about to gradutate from the college. I know you feel my pain 😉

  41. Corrie Anne on March 12, 2012 at 11:32 am

    I’m feeling the changes too!! I’ve had a TON in the past year. But I’m happy to say that 5 years ago I was in college.. won’t be able to say THAT much longer. Lol.

  42. grace on March 12, 2012 at 4:12 pm

    It’s weird to think about what I was doing 5 years ago! I had started working the summer before after finishing college. Had started dating someone at the beginning of 2007 and wasn’t sure if I had made the right career choice. Five years later, I’m still in the same job (turned out that’s where I want to be!) and am married to the guy I had just started to date!

  43. chrissy on March 12, 2012 at 4:32 pm

    wow, 5 years ago i was in grad school working up to my ears in projects/jobs/school work and my husband was in his second (3rd??) year of residency. it’s party/international travel time!!!!! We went to Europe a few months ago, Singapore/Hong Kong May 2012:)

  44. Alexis on March 13, 2012 at 7:53 pm

    5 years ago I had jut returned from 1.5 years living, working, and traveling around SE Asia! I was so unsure of what to do with myself and my life (I went abroad straight from college). The next 5 years consisted of a MS in Nutrition with a focus in global health, living/working/traveling abroad to many more countries, then meeting and marrying my Army husband (the only downside to that being leaving behind my international career!). I now work in community nutrition on a local level. It’s crazy how much changes in 5 years.

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