June 5, 2017

APPROVED!



I did it! I am officially a member of the Rebel Legion! Eeek!

After my last post, I quickly called up my mom, bribed her with lunch, and she kindly came out to my house to take my pictures. Thanks, Lady, you're the best! When she left, I put "Sing" on for my boys, so I could run downstairs to submit my photos, you know, like the great mom I am. The rest of my day consisted of providing snacks, wiping up messes, and refreshing my email every 28 seconds.

At 7:01pm, I received the email that the costume I submitted has been officially accepted! After I jumped around like a crazy person for a few minutes, I had to let the people who really helped me get to this point know about my membership! Thank you to Afton and Reid for helping me navigate, what can be a very long process, and for you being so encouraging!

So, this Saturday, if you happen to be at Sand in the City, keep an eye for Josh and I, as we participate in our first official troop! Did I forget to mention Josh got accepted into the 501st for his reserve pilot costume?! As he put it, we are now a house divided!

Whoa, it's JUNE!

Hey guys, sorry I haven't posted since MARCH. I have started several posts, each about the different aspects of my costume, they're a little scatterbrained right now. I'm working on getting them to a point where a normal person can make sense of them, I also decided that since I'm so close to approval, I want to wait until I have the final okay before I hit that publish button, I wouldn't want to steer anyone in the wrong direction.

You may be wondering (or not) just how close I am to approval. Well I am happy to share that I have already submitted my costume, and have received feedback!

NOT approved. 

Through my correspondence with one of the Rebel Legion costume judges, it was determined that my pants are too gray, OR my tabbards and arm wraps are too brown. Rey's costume oddly has different hues throughout The Force Awakens, because of this, my costume can take on either the brown/tan color scheme, or the gray one, but not both. For me, this was an easy choice. Although I like the gray hues better, if something were to go wrong, my pants are way easier to redo than my tabbards and arm wraps. My pants were purchased through Amazon for $26 and got to my house in 2 days, there's no way I could make a pair of pants that quickly (but hopefully one day I will be able to). My tabbard fabric took me a few trips to Jo-Ann's to find, and my arm wraps were gifted to me from Jesse, his wife also has a Rey costume, and had extra wraps, I'm sure you can find them easily on Amazon though.

So I dyed my pants browner (is that even a word?!), and Princess Liz Fett (my judge) still thought they were too gray, so I dyed them again, this time they were definitely brown, but now they are too dark. *sigh*

Back to Amazon I went. I like the pants that I got back in June of last year, but I also wished they were a tiny bit longer, so I searched for something a little different and actually was able to buy 2 pairs of pants for the price of the one pair I got last year. You know, in case I REALLY mess up.

My pants arrived on Saturday, and I finally got around to dying them with RIT "tan" dye. It was still very light, I don't think I added enough dye to the bath. This morning I tried again with more dye. I sent a picture to Liz and she gave me the thumbs up to send in my updated photos as well as a new roster photo!

Hopefully by tonight I will be an official new member of the Rebel Legion!

March 22, 2017

Sabine Wren

Over the summer, Josh and I started getting into Star Wars Rebels, so much so, I decided that after I get approved for Rey, I want to start working toward getting a Sabine Wren approved. Back in September or October, I came across an Etsy shop that sells Sabine's bucket. I saved it, I pinned it, I followed Draven's Total Customs on Facebook and Instagram, all to keep an eye on the shop. The last thing I wanted to do was find this shop, fall in love with everything, and then lose track of it, or my worst fear, have it close before I got to order anything. 

My goal was to finish Rey, and then work on Sabine, but when your mom asks you what you want for your birthday, sometimes you can't help how you answer :D When she gave me the go-ahead to order it, I discovered that my beloved Etsy shop was retiring the helmet I had fallen in love with *gasp!* because Tom announced his MK2 would be available shortly! So not only am I getting a Sabine bucket, I'm getting a new and improved Sabine bucket! 

It arrived about a week and a half ago. Guys, she's a beauty! I ordered the straight pull version with a limo black visor. The most I've done is remove the flashing at the bottom, mostly so I could try it on. I can not wait to get started on this thing, it's going to a blast! 

If you are in the market for a Sabine Wren/ Pheonix helmet kit, DravensTotalCustoms on Etsy is the place to go. Tom was amazing to work with, he answered any and all of my questions, I would order from him again in a heartbeat. 


I think my goal would be to complete a season 3 Sabine, I like the bucket design, and quite frankly, her hair the best for that season.






March 14, 2017

A few thoughts...

So, I'm currently staring at my foam mock-up of Rey's belt, trying to figure it out before I transfer it over to leather, and needed a break, so here I am.

A couple of Saturdays back, Josh and I were invited to join an armor party with our local garrison. It's pretty self-explanatory, but for those who don't know, an armor party is a get together where everyone works on their different costumes, and get help if they need it. We had no idea what to expect, and if I'm honest, I was a little worried about whether or not we would fit in. Sure, we're super fun and cool people (*eye roll*), but you just never know!

When we arrived at Colin and Audra's house, they graciously invited us into their beautiful home and showed us what, in my humble opinion, was the coolest basement I've ever been in/seen. Josh and I like us some Star Wars, but compared to Colin, the term "newb" doesn't even seem adequate.

I got some good information on the direction of my Rey cosplay, and as of yesterday, thanks to Jesse, I have the last piece of clothing that I needed (arm wraps), as well as the Alice clip for my satchel. On a less-than-stellar note, I did find out that my blaster is smaller than it needs to be. I'm glad that I brought it though, instead of spending a bunch of time making it perfect, only to find out it's too small. That being said, I still plan on fixing it up and working on it, just as sort of a practice piece, so it's not a total loss.

Josh decided after speaking to several members, that Jango will be going on the back burner for the foreseeable future. It seems like Jango, along with Boba, are great when they're approved, but getting to that point takes a lot of time, effort, and money.

We met so many people, and I know it'll take a few meet-ups before we remember everyone's names, but these people were so unconditionally nice. I won't speak for Josh, but I felt awkward at times, I wanted to get to know everyone that was there, but I also didn't want to get in their way, we were, after all, at an armor party, people were a bit busy.

It was definitely a great experience. I am so excited to be finishing up my Rey costume so I can finally be apart of this amazing group!

February 20, 2017

Rey's Blaster Part 1



For anyone that is interested, here's a quick video of the beginning stages of my blaster! I'm still working on it, and will hopefully upload more videos soon!

Also, sorry this video is a bit blurry, I am not used to this camera just yet :D

January 28, 2017

Cosplaying and new beginnings...

It's been 6 years since this blog began, and almost a year since I've posted anything. This blog started out as a way for me to share my adventures as an Air Force wife, and then to share my adventures as an Air Force wife plus new mom. I love when my TimeHop pops up with an old blog post, it's fun to reminisce over the fun times we had, and to see just how much has changed over the last 6 years. I decided after Jensen turned 1 that I needed some time off. I didn't want to blog just to blog, and I hadn't been very consistent as it was.

Shortly after my last post, Josh and I decided we wanted to go to O! Comic Con. If there is one thing I know about Comic Con, it's that half the fun is getting to dress up. I knew I wanted to try my hand at cosplaying, and it took me a couple of weeks to finally have it down to 2 choices. I was between Ms. Marvel (specifically, Carol Danvers), or Rey from Star Wars. I finally decided on Rey because I thought it would be easier to tackle (and cheaper), if I'm being completely honest, we really didn't have the budget to do a proper Ms. Marvel. 

When I told Josh that I wanted to go as Rey, I thought he'd give me the look that I've come to expect when Josh hears I want to dress in costume for something, it's the kind of look that says "must you dress up for everything?" but also has a little "well I know I'm not going to talk you out of it, so do it if you must." In reality, Josh was so supportive, he decided he wanted to get in on the action and go as Kylo Ren. 

I probably pinned at least 100 things for each of our cosplays on Pinterest. I got to work, Josh even got me a dress form to make my work easier. My goal was to make our costumes as inexpensively as I could, while still trying to make them screen accurate. I got the majority of mine done, and started work on Kylo, and once I started, I realized that I needed way more time and materials than we originally thought. At that point, we were days away from O! Comic Con, and Josh decided it would be better to do it properly and hold off this year. I felt so bad. I couldn't help feeling like, maybe if I would've split the time, we could've gotten something together for him, but Josh kindly pointed out that if we took that route, neither one of us would've had costumes. 


It was our first experience with any sort of Con and it was exciting to walk around and see all the different booths, activities, and just getting to people watch-our favorite! Several people even asked to take pictures with me (which I was not expecting, but was pretty cool). We got to one of the last booths in the main hall, and it was all Star Wars! We ended up chatting with the guys for a little while, they complimented my Rey costume, and asked if I was going to submit my costume. I had no idea what they were talking about. They explained that they are from the Rebel Legion, 501st, and Mandalorian Mercs, and that they are charity organizations that do events to raise money. They are all about screen accuracy, and they thought my take on Rey was pretty good!

BB8!!!
 I clearly need to work on my poses
These two actually got married at O! Comic Con and graciously invited Josh and I to their shindig!

Since then, I've been working on getting my Rey cosplay up to snuff, and though it's still a work in progress, I'm a lot closer than I was. Josh decided to switch to Jango Fett, which I am very grateful for, because we really had no idea how much more work it was going to be (for Kylo Ren) until we spoke to the 501st. 

Why am I sharing all of this? Two reasons:
1.) I've decided that if I'm going to try for a membership, then I want to document this process. In doing all of the research for our different cosplays, I realized that there wasn't a whole lot out there that went in-depth the way I was hoping. Sure you can scour different forums, but that is so time consuming, and every time I've attempted it, I end up reading something that has nothing to do with why I was there in the first place. I am by no means an expert when it comes to this stuff, but I'm also want to prove that you don't have to dump tons of money into cosplaying. We are a single income family, and budget is a big deal. We don't have hundreds of dollars to spend on fabric, supplies, and tools, but I don't think that's a bad thing. I really like that we have to be creative, and kind of work around a few things.
2.) A few weeks before OCC Josh and I were talking about how the one thing we really miss about military life was the involvement. If I had chosen to go as Captain Marvel, we probably would've walked right past the Star Wars booth, we would've never found out about the Mercs, the 501st, or the Rebels, and the need for involvement would probably still be on our minds. Not only are we getting the chance to participate with these organizations, it's all for charity, how cool is that?!

I know we aren't the only people that want to get into cosplaying that have to keep budget in mind, so if you happen to be reading this and want to give it a shot, do it! Let's do this together. If you aren't interested in cosplaying, but you see that I'm doing something that you know could be done simpler, please tell me. I think the great thing about cosplaying is that everyone has something to offer. I look forward to sharing this journey, who knows, maybe Josh will even pop in to say hey with his cosplay stuff! 

I don't know how often I'll be updating, but I will do my best to share sources, pictures, and videos. Guys, I can't tell you how excited I am about this, I hope you join me on this new adventure!

April 6, 2016

Jensen's Birth Story


It has been one year since Jensen was born. Happy Birthday, Jen! Shortly after he was born, I wrote out a few quick notes, so I wouldn't forget anything from the day. I'm so happy I did that, as I read through my notes, I couldn't help but tear up at the journey of getting to Jen's birth, and the journey we've been on since then. Without making this any longer than it already is, here is Jensen's birth story:

March 31, 2015
We had our weekly appointment, Dr. Hewitt checked me and said I was 2cm and 70% effaced, which seems miles better than it was at the last appointment when she said I was only about 1cm. This time she was able to do a membrane sweep. I convinced myself that I was having this baby on the 3rd because it was a full moon, so I had 3 days to get this show on the road.

April 2, 2015
Happy birthday Josh! Cole and I celebrated his Daddy’s birthday by being sick. We know how to have a good time, right?! Cole had a fever of about 101, I was sitting at 99.4 and feeling crummy, and crossing my fingers that my temperature wouldn’t go any higher. When I went to the hospital when I was in labor with Coleden, I had a fever and he had to stay in the NICU for monitoring right after he was born. I really didn’t want Jensen following in Cole's footsteps, and luckily, by the next morning we were both feeling much better.

April 3, 2015
Full moon. No baby. Dang it.

April 5, 2015 (Easter)
Around 3am I started having contractions, they were between 8-12 minutes apart. Around 6am, they started slowing. Our Easter was spent with our friends, the Lannings. Cole had fun hunting for eggs and jumping on their trampoline with Sophia. I had occasional contractions, but nothing that had me feeling like we needed to hop in the car right away. We got home around 3:30pm, and about that time my contractions started coming back more regularly. I called Labor and Delivery around 6pm (when contractions ranged from 5-10 minutes), I was told I need to drink a big cup of water within 30 minutes, and take a warm bath. If I continued to have consistent contractions, we should start making our way to Ruidoso. After sticking it out as long as I could, I decided we needed to head to the hospital around midnight. 

April 6, 2015
The hour long drive was not a fun one. First, we needed to get gas, and the gas station on base apparently closes for the night, so we had to drive into Alamogordo to get gas. Second, the normally picturesque drive went completely unseen due to the time of our drive, and lack of street lights.  I hummed my way through contractions, it was the only thing that eased the pain I was feeling.

We finally reached the hospital around 1am. I got hooked up to the monitoring equipment so they could determine if they were going to keep me. I was dilated to 5cm and had very consistent contractions, so I was definitely staying (that took about 30-45 minutes). I was moved to an actual room, and after about 45-60 minutes, Nurse Beth checked me again and said I was at 8-8 1/2cm and 100% effaced. Josh said he overheard them saying they needed to get ahold of Dr. Hewitt and have her get here quickly. Josh hadn't even finished bringing all of our stuff in from the car, and Dr. Hewitt was being told to get here quickly?! This was going so fast, almost too fast. When he brought the last bit of stuff in, Dr. Hewitt had arrived, it was about 3:00.

At this point my contractions became very difficult to handle. I asked Josh to play some music to distract me, he chose my Supernatural soundtrack, it seemed appropriate. I don’t think my nurses were used to women playing music while they labored, they seemed excited to have something to listen to and enjoy while they worked. Oddly enough, hearing them sing along to my music made me relax. It was such a normal thing to do; who doesn’t sing along to music in the car or shower?! I was contracting away, and my nurses were singing along, like it (being in labor) was a normal thing-and it is. It's one of the most natural/normal things there is. It was a sort of ego check. I think I had started feeling sorry for myself, not the kind of sorry where I wanted to be pitied, more like I had begun doubting my body. I had to have a cesarean with Coleden, and that experience weighed heavily on my self-confidence. Who knew something as simple as a couple of nurses singing along to The Animals "House of the Rising Sun" would give me peace of mind? It made me refocus. There’s a quick little passage in Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth that always stuck with me. One of the women that shared her story commented saying “Then I thought, no, I’m supposed to be having a baby here, not thinking of myself!” I couldn’t have said it better myself. So stop worrying about the past, and focus on right here, right now; and from here on out, nothing but positivity.

My nurses knew how I needed to be spoken to in order for me to stay focused. I was able to concentrate on my body and my contractions, while they prepared my room for delivery and continued to encourage me at all the right times.

I do want to take a moment to give Josh a lot of credit. With Cole, I wanted Josh right next to me, I needed him to hold my hand, to stroke my hair. I needed that constant touch to help me through each contraction. This time around, he was trying to do the same thing, but I was so overstimulated that I couldn’t be touched. I felt like I was hurting his feelings, but I didn’t have the ability to express how I was feeling, I could only speak in monosyllables and even that was proving difficult. He never skipped a beat, he stopped touching me and kept encouraging me and reinforcing what the nurses told me. He was doing everything he could to be my amazing support, and I cannot begin to express the gratefulness I felt to have him by my side.

Around 3:20, Dr. Hewitt broke my waters and told me it was time to push. I pushed 2 or 3 times and began to panic, this was the point I had gotten to with Cole and wasn’t able to go any further and I ended up with a cesarean. This was now new territory, and I was desperate to have the birth I envisioned, so when Dr. Hewitt told me to focus on her words and push, I did exactly that.

At 3:34am Jensen Luca Trout was born, weighing 8 pounds 3 ounces, and he was 20 inches long. I have never been more proud of myself than in that moment when I got to hold my brand new baby (I wasn’t given that opportunity with Coleden). I remember looking into Josh’s eyes and seeing so much love in his eyes, our family was complete, and we couldn’t wait to find out more about this tiny little human, with his new baby smell.

Josh stayed with me for a few hours, then made a trip back home to make sure Cole was okay, since we left in the middle of the night, he would be waking up to our friend, Billy (remember the Lannings from earlier? Guys, seriously, these people are the best. I wish everyone had a Billy and Shelby of their own.), and wanted to make this huge change feel a little less huge for the newest big brother. 

When Josh came back up to the hospital, he did so without Cole (he still had the sniffles from a few days prior).  Now that it was daylight, Josh commented on how freckly I was looking, and how he had no idea hormones could make freckles pop so much. After taking a closer look we realized that I had actually popped all the blood vessels in my face and neck when I was pushing Jensen out, but somehow didn’t burst the blood vessels in my eyes-weird. Even Dr. Hewitt was impressed and couldn’t figure out how I managed that.

Jensen and I were released the following day, but we ended up having to go back to the hospital for a couple of days in Alamogordo because Jensen’s bilirubin levels were crazy-high. Eventually he evened out and we were able to start our lives as a family of four.

It has been a blast to watch Jensen grow this last year. His personality is so bubbly, and happy, and I wouldn’t change a thing about him. I’m very grateful to be this little boy’s mama. Jensen, you made a dream of mine come true. You gave me my confidence back. You have a piece of my heart, and I hope you know that your daddy and I will always be there for you and your brother. I love you, Jensen Luca. Always.



March 6, 2016

11 months


Jensen, it is so hard to believe that you are 11 months old. Like in 1 month, you will be an entire year old! The party planning is already under way, and we can't wait to celebrate you, but while we wait for that fun day, you should know that in the last month you/r/re:

  • went from taking a few steps, to practically sprinting everywhere you go
  • favorite pastime is probably splashing in the tub  
  • can stand up without any assistance 
  • give sloppy, open-mouthed kisses; and I wouldn't trade that for anything in the world
  • really good at waving bye-bye 
  • have at least 10 teeth, and I'm pretty sure there are 2 more on the verge of popping through
  • realized you can just hand Nessa food, and she will give you love and attention (and lick you, which you get a kick out of)
  • love carrying books and pillows around
One of my favorite things that I don't think I have mentioned yet, but I don't want to forget, is when you stretch out as long as you can when I put you in your crib, and then as soon as I put your blanket on you, you turn into a little ball of sleepiness. 

To anyone reading this, keep an eye out in the next couple of weeks for Jensen's birth story. I have been working on since he was born, and I can't wait to share it with everyone!



February 7, 2016

10 months


10 months. 10 months. 10 MONTHS! Wow. Very soon this little boy will be turning 1 and it is becoming more clear than ever, just how quick this year is going by. In 2 very short months, you will be turning a year old. I am so excited to start planning your birthday party! This last month you/r/re:
  • have taken a few steps by yourself! It's only a matter of time before we're chasing you around. 
  • brother has taken more of an interest in you, and likes playing with you. I think it's because there is so much more you can do, and he excited to be brothers with you.
  • love dancing, and you laugh the whole time you do it
  • Nessa's favorite. Don't tell Coleden ;) She adores you, and even lets you pull her ears, something she NEVER let Cole do. She's become very patient in her old age.
  • favorite foods: pancakes/waffles, lima beans, grapes, oyster crackers, and string cheese
  • added "hey" to your vocabulary, plus you've started to imitate a lot of sounds!
  • have 5 teeth, working on numbers 6 & 7.
  • eyes have not turned brown. I think the blue might be sticking around!
  • skin has become super dry, especially around your mouth, we've tried explaining that if you'd stop sucking your fingers, you wouldn't have as much of an issue with this, but you won't listen (hehe). But really, winter is kind of kicking our butts right now.
  • love your Cabbage Patch Doll, and we finally have a name for him (we lost the little birth certificate that they come with, and I can't remember the name he was given), Phillip. His name is Phillip. Cole named him, I don't know where he heard that name, but I think he looks like a Phillip!

January 9, 2016

9 months


Jensen, I feel like you have grown so much in the last month. It also seems like I say that every month, but it is nonetheless true. Your personality is becoming more and more pronounced. Everyone that meets you says that you are the happiest baby! For the most part that's true, but with 4 teeth coming in at once, I don't blame you for being a little cranky the last few weeks. Let's get to it, in the last month, you:

  • stand alone for a few seconds
  • give kisses
  • point at mom and dad, and giggle
  • love eating real food (non-purees), especially peas, bananas, and green beans
  • started dancing (you bounce up and down while standing, and shake your head)
  • drink water from a sippy cup
  • can say Mama, Dada, and yeah (although, I'm not sure any of those have meaning just yet)
  • recognize your name
  • sing along with Cole when he sings (I don't know that either of you is singing the same song though)
Favorites things: crawling (toward the bathroom especially), taking baths, when Nessa licks you, Coleden, your motorcycle (it plays the jams you like to dance to the most), listening to music, pulling people's hair, and when Coleden pushes you over.

Not-so-favorite things: diaper changes, hats, having your nose wiped, nasal aspirator, when mom or dad leave your sight (even for just a second), baby food with bits of food in it (is it a puree, is it table food, the world may never know), and socks.

Height: 28.5", 58 percentile
Weight: 18 pounds, 22 percentile