Free Saturday! And new feature – verse of the day :)

Last night, we went to the Army Music Award and Recognition Concert, and it was amazing! MPTs (Music Performing Teams) from different states performed for us and the commanders of band units from all over the country. Soldiers were recognized for their high achievements, from AIT soldiers to reserve band members and active duty members. And each year, soldiers vote for MPTs in certain categories, and my unit won the Video Production category! The commander of my unit, Mr. Lewis, was there last night to accept the award and to attend the concert, and it was great to see him. A little piece of home! The 122nd Army Band made the Star Wars video right before I got there, and it’s pretty sweet! Check out the video here:

One of my Battles Buddies from Basic plays in the Old Guard Fife and Drum Corps, and WOW their performance was so impressive! Here’s a YouTube clip of them from the Inauguration Concert:

I found some Battle Buddies to run with me this morning, so we headed to the golf course at 7:30 AM. Beautiful!

We ran together for a mile, then I split off to run 4x400s at around a 6:30 pace. My last one got down in the 5s, yay! I hired a running coach for the Canton Half Marathon, and I PRed by 5 minutes 1:41:47! Clearly, KatiesFitScript knows what she’s doing! So I think I’ll repeat her 8 week training plan while I’m here to keep my mileage steady, and then I should be able to transition into marathon training in the fall! Boston, here I come!

The DFAC (Dining Facility) isn’t too shabby – there’s tons of fruit and even a smoothie bar for breakfast on the weekdays. There’s a waffle station, a create-your-own-omelet station, a stir-fry station… It’s much more relaxed than Basic, that’s for sure! Then we hit up the gym and I was pleasantly surprised! They have many group fitness classes, tons of cardio equipment, a decent weight room, and TRX bands! That’s my favorite way to strength train.

And then we were off to the School of Music to practice! These practice rooms are amazing! You can change the settings to sound like a recital hall, an auditorium, a cathedral, and you can record yourself, too. You can even save the recording to your laptop! That’s not something I want to try in these first few weeks – let me work my chops back up! I definitely have teacher chops, so this summer will be awesome to get back into playing my horn.

After this picture on my horn professor’s bulletin board, I’m excited to meet him and work with him!

Everything is technically within walking distance, but man oh man, it’s a lot of walking! Today was more walking than usual, I have a feeling, but I’m almost at 30,000 steps at 4:54 (1654 Army time)! We visited the Commissary (grocery story) and YES there are some good finds there! Quest bars, anyone? Granted, they’re best when they’re broiled, but warmed in the microwave will have to do 🙂 There was a ton of plantbased options in the “supplements” section, too. I can’t believe that they have my PlantFusion protein powder there! Because the BEST thing about having a fridge and microwave in the room?! Mug cakes! Mashed up banana, an egg, and a scoop of protein powder thrown in the microwave for 2 minutes or so. It’s delicious! Will had his first one the night before I left. I think he liked it? Try it and let me know – I love protein mug cakes! I ended up buying bananas, eggs, peanut butter, larabars, Quest bars, and dates. It’ll be nice to have some options if I get super hungry at night. We stopped at Starbucks, but I stuck to my water for today. There’s also a decent “mall” that’s kind of like Dillard’s, with makeup and clothes and shoes from designers like Michael Kors, even!

The first mug cake of the cycle! Oversized mug courtesy of the NEX, of course 🙂

I’ve found some awesome Battles so far – shout out to Rhody and Sondelski! Although… Rhody left her phone at Starbucks, which is almost a mile away, so she owes me for walking back there with her 🙂

Time to relax a bit – we’re watching baseball and Chopped, Grill Masters Edition. We’ve got a shake down and we check in all our gear at 1200 tomorrow. Some of us might go on a long run in the morning or in the evening on the beach; we haven’t decided yet. I’m SUPER pumped for church at 10:30 tomorrow! Church (well, God) definitely got me through Basic, and I’m looking forward to attending the church here! There’s a “coffee discussion” on Sundays at 1800 that I’m curious about, too! Oh, and total steps for the day, as of 1930 – 33,418. Wowzers!

Today’s verse of the day comes to us from the Bible app on my phone: Jeremiah 29:13 – You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. AMEN to that. When I dive fully into knowing God and being in His word, it makes a huge difference in how I love others. Kind of what you’re preaching on tomorrow, right Will? How God’s unconditional love differs from nonbelievers’ unconditional love and how we can express that kind of love to others? Can’t wait to hear all about how your awesome sermon goes tomorrow! Good luck, love!

Oh, and look how cute Maggie is… sorry, I love my dog.

Questions for you!

Any Quest bar lovers out there? Favorite flavor?
– I love the peanut butter ones, the mint chocolate chip, cinnamon bun, but apple pie is my favorite!

Has anyone ever tried a variation of a protein mug cake? If so, what’s your recipe? I’d love to experiment!

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