Thursday, September 17, 2015

Flight School Graduation

It's difficult to sum up the last year and a half so here are pictures ;) The main lesson I've learned from being here and struggling everyday, being tested on the reg and in a constant state of anxiety/panic, is that the time will always pass. I waited a little longer than the average to really follow my dreams and I almost didn't even do it. If I had just done nothing, the time would have still passed and I'd still be wishing I had done something more with my life. 
The world's most supportive husband pinning my Aviator Wings.

At the Aviation Museum after graduation in front of a Huey.
Outside trying to leave but the families wanted pictures with our berets on. I'm not good at the beret.

My graduating class 15-002.

Sunday, August 9, 2015

I Almost Went to Honduras

I am 3 weeks, I repeat, 3 weeks away from finishing flight school. 15 more flights and I will be a Blackhawk pilot! I have to pass one last checkride so that technically still stands in my way, but I am about to leave Ft. Rucker. 2 months ago our class got orders and mine said Honduras. I was not happy since I've been geographically separated from my husband for the last 18 months and he was deployed for 8 months right before we left Germany.
Honduras is a year unaccompanied tour with the "guarantee" that I would get my follow on to Ft. Bragg. If I were to go, that would mean over 3 years of separation from my husband and I about lost my mind. It really did take all I had to keep myself together and let's just use that term loosely. Honestly it was hard to even think about it without tearing up, let alone try and talk to cadre who didn't care at all and told me to look on the bright side. I'm a "bright side" person and I am very good at looking on that side, but that was not even an option in my mind so I was not hearing any of it. I did everything I could to try and change my assignment but nothing was happening.
Fortunately my husband's unit came to the rescue and knew the right people to talk to the other right people to force an assignment change. I can't really describe my relief but I am ecstatic that someone out there cared enough about a family to do something. I consider myself a career-oriented person and I feel that I make a contribution to the workplace and I enjoy a great amount of satisfaction from working. However, I will always choose my family over my career or job. I never want to be poor and never want to rely on someone else for sustenance, shelter or any other provision, but I truly believe that families are worth more than careers.
Nothing is official yet, I only have verbal orders but I should be moving to North Carolina next month to finally live with my husband again in our beautiful new home. I am so excited to be a normal family unit and work in the yard and clean the house and enjoy marital bliss again. Maybe in a few years I'll get the chance to go to Honduras because that is on my radar, but not just yet. 

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Burt Family Reunion

I had an ultra quick Fourth of July trip back to Roseburg, OR for a full Burt fam reunion. Every single family member made it and it was incredible. The weekend was pretty short because I only got 4 days off, but we packed it in as best as we could. The travel part was sort of difficult and frustrating (ie delayed flights, cancelled flights, terrible weather) but eventually I made it to Portland and met up with Corey to celebrate our 6th anniversary. We drove down to the Burg the next day and had all kinds of family fun.
My mom scheduled family pictures and they weren't as bad as I imagined. Corey and I are not what you would call good at taking pictures. Ours turned out as well as you would imagine for two awkward people who are trying to get photos done as quickly as possible. Luckily all of the grandkids made up for it with their adorable cuteness!

This is everyone! I am so glad we were all able to make it. 

My grandparents and all of my cousins. I can't tell you how much fun we all had together as kids, playing at my grandparents house in Cerritos. There was a pool and there were big wheels. 'Nuff said.

All of the spouses who were lucky enough to marry into the Burt fam ;)

My parents, siblings, spouses and nieces & nephews. My favorite group of people!

Corey is desperately trying to escape.

One more cousin shot with our Aunt Cindy. She was the one who spoiled us the most growing up :)

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Born to live

I heard this lyric the other day and I had a moment where I thought about something I've heard before, in a totally different way. Not to get too philosophical, but really we should think about letting go of stress, conflict and just being alive. After all, why were we born? 
Anyway, I love having fun and doing as much as I can. I get super tired too and have veg out days but

My first Army 10 miler!

The Warranted Aggression softball team

Wine & art on a Friday night

Putting some miles on the Thruxton

Panama City Beach!!! 

I met my baby in Helen, GA to pretend we were back in Germany
The hybrid battery died in the Prius so I had to upgrade :)

I bought the Benz! I love it.

Dove grey dream

My view from the office

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Lady Luck

That is what I named my new motorcycle :) I'm so excited about this purchase and can't wait to get some miles on this beast. She's a Triumph Thruxton Ace edition. Ace Café in London worked with Triumph on this bike and it is classic and gorgeous.
I'm new to this style of bike so I'm a bit shaky but will hopefully get comfortable after a few more rides. My first motorcycle was a Yamaha V-Star and you sit more upright on that bike than the Thruxton. My foot keeps searching for the shifter because it is further back now. Small changes can really throw me off.

At the dealership patiently waiting for me

All ready for the drive home

Just sitting on it. I always ride with PPE.
My V-Star back in 2007

Thursday, February 19, 2015


Yesterday was the big aircraft selection day that I've been waiting for. It was an exciting day full of sweaty palms and pits. We all met in a conference room and anxiously waited for the list of available aircraft to select from. There was 1 Chinook, 5 Apaches and 25ish Blackhawks for the picking. One by one they called our names and we stood to claim our future helicopter. I love them all but decided that Blackhawks suited me best.
Now I can tell people that I'm training to be a Blackhawk pilot instead of explaining that I'm still learning on the TH-67 and don't know what I will end up flying. It feels great and I'm so excited to get on those controls and see what this beast can do.

My first time in a UH-60
A badass picture of a badass bird!
I can't wait until people are fast roping out of my aircraft! 

Friday, February 6, 2015

Second Solo

My stickbuddy and I flew our second solo flight and it was fantastic! We left Shell Army Airfield and flew to a few remote training sites, to KTOI (Troy Municipal Airport) and back. We landed for hot refuel and then were back up and terrorizing the skies. I felt like I was finally flying well and really understanding what the hell I'm doing in the cockpit. Everyday I'm so happy and grateful that I am doing this. It's incredible :)

After we landed safe and sound!

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Navidad in South America

Corey and I are down to one good trip a year for a while. For Christmas we chose Ecuador and Peru. The main goal was seeing Machu Picchu, Peru but since we were going to be down there we made the most of it.
The itinerary:
Quito---> Cuenca---> Guayaquil; We picked up a rental car in Quito and drove to each destination, dropped the car of at the airport in Guayaquil and flew to Lima.
Lima---> Cusco---> Ollantaytambo---> Machu Picchu---> Lima---> America; We chose not to drive in Peru and I'm glad we didn't. Driving in Ecuador was exhausting and according to the internet, Peru is more dangerous.
I always have grand visions of a remarkable trip report that I'm going to whip up for my blog and EVERY time I just don't do it. This time is no different. Here are a bunch of pictures with captions.
*I would like to note that the photos are in chronological order. That took effort.

Corey in Quito

Another virgin forced to protect a city. This sacred vagina watches over Quito.

Between Quito and Cuenca lies Cotopaxi National Park. We drove to see the breathtaking volcano. By breathtaking I mean that you literally can't breathe. The elevation was killing me! I'm smiling from hypoxia.

Corey and the volcano

It was absolutely incredible. I wish I could capture more of its beauty.

We made it to Cuenca and loved our stay there. We were surprised with amazing buildings and the funnest Christmas Eve parade! No one parades like S. America. They love Baby Jesus.

We LOVED this rooftop. Cuenca was one of my favorite parts of the trip.

We drove to Guayaquil so Corey could go to Iguana Park. Also, we flew out of there to Lima so it worked out well.

All of the iguanas were in the trees when we arrived. You really need to watch out because not only will poop reign from the trees, the iguanas will fall out and hit people. They are not graceful descending the trees. 

They just want treats. We coaxed the reptiles from the trees with bananas. Turns out you're not supposed to feed them, but we made plenty of friends giving the bananas away so I feel like breaking the rules to be popular was okay this time.

After arriving in Lima we went straight to this tiny city named Ollantaytambo. It was incredible and very surreal. Our hotel, Picaflor Tambo, was outrageously adorable and straight out of a movie. The running water on the right is from a glacier and has been flowing for over 700 years.

The walk from our hotel to the train station.

We rode the train from Ollantaytambo to Aguas Calientes, rode a bus up a dangerously long and windy road, then hiked a little to discover this magnificent view. Machu Picchu was one of the first places I decided I wanted to travel to and arriving there was a wonderful feeling.

It was extremely cloudy all morning and only cleared up about 10 minutes before we left, but I didn't care at all. I enjoyed the mist and thought it added to the location.

My best picture of Machu Picchu. 

Back to Lima for a few days. We ended with a private tour and that was the best decision we could have made to see the capital. There are 10 million people in Lima. Just imagine trying to see the sights with Trip Advisor and taxis...the thought wears me out. For $25/hour we rode in a nice SUV, with a guide who spoke english, who drove well and took us to several cool places. It would have taken us days to see all of that!

How many South Americans live. 

O Redentor of the Pacific.

A beautiful Catholic church where we toured their catacombs! I saw so many skulls.

Busted! Sleepy police in Lima.

Action shot! I'm so glad we don't have to march like that.

A main square in downtown Lima. I love the extreme difference in culture here. It's very unique to see the Andean culture and the city folk mix so seamlessly.