Cheers to letting go

Its been almost 1.5 years since my best friend from college and I parted ways.  The past few weeks, I’ve though about her several times as I start a new life in a new city (again). It was an unfortunately quick end to an otherwise tried and true friendship.  I didn’t think there was anything that could come between the two of us.  Austin, TX proved me wrong.

Had you asked me one person who I would stay in contact with and who would definitely be at my wedding (outside of family), it would be her. But here we are 17 months later, and I haven’t heard a word from her.

The whole situation still upsets me – and I’ve thought of sending her a letter or a text to say hello -but the fear of sending unwanted mail or messages stops me. What’s the worst that could happen – she doesn’t respond? Or she responds angrily?

Well I did it! Short and sweet.

Let go.

You did your part.

Let go.

You’re a different person than you were then.

Let go.

Sometimes the hardest part of life is, well…. moving on.


NNY – 315 things to do

NNY – no, that’s not New New York for any Futurama fans, but my husband and I sometimes refer to it as such.  Although some consider Fort Drum to be the armpit of the Army, it’s a hidden gem. During all of our in processing briefs, we were consistently told to GO OUT and EXPLORE all this area has to offer.

  1. Go cross country skiing – DONE!  Now just to wait until next winter and hope for more snow…
  2. Find a volunteer project – DONE! – volunteer at church doing A/V
  3. Print wedding pictures (at last)
  4. Pass APTA NPTE (licensure) -DONE! woohoo PT, DPT
  5. Pay off student loans -DONE!! 4 years after graduating, they are all paid! – all 80K
  6. Pay off car – DONE! – paid in 1 year – all 34K
  7. Read 1 book/month
  8. Learn to quilt
  9. Knit a big, fluffy blanket -DONE (well one for the in-laws…)
  10. Write once a week
  11. Go to Josie’s Pizza – DONE it was pretty good; I’d go there again
  12. Go to one of the Drive In Theaters – DONE we were impressed with the quality at the thousand islands theater… plus its cheap!
  13. Hike Balt Mt (Old Forge)
  14. Go to Fulton Chain Craft Brewery
  15. Go on the chairlift in Old Forge in the Fall
  16. Visit Lake Placid
  17. Hike some peaks in the Adirondacks
  18. Take the ferry ride around the castle
  19. Go to Joe’s pizza
  20. Rent snowmobiles
  21. Get EFMB badge
  22. Get air assault badge
  23. Max APFT – close 292 in JAN 2017
  24. Downhill ski
  25. Sled down the hill by the dog park
  26. Go to the cream cheese festival
  27. Bike 100K
  28. Finish the list of 315 items!

Here’s to the next 2-3 years and some snow on the way this week!

Make banana pancakes (from scratch – no recipe!), pretend that it’s the weekend

My “Shana Cooking Creations” are not always a success (my siblings will agree), however after a challenge to like pancakes, I decided to go for it and attempt what ended up being a winning recipe!  And by winning, I mean I loved it — but why seek external verification!

  • 1 banana smashed
  • 2 eggs beat in
  • A bit of softened cream cheese (maybe 1oz — I don’t really measure)
  • Half a scoop vanilla whey (probably can be omitted and still taste great)
  • Cinnamon (I really love cinnamon…so to taste)
  • Coconut sugar (maybe 1tsp)
  • Less than 1/4 C brown rice flour — just to give the batter a better consistency
  • Strawberries or chocolate chips (totally optional, but delicious)
  • Dash of vanilla extract (if you feel so inclined)
  • Coconut oil for cooking

They don’t bubble like regular pancakes so just flip once the underside is browned.



“We are the authors of our destinies. No one can see the vision any clearer, believe in and work any harder to make it a reality more than the visionary.” ― Nike Campbell-Fatoki



Dos mil trece

Two Thousand Thirteen

The past year has been full of many ups and downs — but mostly ups — and lots of growth.

Exactly one year ago, I was:

-stressing about my Army-Baylor application and praying all went well in my physical exam

-preparing to fly to my interview at the University of Iowa (and freaking out that I wouldn’t get into a PT program)

-running a ridiculous amount of miles a week in preparation for the Blue Ridge Marathon

-starting my final semester in my undergraduate education (and denying the fact that I’d be leaving soon for the real world…whatever it had prepared for me)

But I passed the physical…I got into both Iowa and Baylor…I completed the Marathon (and subsequent pub crawl that night—could barely move the next day of course haha)…I graduated (with a decent amount of bling around my neck) — I had an amazing summer job babysitting 3 kids for a wonderful family — and then I learned about life in the real world and the military… can’t complain with those outcomes!

It’s funny — I feel like a broken record when every day I say to myself “wow — I’ve been so incredibly blessed,” but it’s so true and still so surreal!

I had full intentions of doing a really ‘intense’ post, but the more I reflect, only a few words come to mind about the past year:


I can’t believe all of the opportunities I’ve been so fortunate to take advantage of…

…and thank you so much to everyone who helped me get to where I am today.

My family, friends, and mentors were and continue to be a huge support!

The past few (well more like 7) months have been pretty lax in terms of workload…

…but that all changes Friday

Finally, I’m getting into the schooling I’ve worked my whole life towards!!! …that alone was quite the realization.  Since preschool, I never had a year where I didn’t put a lot of effort into my education (which I didn’t think was weird …until I talked to other people and learned….well it is pretty odd)– but it’s paid off –and I’ve been able to enjoy life along the way!

So 2014…here we go!!

“I hope that in this year to come, you make mistakes.

Because if you are making mistakes, then you are making new things, trying new things, learning, living, pushing yourself, changing yourself, changing your world. You’re doing things you’ve never done before, and more importantly, you’re Doing Something.

So that’s my wish for you, and all of us, and my wish for myself. Make New Mistakes. Make glorious, amazing mistakes. Make mistakes nobody’s ever made before. Don’t freeze, don’t stop, don’t worry that it isn’t good enough, or it isn’t perfect, whatever it is: art, or love, or work or family or life.

Whatever it is you’re scared of doing, Do it.

Make your mistakes, next year and forever.”
― Neil Gaiman

A taste of Peru

Can you find a unifying language that cuts across age and income and culture?

… Yes, and the language would appear to be food. — Pam Warhurst


This evening, I was invited out for authentic Peruvian food.  My friend picked me up and on the way to dinner explained that his friend had recommended this small house/’restaurant.’  He stopped the car in the middle of a small neighborhood, looked at me and said, “well…this is the address.”  Slightly creeped out, I followed him around the house and hesitantly went in.  We were warmly greeted by handshakes, kisses on the cheeks, and Spanish greetings.  

The food was absolutely delicious — papas rellenas are Peruvian stuffed fried potatoes — ours had a combination of beef, egg, and vegetables (kinda like an empanada but encased by potato rather than bread).

It was a bizarre experience — and definitely made me realize I need to brush up on my Spanish–I’ve been reminded of this multiple times when I’ve gone out to eat with my Italian/Colombian friend — everyone assumes that he speaks Spanish (in which he is fluent) and by association, they assume I do too — yes I speak some Spanish, but it’s not always pretty…  However, it was an experience.  Rejuvenating.  New.  Did it make me a little uncomfortable? Yes, but I’m learning that stepping out of the comfort zone is just part of enjoying life.

So I accept the odd invitations.  I enjoy the not so healthy food (in moderation and with longer workouts).  And hopefully with Duolingo (a language app), I’ll be fluent (or closer to it) soon.  


“If you really want to make a friend, go to someone’s house and eat with him… the people who give you their food give you their heart.”

– Cesar Chavez


“Lessons that come easy are not lessons at all. They are gracious acts of luck. Yet lessons learned the hard way are lessons never forgotten.” Don Williams Jr

Some days I think it takes special skills to be me… and I don’t mean that to be a compliment.

Sunny and 75 (or somewhere around there) — perfect day in San Antonio.  Blue skies. Bright sun. And getting out of work at 11:00am!!!!  What better way to spend the afternoon than being productive and enjoying the weather.  Item 1:  wash car.  I was thoroughly prepared…quarters, shammy, and special glass cleaning cloth.  I pull into the stall, music blasting, windows down, sunglasses on.  There are several ways this story could go … if you’re thinking I left my windows down…sorry, but you’re wrong — thankfully.  As I stepped out of my car, I asked myself 2 questions:  “Do I bring my phone, and do I grab my keys?  — eh, no need — plus, it’d be my luck to make a fatal turn with the wand and soak my phone.”  Bopping along to the coin collector, I decided to toss my sunglasses back in the car — reaching for the passenger door…locked.  “Womp — shoulda known that side would be locked…” so slightly irritated, I walked ALL THE WAY to the other side of my 2 door car (yes quite the trek) — and yes.  that door too… was locked.  In disbelief, I tried again.  And then tried the trunk.  And then the passenger door again.  Nope.  Everything locked.  And my keys and phone just chilling on my seat.  Now what….

Call a friend to take me to my apartment to get a spare?  Wellllllllllllll that would have worked 10 years ago before cell phones when people actually bothered to memorize phone numbers.  And then I remembered…I have a service with my new car that covers free car unlocks…perfect… so I jogged over to the gas station across the street, called up the dealership and explained my situation… now correct me if I’m wrong, but their response seemed incredibly irrational.  They told me that in order to unlock my car, I had to drive to the dealership and present my license and registration first…. “Riiiiiiiiiiiight.   Wellllllll that’s kinda impossible since I locked my keys in my car…with my phone…and wallet (aside from maybe $10 in quarters).”  But apparently that was all they could do for me.  I considered jogging home (in my sandals) and getting my spare key from my apartment…but then I remembered that my apartment key was also in my car.  After deciding I had exhausted all other options, I broke down and called the locksmith the gas station owner suggested.  15-20 minute wait, they said — luckily the fee was only $30…I’ve heard it’s typically much more expensive.

Now, this could have been a really *insert choice word* day — however, I was fortunate to be in an area of town with incredibly kind people.  Not only was the gas station owner incredibly nice, but when I asked the car wash owner if he had any tools to unlock cars (which he didn’t), he gave me a free $20 car wash — and then checked up on me to make sure my car was clean — and again to ensure it got unlocked.

After having my car unlocked, I was still slightly (no, very) irked by Honda’s response, I immediately found the information for the care service in my glove box.  I flipped through the pamphlet for the services to find I was correct and there was NOTHING that said I needed to go into the dealership….but I also found the document with the “put this on your window” and “keep this in your car” stickers…

The window sticker was not on the sheet and as I turned to my left to look out the corner of my window… what did I see…the number for the emergency assistance…

Will I have a fun phone call to Honda?… it’s likely.  But I’ll also admit….this was not my brightest day.

Lessons learned:  1.  don’t leave your keys in your car….ever.  not even for just a minute.  2.  breathe and don’t ignore the obvious.  3.  when 1 and 2 fail, appreciate that it’s 70-some degrees and gorgeous in December, smile, and get to know the people around you — they might make your day!

“Mistakes are a part of being human. Appreciate your mistakes for what they are: precious life lessons that can only be learned the hard way. Unless it’s a fatal mistake, which, at least, others can learn from.”

Al Franken

Having somewhere to go is Home. Having someone to love is Family…Having both is a Blessing

Being released from post at 0815 on Wednesday morning was amazing — being able to book it to the airport and get on a flight 7 hours earlier than my scheduled one was even better!  Like the past couple months…my connecting flight ended up being a ‘hurry up and wait’ situation.  The plane was 15 minutes late arriving…and then apparently our scheduled pilot was … well not available for whatever reason…

There were a lot of disgruntled people; however, I was fortunate to meet a prior-service infantryman –just a very genuine and kind guy —  And a family with 2 young kids — the small 3 year old girl saying “uppy daddy, uppy” and the blond 4 year old boy with a knot on his forehead from running with socks on wood floors reminded me of the Prosser kids I watched this summer…miss that sweet family!!

What a blessing it was to hear that a man who was supposed to be a passenger on the flight also happened to be a pilot and offered to fly the plane … so he took 10 minutes to prep the plane and we were off!  After a quick 30 minute flight, I was finally in Greenville, SC and my dad there to pick me up!  My dad is all about driving mountain roads that are ‘quicker’….and usually does a pretty good job; however in leaving the airport out some random gate into the middle of nowhere…I wasn’t so confident.  And only 20% battery on my phone…I prepared myself for a long trip home.  Somehow, though, we didn’t take any wrong turns.

As we crossed the NC border, snow began to fall…and roads began to get worse.


Mind you, this is right after my dad tells me his tires are due to be changed…. as roads got worse, traffic got slower, and I just wished to be safe at home–somehow there were no accidents, and although it took a while (30ish MPH for 60ish miles)…I was finally home to be greeted by my whole family with hugs.

Although NC was freezing, being with my family was simply amazing –woke up to freshly baked cinnamon bread (yay finally being able to reincorporate gluten back in my diet without having a crazy upset stomach and headaches)


…welcome to the Hensley home around Thanksgiving…

IMG_0573 IMG_0585 IMG_0588 IMG_0591 IMG_0593 IMG_0600….too much fun being had while trying to take a Christmas card picture that Lisa approves of…. Not sure we ever got one…

IMG_0615IMG_0610 — this little nug is now driving and gets her license tomorrow!!!!

IMG_0618 IMG_0617 IMG_0622 IMG_0623

Post-Thanksgiving…naps, Despicable Me II, and ….well I don’t know how to describe the rest…

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Leaving was difficult after such a short trip…especially at 0300 after staying out with my sisters till 1:30… but the plane ride was beautiful… taking off out of Greensboro SC and then getting into Atlanta as the sun rose.

IMG_0632 I was super energetic as I arrived…but the energy didn’t last…  around 6:30pm I was out….on the floor of my living room…watching White Christmas.

Now that I’m done with field training and my achilles has healed…I’m finally able to whip myself back in shape… most of the people in BOLC and I joke that we joined the army and then got fat in training… ok so maybe not fat…but definitely lost tone…so the next couple weeks are probably going to be coupled with hard workouts and sore muscles…but after my workout today…I already feel a MILLION TIMES BETTER about life!!! IMG_0639 IMG_0643 No AC in the gym at my apartment complex….well I got a sauna-esque sweat detox at the same time.  Dear core strength … I miss you & you can come back ASAP haha

What was I up to before going home…well I pampered myself…took a spa day and then enjoyed my first NBA game — Go Spurs!!!  Next time…we’ll plan ahead and get better tickets…

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So excited for the next….well just for the future in general…Our PT class will finally all be together tomorrow and we being our orientation into the program…then I get 8 WHOLE DAYS in Minnesota with my family for Christmas!! New Years in San Antonio…and then finally start class (yes I’m thrilled for it!)

This time last year, I would have never imagined I would be where I am today…it’s surreal… I’ve been so blessed…

“Again, you can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something – your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life.”
Steve Jobs