Strengthening Our Military Family®    |      Armed Services YMCA of oklahoma

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Planning for a fun summer

Posted by Sara Orellana Paape on May 5, 2021 12:16:01 PM

Summer is by far my most favorite time of the year. After a hectic school year and long winter, my soul craves the heat, sun, and carefree afternoons of summer. I love nothing better than racing home from work, to indulge in an activity with my daughter, any activity, as long as we are together. Now that she is 17, these activities are fewer and farther between, but still just as amazing. Sadly, this coming summer is my last summer with a child at home full-time, and I plan to make it the best summer we have had. 

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Spring Cleaning

Posted by Sara Orellana Paape on Apr 12, 2021 11:24:53 AM

Spring is upon us in Southern Oklahoma, and from the early start and warmer temperatures, it promises to be a beautiful spring leading into a gloriously hot summer. The warm afternoons are making it hard to stay inside. In our home, every change of season makes us deep clean. The change in temperature seems like the perfect time to clean out closets, straighten the garage up, and prep the yard. 

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Family Activities

Posted by Sara Orellana Paape on Mar 1, 2021 9:15:00 AM

March in Oklahoma is typically an incredible month to be outside. The weather is moderate, allowing for time outside, such as hiking, and other incredible activities. Oklahoma weather varies wildly and many times without notice, creating few opportunities to truly enjoy the outdoors.

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Connecting With People

Posted by Sara Orellana-Paape on Feb 1, 2021 4:45:46 PM

As we enter month 12 of the pandemic, you may find yourself feeling isolated and alone, you may even find yourself struggling to connect with people. After almost a year of isolation, struggling to make personal connections is completely normal. Some of you may even have moved during this last year, which would truly leave you struggling to connect with your new home.

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Overcoming The Blah

Posted by Sara Orellana Paape on Jan 1, 2021 9:15:00 AM

Overcoming the blah

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Topics: ASYMCA - Lawton, News Releases

Falling In Love With Life

Posted by Sara Orellana Paape on Dec 21, 2020 3:54:25 PM

Falling in love with Life

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Topics: ASYMCA - Lawton, News Releases

Making New Traditions

Posted by Sara Orellana Paape on Dec 21, 2020 3:41:10 PM

Making new traditions

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Topics: ASYMCA - Lawton, News Releases

Not Just Surviving, But Thriving This Holiday Season

Posted by Sara Orellana Paape on Dec 18, 2020 4:32:55 PM

As 2020 comes to an end I find myself exhausted. This year has been a rollercoaster of a year. Difficult decisions have been made, dreams placed on hold, new skills learned, and relationships have ended. Looking back, it’s no wonder that I would like to nap the last month of the year away. But giving in to the naps somehow feels like I would be letting 2020 win.

Those who know me know I am a fighter. I greatly dislike losing, and if I can say I learned something or grew from an experience I will classify it as a win, and not as a loss. My parents describe me as scrappy, my daughter would say I am gritty, and my boxing coach says I am determined. These characteristics have taught me how to thrive in any situation.

In life we are faced with two choices, to survive or to thrive. There are days that if we survive we are in all actuality thriving. I remember when my daughter was cutting her molars. I don’t think we had a minute of peace for weeks. Finally, in desperation, I asked a pediatric nurse for help. She told me to find an old, rough washcloth wash it well, then twist it into a knot and freeze it. When it was frozen, give it to my daughter and encourage her to chew on it. After little to no sleep, it sounded like the best idea ever. I tried the trick and she found peace. We survived that moment, and in surviving it, we thrived.

I know the holidays and life in general does not look glamorous right now. Our dreams of sparkly lights, carols, and sugar cookies have been dashed by a pandemic we cannot see. The worst thing in life is to face an invisible enemy, one who fights with no honor and strikes when you are the weakest. No matter how we try to create effective battle plans, the only way to overcome this enemy is to hunker down in our homes and wait. Wait some more, and then ten more minutes. We are on the longest collective timeout in history.

We can choose to use this timeout to sulk and feel sorry for ourselves, or we can reflect, grow, and emerge stronger than before. The choice is up to each one of us. I am choosing growth. I will be the master of my own fate; I am willing to sacrifice today for a better tomorrow. We make similar choices every day. When we choose to save a dollar and pass on a cupcake or eat the cupcake, we are making the same decision. Sacrifice today for a better tomorrow.

The adjustments to life have even affected my dogs. Stark, a devoted Granny’s Boy, has learned to talk to my mom on the phone. I have never seen a dog wag and smile so hard as when we place the phone on the floor and my mom tells him he is a good boy. Raffy, our lab, has learned to dance for the iPad, showing off his new sleek svelte figure, he has lost almost 20 pounds this year and feels like a pup again.

Military families are the strongest families I know. You live with uncertainty, orders can change in moments, and spouses deploy for months, and yet your family bonds are some of the strongest I have ever seen. Choose to thrive in this season, choose to be part of the solution while growing as a person.

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Topics: ASYMCA - Lawton, News Releases

Welcome to the new Armed Services YMCA of Oklahoma

Posted by Sara Orellana Paape on Oct 26, 2020 7:28:50 PM

Looking ahead to 2021 the new staff of the Armed Services YMCA of Oklahoma wants to know what servicemembers and their families want. 

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Topics: ASYMCA - Lawton, News Releases