Friday Filter: A Year in the Blue

I was given access to this documentary as compensation for my review. All the thoughts are my own.

I was contacted by Passion River Films to take a look at a new documentary they have available.

“A Year in the Blue” is a film following a few cadets during their first year at the Air Force Academy in Colorado.


image via

When I was told documentary, I was pretty much sold. When I saw that it was related to the military, I definitely knew I would find it interesting.

This film portrays the difficulties and triumphs of entering the Air Force Academy. It runs you briefly through the obstacles that each person must face to enter among the ranks in this particular branch.

They show you pieces of basic, when they choose their majors, how invested they are in their studies, and why being part of the Air Force is important to them. You witnessed struggles they faced as they were tested. You were able to experience the emotional toll that occurred throughout the process. You saw how pride and passion carried them through it all.

I liked being able to see glimpses of traditions at the school from the Ring Dance to the sporting events. I found this interesting to see on the film after hearing some of these events from my friend, Janelle’s, perspective of watching her husband go through these very things.

What I liked most about the film was the interview structure. They would show group interaction, but then they would interview individuals so you got to actually hear their emotions and see their reactions first hand. They also interviewed alumni, which I thought was a pretty neat way to show continuity and longevity of the lessons learned and the take away from the program. Most of you know that I love a good personal story!

Since most of my “military” experience is with the Army, I enjoyed learning more about the Air Force. They do things WAY different than the Army. I think what I found to be most intriguing about the film was being able to compare it to what I have seen in the Army and how vastly different the experiences are, but ultimately that these men and women are in it for the same reasons that Army folk are.

I really do appreciate all that our Armed Forces do, no matter what their training and experiences look like. Each branch has their own way of doing things, but they all give a lot of themselves and their families as a sacrifice to our nation.

I would highly recommend this film. It is an easy watch and gives you some great insight!

If you would like to view the film, it is now available for public viewing. There are a few ways you can get a hold of it. You can purchase the documentary on the public website at and various retail stores like Barnes and Noble, Amazon, or CD Universe.

Have you ever visited the Air Force Academy in Colorado?

30 before 30 Update 2

Here we are for another month’s update on my 30 before 30 list. There is not much to update since we were doing holiday stuff for most of the month and were gone more than we were home for December.

1.      Crochet something else besides blankets or scarves-so something that isn’t straight lines.

·         This totally happened if you saw my post from earlier this week. Next stop hats!

2.      Do a 30 day photography challenge

·         I have plans for the timing. Now I just need to find a good challenge. Any suggestions?

3.      Visit 3 cities I have never been to before

·         Nothing new here.

4.      Tour at least one of the distilleries in the area

·         Nothing.

5.      Send at least 5 snail mail a month

·        We sent all of our Christmas cards, so I happily exceeded this!

6.      Become a “professional” photographer

·         We are coming up with an Facebook ad for the Clarksville area for a promo in February, so hopefully that pans out. I just need to be patient and be ok with the slow start.

7.      Run at least 5 races (any distance)

·        I have plans in the works.

8.      Go camping with Tom

·         We have plans for this for next summer for our anniversary.

9.      Pay for the car behind me in a drive through

·         Not yet. I will be honest, I don’t seem to remember this when I am in the drive through.

10. See Tyrone Wells live again

·         Nope.

11. Tour Fort Defiance here in Clarksville

·         This is more of a summer thing.

12. Water ski with my dad

·         Also summer.

13. Do a 5K with my mom

·         We did talk about it over Christmas, but no plans yet.

14. Take a swing dance class with Tom

·         I am still trying to convince Tom to do this with me. This may come near the end of the challenge.

15. Read at least one fun book a month and one professional development book every three months

·         I caught up from November. I read two books over break.  Blogging buddy, Ellen, and I are planning on doing a virtual professional development read. We picked a book yesterday and will be reading a chapter a week, so I may have this done this next month.

16. Take a pottery or stained glass class

·         Things have been too crazy schedule wise to make this happen yet.

17. Learn how to make sushi

·         Nada.

18. See both a Clemson and UCM football game live

·         This will have to wait until fall.

19. Volunteer with MCFOTS and Special Olympics on a regular basis

·         I am loving volunteering for MCFOTS. It is a great shelter. And it is super fun to go play and love on dogs that aren’t mine for a few hours a week. (Well most of the time, last night I was not too happy with one dog who wanted to play chase for a half hour in 20 degree weather. She just wouldn’t come back inside from playtime! Also I sliced my thumb open on a dog treat trying to coax her inside. Overall, though my shift are pleasant and tug at my heartstrings.  Two of my favorites got adopted this week. (Which is good, because Tom and I almost ended up with a third boxer.) Like I said, this volunteering gig may be a bad idea.

20. Explore Land Between the Lakes

·         Summer plan.

21. Ride in a hot air balloon

·         Tom is off the hook on this one. My other half and best friend from college and I are going to make plans for this in Kansas City.

22. Go to at least 10 “new to me” restaurants in Clarksville.

·         Since we were gone most of December, nothing happened with this one. We still have 8 to go. Any of my Clarksville friends have suggestions?

23. Stay at a bed and breakfast

·         We have the place picked out in our old college town. We just have to find a weekend we can do it.

24. Spend a day without electronics (phone, t.v. and computer)

·         So this didn’t happen over winter break.

25. Go to the Kentucky Derby

·         Ok so reality sunk in that this will not be a possibility financially. However, I do want to go see the museum. And in cahoots with my sister in law, I want to have a Derby themed birthday party on my 30th.

26. Go to non-touristy parts of Nashville

·         No time this month. We did find some cool activities though that we want to do in upcoming months. Tom has a lot of ranges coming up so he will be gone a lot, so we’ll see how the plans pan out.

27.Watch at least 10 movies that I have not seen before that won Best Picture at the Oscars and at least 10 documentaries (not necessarily Oscar winning)

·         I didn’t watch any of the films, but I did watch a documentary. I watched “Behind the Myth” which is about the myths behind bully breeds and the horrible laws that have ensued because of it. It was kind of heart wrenching to watch, and I may have cried. It is a little outdated, but it does a good job showing the history of the bans and the grassroots efforts that have sprung because of the stereotype and trying to debunk it.

28. Sew an item of clothing from scratch.

·         We did get a new sewing machine. Now I just have to figure out my first pattern.

29. Find a church home here in Clarksville

·        We did find a church, but we have been the last few weeks with traveling.

30. Become a mom

·        We both met with my physician before we left for the holidays. The only thing we weren’t already doing that she suggested was for me to be taking prenatal vitamins. Apparently, you should start taking these before you get pregnant as well as the duration. I had no idea. So we got those for free at the base hospital, score! I also had some blood work done this week to check my hormonal levels. We will also be meeting with a fertility specialist in the upcoming month. For some, I know this may seem like we are being really impatient considering it hasn’t been a full year since we started, but the Army is covering all of these expenses so we figured we would take advantage of it while we know we are both here for a bit. Also my physician said that even with everything perfect, there is still only a 20% chance of getting pregnant, so we want to make our odds as high as possible.

I’d say that is still pretty good progression considering what was going on this month. Hopefully January will prove to be fruitful and exciting!

Anyone want to join me on any of these excursions?

Do you have ideas on how I should accomplish any of these tasks?