Deployment thoughts, Military, moving forward, Uncategorized

Has it really been 25 years?!?!?



I had a post drafted last night and ready for publishing today, but whenever I write a post I always set it aside and step away from it before clicking “Publish”.  I’m glad I did that this time, because I really need to quit being so hard on myself when it comes to my military duty.  I’ll explain more here in a few minutes…
Today is one of my favorite days of the year.  July 3rd.  Yup, you read it right, July 3rd, not 4th.  Why?  Because it’s my enlistment anniversary of joining the Air Force.  Today would’ve been 25 years had I stayed in longer than the required 20 years needed to retire.  But I retired after 20 years for several reasons.  Some of which I still struggle with to this day, but most of which I have learned to let go. 

First and foremost, I retired so I could be there for my kids.  When I get upset over the fact I never deployed, or am reminded I would’ve never been able to make Chief, I look at my daughters and know I made the right decision.  Having 2 parents in the military just isn’t the easiest thing to do so I decided stepping down was more important for the girls.  Yes, I still have to work full time, but I am at least here for them while my husband deploys.
Last night my girls and I kicked off the weekend (even though I am working all weekend and the 4th, I am trying to have SOME fun, lol) by going to military appreciation night at our local Kane county Cougars baseball game.  I submitted my hubby’s photo for the jersey, and they even asked for my photo too!  I felt a little silly next to veterans of this caliber, but I submitted mine anyhow!  I will be auctioning in hopes of winning one, too!!! Here are some pics from the game!
So while that first post really went in to all of my regrets I had about not being able to accomplish the goals I set out for myself while in the military, this post will share a few of my favorite pictures from my military days (see above).  It IS my 25 year anniversary after all, and even though I had to work today I’ll still treat myself to a glass of wine or two tonight.  🙂
How are y’all celebrating the 4th?  Hope you all have a safe and happy holiday weekend!
Military, Uncategorized

The return of the ‘other half’ <3

This post is part 2 if you will, to my last post about doing the single parent gig while the hubby is away.  This is the part about what happens when the other half, returns…

And while I was thrilled to have him return home last night, albeit it only for a brief visit, I realized something…something that I forget. EVERY. SINGLE. TIME. he travels.

Sometimes his coming home, is almost as hard as his leaving. 


I know.  Isn’t it all rainbows and unicorns running through fields filled with spring colored flowers and butterflies flitting through the air? Isn’t it like the airport seen with the wife and kids holding the welcome home sign for the long-awaited return of their husband/Dad, in which he comes running off the tarmac to embrace his wife and kids in his arms?

pic credit:
pic credit:

Sadly…not always.  Sometimes the unicorn has had little sleep during his travels, and the butterflies have just had it with flitting, and need a nap. 

Sometimes…it’s hard to re-adjust at first, because you have a very set routine in which every moment is accounted for precisely because one mis-step could be a disaster in making sure the day is successful.  And the other half doesn’t always understand that routine, how hard it is to keep, and how deep down inside (ok not that deep sometimes) you have a bit of animosity towards him because while he’s off progressing in his career, you are home strapped with the kids and your job that can never truly BE a career because you must support HIS, first. 

Why I am I talking in the third person?  Oh, that’s right…because that was me thinking outside my head.  LOL

Let’s start again…

photo credit: Pinterest
pic credit: Pinterest

And now with tears in my eyes after a night of little sleep thinking about all of this, I will slap myself in the face and remember that I promised him I’d do this, I’d support him in good and bad…this is HIS time and he is serving our country.  I will stop being a selfish brat, and do my very best to support him. Because he would do the same for me.  At the end of the day, he does what he does for US…for our family.  #Unitedwestand

So while goodbyes can be tough, and readjusting sometimes tougher, I will count my blessings and be thankful for my awesome family. ❤


Rant…over.  Thanks for listening, I think I needed to just get that off my chest. 

How do you deal with stressful times? Are you able to rant and then feel better?  (I know I do! Thanks!)

Here’s to a new week, and week one of Marathon training starting TOMORROW! 

Thanks, y’all!

❤ Michelle

Military, running

Weekend wrap up

Gosh, where do I start.  Some weekends can be just plain crappy (insert working the entire weekend last weekend here), and some weekends can be amazing filled with friends, family, food, and fitness!

The later was my weekend, THIS weekend.

We started out the weekend after me having to work several hours of overtime (something I try to AVOID at all costs, as I my family comes first) feeling a bit tired, but accomplished. With our unseasonably warm temps here in Chicagoland we made plans to have a fire and drink wine with our awesome neighbors/friends on Friday.  It. Was. GREAT.  We brought over a special bottle of Prosecco that we bought the last time we were in Chicago at Eataly, and enjoyed hours of laughter, conversation, and wine.  WIN.  What a way to start the weekend.

This would have never happened in Chicago last year!
This would have never happened in Chicago last year!

Saturday the majority of the day was spent last minute shopping for make-up and essentials as I was attending my first Army Dining out with my hubby.  After weeks of preparation buying the perfect dress to match his unit, to finding the perfect shoes, we were all dolled up and ready.  And yes…I felt like a princess.  For those that know me well, I NEVER feel pretty these days…but Saturday night, I felt my confidence returning…even if for just a moment.

briandiningout briandiningout1

After an evening of an amazing military traditional event, laughter, conversation and dinner we came home to enjoy a couple of glasses of wine.  This may have been the demise of my 5K today, but I could care less.  We had SOOOOO much fun.  And for once, in many years, I felt at home being surrounded by people in uniform even though I wasn’t wearing one myself.  Yet I found myself standing at attention in all the right moments, even while wearing this amazing gold gown.  🙂  #veteranproblems

Today was the day we were to run a much anticipated 5K that my friend Karen from Trading In my Heels has organized and planned for the last two years.  It’s an untimed race with no actual bells or whistles, but the proceeds were going to suicide prevention and awareness which is a cause near and dear to my heart having battled with depression as well as losing several friends and family members to suicide.

As most of you know, I don’t like the cold.  I don’t sign up for races in the winter…but this one I NEEDED to do.  I got to see several of my running friends, AND I got to meet Wendy from Taking the long way home, which was amazing.  She is one of the nicest people I know, and such an inspiration to me and my life.  After several hugs, and easy conversation we headed to the starting line.

Me and my person
Me and my person
Wendy, Penny, Michelle and me!
Wendy, Penny, Michelle and me!
Misty, Theresa, and Cindy!
Misty, Theresa, and Cindy!

The race started promptly at noon, and I knew this would NOT be my best “race.”  I haven’t been running hardly at all…I haven’t wanted to between the cold, dark, and dreary weather.  So I took it slow, and allowed myself a couple of walk breaks.  Who’d a thunk you could lose your endurance so quickly? #runnerproblems

But we finished in 31:34, headed into Pal Joey’s who was hosting the race, and I was welcomed with open arms AND a Bloody Mary.  Score.  We ate some amazing pizza and had great conversations with Melissa and Jim, more of our running friends.

Nothing better than a Bloody Mary after a fun race!
Nothing better than a Bloody Mary after a fun race!

I couldn’t find my groove during this run, but that’s ok…I enjoyed the hundreds of runners, running for the same cause, dressed up in festive gear, and JUST having fun.  There was no “winner” no “age group award” just 3.1 miles of fun.

I ended the day with our traditional Sunday Supper, and baking with my youngest.  Win!  We had an Asian inspired dish of teriyaki, ginger, honey and garlic glazed salmon over bok choy and quinoa.  Delish.   I also attempted a pumpkin cheesecake…not so sure about that one…lol. #notabaker

My sous Chef helping me make cheesecake
My sous Chef helping me make cheesecake


Wrapping it up, it was the best weekend I’ve had this month.  Here’s to more weekends like this one!

Do you do “fun runs” for charity?  What’s your favorite thing to do on the weekend?

❤ Michelle



Veteran’s Day…from a Vet

I have struggled a bit with Veteran’s Day these last 3 years…maybe because the emptiness I STILL feel after retiring is very raw…still.  I miss being in the Air Force…

But I had a pretty great 20 years of service.  It was the hardest, most rewarding thing I have every done, and my service will always be one of my proudest accomplishments.  I didn’t fight in any wars, other than several of my own…but I supported so many that DID set boots on the ground.

Here’s a few pics…

Basic training...can you find me?
Basic training…can you find me?
I received Service member of the quarter in 1994.  Great moment!
I received Service member of the quarter in 1994. Great moment!
My SNCO induction ceremony in 2008.
My SNCO induction ceremony in 2008.
These people...yup.  They got me through so very tough times!
These people…yup. They got me through so very tough times!
And my final retirement photo
And my final retirement photo

I’ll keep this one short and sweet, but leave you with this…remember always the battle that was fought for your freedom.

❤ Michelle