moving forward, Novo Renew, race recaps, real life adventures, restaurant reviews, weekend wrap up

A good day to run!!! Belated weekend wrap up!

I decided to be smart and take a week off after running the Gasparilla half marathon the last weekend of February (click the link to read my recap), which turned out to be a week AND a half off since I was still recovering from this past weekend. Keep reading and you’ll understand why…

Saturday night my hubby and I escaped away to Orlando for the evening to celebrate our 14th wedding anniversary (which was back in November but he was traveling for work and we never got around to celebrating). Since we had Hilton Honor points and our daughter was spending the night at a friend’s house, we thought, why not? We had a blasssst. We ate a place called The Flying Fish (the food and service was truly amazing. Freshly caught fish being cooked in an open kitchen made it quite the experience), and then hit up Disney Springs for some drinks and dancing. It felt so good to be US for 24 hours without any of the stressors in life (we won’t talk about the $1800 estimate I got on repairs for my 8 year old Jeep Saturday morning…we decided to NOT talk about it all weekend, and we’ll worry about that Friday morning when I drop it off, LOL).

 

3.3flyingfish
The Flying Fish
3.6edison
Us at The Edison
3.6edison1
Amazing music
3.6flyingfish
Inside the restaurant
3.6flyingfishfood
Lobster Bisque
3.6flyingfishoysters
Crispy Oysters
3.6flyingfishseabass
Sea Bass
3.6flyingfishseafood
Seafood over pearl pasta and saffron sauce
3.6weekendaway
Cheers

We got home from Orlando in enough time for me to unpack and change clothes to go see the P!NK concert with my good friend Kandice. We got the tickets last fall and have been counting down the days until the concert. I have loved P!NK since the 90’s so this was definitely a bucket list item checked off!!!

 

SOOO I was going to run yesterday after work but MAN was it cold and dreary here in sunny Florida so I decided to put it off until today. I am so glad I did, because despite the strong winds, the temps were in the low 60’s and the sun was SHINING bright. I was able to maintain an average of a 10:16 pace and even hit in the 9’s during the 3rd mile. What’s even better, I was able to run all three miles PAIN FREE thanks to Novo Renew (affiliate link) which has drastically helped my knees and joints. If you’d like to try a bottle at no risk (30 money back guarantee) use Michelle25 at check out to save 25% off!! I’d love to hear your feedback as well, should you decide to give this amazing product a try!! (click the link to learn more)!

How was your weekend? What’s the best concert that you have attended? Have you ever taken a chance and tried a new product? (click that link above, you won’t be sorry!)

Cheers!

Michelle

 

moving forward, real life adventures, Thankful

Battling mid-life

I am battling with being 46 years old, sort of…I am caught between looking back on my past, and looking towards the future. I’ve read so many articles where women boast that the 40’s are an amazing decade to celebrate because by then you’ve “got it all figured out.”

But I don’t. While I am getting there, I still know I am not where I want to be in life. I still have unwanted debt, student loans hanging over my head, and am in a career I didn’t choose for myself. Thankfully my husband I sat down and redid our budget and with some major fun cuts we should be able to have a handle on our debt within six months minus my student loans. Who’d think a 46 year old would still have student loans?

Do I regret going back to school at a later age to obtain my MBA? Sometimes, yes. It hasn’t helped me progress in my career, hasn’t launched me into a new career, and heck at my age it’s a little late to make a career change in all honesty. But am I proud of those three little letters in my signature block? You’re darn right I am.

Looking back, though, I can honestly say despite many challenges I sure did live my best life in my younger years. I lived it up with friends, I embraced my Air Force career, and I sacrificed a lot for my kids which is something I’d never change. This says a lot, because I used to look back and regret so many things, yet now I can celebrate all I overcame, and all I endured. It has made me who I am today.

My goals moving forward are to give all I can to my kids so that they don’t have to struggle like I did as a young adult. To keep dreaming big, all while keeping it real. My Mom recently asked me, “If you could make a career change, what would you do?” I struggled with an answer, but after much thought I can say this…I’d have my own restaurant, write a book or two or three, be a health/wellness coach, and most importantly do something where I could use my experiences to help others. Yup…that’s what I would do.

Life_quotes_to_live_by-3

Today I am thankful for:

  1. My past, for it made me who I am.
  2. Morning snuggles with my husband, for this simple act makes my day so much better.
  3. My daughters. They are amazing young ladies.
  4. My life. For it is short, and sweet, and I do my best to embrace each day.
  5. Sunshine. It truly soothes my soul.

What are you thankful for today? Do you have any regrets? If you could have one career in life, what would it be?

Cheers,

Michelle

moving forward, real life adventures

Self-love

This year on the blog I will be talking more about some good ole real life adventures and life in general. My goal is to write more, and knowing I have struggled with making myself a priority over the last several decades, I thought this would be a good Saturday evening topic.

Looking back on my life, my priorities have always been targeted on something other than me. My husband and taking care of things while he was gone on deployments, my kids and their happiness, and my job and juggling work and home life have always left “Me” at the end of the very long list of things I have been responsible for over the last several years. Because of the large bucket of balls I have juggled over the years, I have lost friendships, and somewhat have sort of lost myself. Now that my kids are getting older (one is grown and so far still out of the house but still struggling to find her way, and one is now 12 and is becoming more independent and self sufficient), I really want to see how I can make ME a priority this year.

Here’s a few things I have in mind for the upcoming year:

  1. I’ve updated my resume and am ready to start looking at progressing in my career. I’ve always taken the back seat to make sure I am home for my family, but I think the time is now to see if I can actually move forward in my career.
  2. I’ve signed up for a half-marathon the end of February with my husband. My training is on hold during the course of fighting this horrible cold, but I’ve still got plenty of time to properly train.
  3. I will make more time for the friendships I’ve made here in Florida. I’ve been lucky enough to be blessed having an old Air Force girlfriend here, and have made a couple of friendships I hope to develop. I’ve learned as you get older, it really is harder to make friends.
  4. Write more, and more often. Be it short excerpts, recipes, or just simple dialog, WRITE.
  5. Above all else, love myself a little more. Stop counting the grey hairs and wrinkle lines, and remember that I have been through so much in my life. I have earned every grey hair and every line that is carved in to my face.
  6. Lastly, continue on with my mantra of “Keep Movin’ Forward.” Yes, I am middle aged, yes, I will be 46 in a little over a week, but my life is far from over. I need to remember that it really is NEVER too late, and I still have time to do the things I want to in this life.

I watched one of my favorite movies tonight, “Mr. Holland’s Opus,” and was reminded that life may not always turn out how we wanted, but if we can touch other people’s lives and make this world a better place we should have no regrets.

receving-love-mlm-quote

What are your goals for this year? Do you have a favorite movie that resonates with you? I’ve thought about renaming the blog…any suggestions?

Cheers,

Michelle

moving forward, real life adventures

Friday night musings

So it’s Friday night and I am ready to party…NOT. This darn cold has set me back nearly a week, and it’s taken everything in my power not to sleep 24-7. I called in sick on Wednesday, which is something I never do, and the last two days I coughed nearly non-stop. From what I hear, this cold is lasting up to three weeks, and I just don’t have time for that…I’ve got a half marathon to train for!!!

friday-nightexpectations-friday-night-reality-friday-nights-be-like-5589710

But the reality of it all, is that I shouldn’t complain about having a silly cold or my lapse in training. See, my neighbor lost her husband just a few short days before Christmas at the young age of 43, as he died suddenly in his sleep. He is leaving behind a wife and three children, and while we weren’t super close to them, we did spend some time with them over this last year and the loss is palpable in my neighborhood. Life. Is. Short.

So sleep in if that’s your fancy.

Tell those you care about, that you love them. Don’t just assume they know.

Pursue your dreams, and never settle.

Eat that slice of cake, or have that basket of French fries.

Live.

Keep Movin’ Forward.

life-is-short-always-choose-happiness-32221-alt.png

Have you ever lost someone suddenly? What is your guilty pleasure?

Cheers,

Michelle

 

moving forward, real life adventures

I voted!

In all my 20 years of being in the Air Force, I voted by absentee ballot. And I’ll admit, I didn’t vote in the last Presidential election for personal and probably obvious reasons.

So today for the very first time, I voted. My hubby and I went out after dinner to vote in the primary elections and I surprisingly got really choked up. How moving it was to exercise my right to vote and do so physically as a Florida resident. I felt truly honored and patriotic.

Did you get out and vote today? Have you ever skipped voting in the Presidential election? I’ll admit, I had a little guilt that year.

In other news, our run got postponed today due to crazy thunder and lightning storms. Praying for better weather tomorrow.

Also-I’m attempting a writing streak so bear with my random posts that don’t follow any sort of pattern 🙂

Cheers,

Michelle

real life adventures

The bond between parents and their kids…

Growing up I remember how badly I wanted to be on my own, living independently and being able to come and go as I please. I remember how I couldn’t wait to get out from under my parent’s wings and be on my own. And for the first few years, I’ll admit, it was pretty great…even though I missed them, I truly enjoyed growing up on my own and having the pride of wearing the uniform every day.

But as I got older, I realize how very much I miss being close to my parents. While we are quite close emotionally, physically we are thousands of miles apart. This past weekend they came to visit, and I was reminded of the emotional closeness as my Mom hugged me tightly once she walked in to the door way of our new home. The endless hugs made my eyes swell up with tears and suddenly this almost 45 year old woman, started to cry. My parents have been my constant in my life. Lost loves, failed friendships, moving half way across the country and then back again and the one thing that remained tried and true? My parent’s love.

So if you are anything like me, and geographically distanced from your parents, make sure you make the time to reach out and let them know you love them. Being apart from my oldest daughter now, I can say what a huge difference it makes to hear that you are loved and appreciated. Save the “too busy” excuse and pick up the phone! 🙂

When was the last time you saw your parents? Do you live close/far from your folks?

Cheers!

Michelle

moving forward, real life adventures

Two things…

So while most enjoy extended holiday breaks there was no rest for this weary chick. The alarm went off at O’dark 30 and I headed out to work. I was half asleep (as per usual) so didn’t notice the temps until I pulled into the parking lot and noticed the lady next to me getting all bundled up. What the heck was she doing!? This is Florida…it can’t be that cold, can it?

Yes. It can. It was 41 degrees as I stepped out of my Jeep. Brrrrrr. I had to dig out my winter coat from Alaska as my Chicago coat has gone MIA. Temps are going to continue to drop as the week goes on.

I’ve got the hubby on board with working out, at least for now. Since my toe is still extremely tender we did a modified circuit training workout.

I’ve also recommitted to watching my calorie intact and stayed on point until my daughter made white chocolate peppermint cookies. In my defense they were small and I only had two…I’m attempting intermittent fasting again, where I only eat in an 8 hour eating window. The cookie happened during that time so I’ll call it a win.

What are your goals for 2018? Does your spouse workout with you?

Happy Tuesday! Bear with me while I get back into this blogging thing. My goal is to share, inspire, motivate and have a place for me to share a little bit of my adventures with the world!

Cheers!

Michelle

real life adventures

Five days and counting.

Well, I've been here for a total of 5 full days and it's been amazing. The diverse community, beautiful weather, and just being adventurous exploring new areas has been great. In just five short days I've reconnected with an old Air Force sister, been to two different beaches, and have toured almost a dozen homes to purchase. I'm excited to say we got the house we put a bid on!!!

But the best part so far was my first day of work today. I arrived at the VA early, and was greeted by Veterans and employees all around. When orientation started, the Director of HR had everyone introduce themselves and tell where they'd be working. Their last question was, "Are you a Veteran?" And if you said yes, an HR staff member came over and shook your hand and thanked you for your service. They then asked your branch of service and handed you a corresponding badge and pin for you to proudly wear. Mine looked like this:

I was so floored. My military service hasn't been understood by the civilian sector fully, which is totally understandable.
We then filled out some paperwork and it was time to give our oath. I hadn't done this since my last reenlistment back in 2007 and I immediately choked up. Such emotions went through me. The day continued on, and with each briefing we were asked the question, "Are you a Veteran?" and each time I raised my hand, I found myself sitting up a little straighter. For I've always felt my purpose was to serve, and now here I am…serving the Veteran community and in my favorite state.

Let the adventures continue!!!!

Cheers!
Michelle

Deployment thoughts, real life adventures

Foot locker feelings

Deployments affect the entire family. Remember when I told you about my husband’s foot locker being delivered last week? While it was super exciting to see his stuff, I can honestly say after dragging in to our formal living room to get it out of the way that I didn’t think about it again. That is, until several days later.

img_7937

If you’ve been reading my blog for a while (and if not-keep reading!), you know that my other true love is named Sammy. He is my golden retriever, my best 4 legged friend, my soul mate, and my all around buddy. He was how I got through severe post partum depression, and I love him more than there are words to describe. He follows me (and the girls) everywhere, and is always there when I need a good cry. He listens to my every word (except when I am reprimanding him, then he just cowers) and loves me no matter what, even on the bad days.

Well, Sammy hasn’t done so well over the difficult months of deployment. It’s aged him, and he’s not the normal happy Sammy. He’s sad. He sleeps a lot, and he is in constant need of attention. So the girls and I happily oblige, as loving him makes us feel better, too. So even though we have all been hurting, we make time to give each other extra love…win/win.

IMG_8039.PNG

But in this last week, he’s taken a bad turn for the worse. He won’t listen, he often refuses to go in his kennel, and he doesn’t leave my side from the time I walk in the door to the time I walk out the next day for work. For the majority of this past year, he’s slept in my older daughter’s room because her bed is smaller and he loves that feeling of security. (He’s used to sleeping between my husband and I, but since he’s left he’s only slept with me maybe 3 or 4 times.) But in this past week, he’s slept RIGHT next to me either at the head or foot of the bed. He’s touching me in SOME way. And I just couldn’t figure out why? Does he feel the giddy anticipation of my husband’s arrival? Is he not feeling well? Does he have a sixth sense about something that’s due to happen???

No.

None of those things are what is happening with Sammy.

He smells my husband’s scent from his foot locker. But he doesn’t know where he is, or if he’s even coming back. And as each day passes, his anxiety is increasing because he doesn’t understand. And realizing that this morning, made my heart physically ache for my sweet Sammy.

img_8198

I am praying the scent from the foot locker, fades…that, or my husband returns quick enough to heal poor Sammy’s broken heart.

Have your pets ever reacted poorly to a family member being gone for an extended period of time?? How did you comfort them?

Cheers,

Michelle