Sorry for my absence as of late. My days are filled with work, and I spend my evenings with my hubby as we are still getting used to being around one another. Any spare time has been spent with my family. Thus, the blog and my running have taken a back seat…that will hopefully change soon!!
Here’s what we’ve been up to!!!!!
In the last month we’ve eaten tons of amazing food at some very wonderful restaurants, taken an amazing family trip to Disney, and I am currently stepping outside of my comfort zone at my job (time will tell if anything pans out, but I am still celebrating that I had the courage to go for it anyhow!).
I’ve also been cooking a lot more, especially Sunday suppers and I just finished the super fun MasterClass series by Gordon Ramsay. I’ve gone through the instructional videos once, having re-watched the “how to break down a whole chicken” video a few times and attempted my first breakdown on Sunday with success. It wasn’t perfect, but I did it!!
I have not, however, been running. I haven’t quite figured out where that is going to fit in my already busy day, and I need to figure it out pretty quickly as training for the Chicago Marathon will need to commence before I know it. I think once the weather warms up a little more, and we continue to get more day light, it’ll be a little easier to make the time after work.
How have you all been? Tell me something that’s new with you in the last month or so!!
Hey gang, sorry I’ve been absent. I know I’ve not been posting, or participating much in the blogger world and for that I apologize. The holiday season is hitting me particularly hard, and I just don’t have much to say…
I will say, that here’s a shout out to all of my fellow military wives and girlfriends. During the holidays the troops get an outpouring of packages, calls, gifts to show appreciation and support. Yet the loved ones back home are often forgotten…sure, we have all the luxuries of being home. Our trees are beautifully decorated, and we’ve got home cooked food baking in the oven. The smells and sounds of the holidays surround us. But I can tell you first hand the emptiness we feel from the absence of our spouse (boyfriend, Dad, friend etc.) is palpable and no amount of Turkey, candy canes or Christmas music can replace them. My heart physically hurts.
That being said, I will more than likely not be posting much during the holidays. We are busy dealing with the fender bender my 17 year old got in (she’s ok thanks goodness, but my pocket book not so much), all while trying to keep our heads above water during the holidays.
I want to wish you all a very happy holiday season. I will poke my head in from time to time, but only I feel like I have something meaningful to share. I will ask, that if you know of a family that has a deployed family member to please check on the family left behind, too…
209 days ago my husband left for his deployment. 209. That’s a long. Freaking. Time.
We’ve had a lot of heart ache. A lot of growth. A lot of struggle. Many steps forward lead to even more steps taken backward. But always deciding to move forward regardless.
But every day we started anew. Sometimes with hard feelings from the argument the night before. Sometimes with such a heavy sadness that the physical ache in my chest started to concern me. But almost always we started with a hug, a kind word or just the presence of each other as we started our day. Together. Me and my girls.
My girls are my tribe. I see that so very clearly now. Looking back on wasted energy and jealousy of those who had these amazing groups of friends and social life makes me a little sad. Why would I not just look right in front of me? Despite all of our conflict these girls are my constant. My reason for being at least for now. They won’t always need me but they do now. And I’m thankful for that. Because together we keep moving forward.
30 weeks. Broken toilets, house repairs, teenage drama, work stress, heart breaks, missed holidays and birthdays, missed life events and everything that could go wrong that went wrong. And we’re still movin’ my friends.
Take that deployment curse.
And yes. I fixed my power washer all by myself and washed the deck and windows tonight to celebrate.
Because I can do hard things. Even when I think I can’t.
I haven’t posted in over a week, and every time I sit down to share my thoughts my mind goes to the million other things I should be doing. And while I know this blog is a running/food blog, I feel a bit silly posting when I am not running, or cooking anything worth posting about.
But this blog is also about real life adventures, and man have the last 16 weeks been an adventure. So I thought I’d share a little about what we’ve been through these last 4 months while my husband has been deployed (or 16 weeks, as I’ve been counting down in weeks vs. days because the number of days in this deployment is just straight up daunting) in order to keep me writing, and keep this blog alive.
Breakdowns of epic proportion occurred early on in the deployment. Moms and teens don’t always see eye to eye and I felt my world literally crashing around me before my eyes. But with breakdowns, come build ups…and I can honestly say that although my daughter and I still butt heads, we’ve also never been closer.
Inner strength has grown for me, and this is also an epic event. While I still have days (like today) where I just wanted to roll over and cry vs. getting out of bed for work, MOST days I feel like I’ve got it together. Ask me again after working this coming Saturday, Sunday, and the 4th of July (which is one of my favorite holidays) and I might feel differently…lol
But then there are days like Sunday when the TV breaks down, the toilet won’t stop running and the vacuum gets jammed when I wonder if I can really do this for another 8 months. My daughter and I tried replacing the lamp in our 9 year old Samsung and we were so proud of ourselves for doing it ourselves, until the TV continued to turn itself off… I was, however, able to sell our 5 year old riding lawn mower so maybe the two events can cancel one another out? LOL. Always something, right?
Moments of complete clarity have occurred when watching my teen grow in to a little woman. She is a miniature version of me, and while the better part of me wants to scream and cry “DON’T BE ME, PLEAAAAAAAASE,” knowing all the hurt and pain and suffering I endured for the better part of my early teen and adult life, the other part of me wants to bottle up the pride I have in her for overcoming the urge to hole herself up, because it took me 20 years to figure that out, and she’s doing it at the age of 16. She’s taken on projects around the house, and painted her sister’s room while she was away at camp-ALL her idea. Now if only I could get her to clean her room!!!. Hey, I’m picking my battles at this point.
My youngest daughter went away to camp for the first time, ever! It was a Christian based youth camp, and she had a blast. While it was so hard to let her go, I know it helped her spirits tremendously as she’s struggled with finding her happy lately. She was all smiles when I picked her up, and even broke down crying when she saw me because “she missed me SOOOO much.” #allthetears
During deployments, or hard times in general-you really see who you real friends are, and I couldn’t feel more blessed. Sometimes it’s hard to reach out when you feel like you are drowning, so I am truly thankful for those that can “hear” when I need them and have reached out to me. I’m not always the easiest person to love, I get that…I go to a dark place sometimes having had struggled with depression for so long, but thankfully I have learned to not stay in that place for too long. Those that love us in the dark times truly deserve a pat on the back, so here’s a shout out to my family and friends who’ve been there. I couldn’t get through this without you!!!!
Last weekend while at work, I noticed the same group of guys I always see sitting in the cafeteria. One of the gentleman looks like my Dad, and all of them have that “Veteran” look about them. I always text my Dad when I see them, telling him that his twin is in the cafeteria. See, my Dad is a war Veteran and a true hero. My Dad prompted me to go say hello to the guys, and I of course got nervous. I’ve seen these guys for over two years now, always when I have weekend duty. We smile, exchange pleasantries, but I’ve never actually talked to them. I decided to take my Dad’s advice, and I walked up to their table. I smiled, and greeted them first talking to the man who looks like my Dad. I showed him a picture and said he reminded me of my Dad and he giggled saying, “Your Dad must be a handsome guy!!!” I said, “He sure is!!!” and everyone laughed. I then asked them if they were Veterans, and their eyes lit up. My Dad’s twin is retired Air Force, and there were a couple other guys that beamed with pride as they told me their branch of service. I shook all their hands, and told them I was retired Air Force and thanked each of them for their service. You could almost feel the pride in the air, and suddenly weekend duty didn’t suck so bad. I hope they are around this coming weekend, for I know I’ll need a pick-me-up!
I am a firm believer in signs from a higher power, but I don’t always understand them. It’s no secret that I am in a career that albeit is a great one, it is a job that was chosen for me by the Air Force 25 years ago. While I’ve done decently in my career, I’ve become stagnant as a “supervisor” for many years. I’m at a point in my life where I either need to step UP in my career, or step down and let my husband continue to thrive in his career. I pray, every single day about where I am in life, and where I meant to be because I truly feel there is more out there for me and my life. Sometimes I pray quietly, sometimes I cry out to God for help. Well, a few weeks ago after said crying out, I received a call from a head hunter the very next day in regards to a management position. I was not seeking a new job, because if I am going to be stagnant in my career, there’s no place I’d rather be than where I am now with people I truly hold dear to my heart. But I thought, hey…I DID pray about it, so I better see what this position is all about. Needless to say, it wasn’t the type of environment I was or am looking for, so I am sticking around here for a while longer. I can’t help but to wonder why this opportunity was presented to me, and after such a powerful prayer was sent up only to have it be a dead end? I was mad for a bit, feeling like I had some sort of sick joke played on me, but in the end I am just trying to count my blessings and be thankful that a head hunter reached out to me. Maybe this means more future opportunities will present themselves.
I sleep walk when I am stressed out. I think sometimes I am so tired that once I finally do sleep, I am just all over the place. I did it A LOT after my daughter’s accident, and it was so bad I’d wake up and be sleeping in her bed. My daughter texted me at work today, “Mom, are you ok? I only ask because you only do this when you are stressed out, and last night you walked in to my room, shuffled around, and then walked back out.” Immediately tears came to my eyes, 1. Because she texted to check on me, and 2. Because I wish I could control the sleep walking.
No one said these deployments are easy, that’s for sure!!!!
As far as fitness goes, I am still planking every day, and I make time at least a couple times each week to do my boot camp video. Other than that, walking the dog and trying to keep up with housework are the extent of my workouts.
Hope y’all are doing amazing, and as always, thanks for following along. I hope you enjoyed my adventures over these last few months. What adventures have you experienced lately?
I swear I have lost my mind, and yesterday threw me on a roller coaster of emotions I had thankfully forgotten from our first deployment. Our final goodbyes for the year have been said, and I can honestly say that I am not sure how I survived the 60 minute drive home yesterday. After being enveloped in my husband’s arms as we all sobbed, I just can’t put into words the raw emotion that we felt. My daughters and I simply hung on to one another yesterday, and after tucking my youngest in as she cried herself to sleep, I knew I’d have my hands full this next year.
So my sister challenged me, to keep busy, find a project, and/or journal to help the quiet of the evenings hurt a little less. So that’s the plan. I’ve got several house projects to do on my list, and plan to write a lot more. That’s the joy of my blog, it’s multifaceted, and not just about running. Plus, it’s mine and I can write what I want to, LOL!!!
I still have to remind myself to breathe sometimes. I have to choke back the sobs more times in the day than I can count. But with each day that passes, it’s one day closer to his return. And I am reminded daily of all the blessings in my life. I walked in to work this morning to find this on my desk, a beautiful gesture from my entire staff. #allthelove
I also received several texts, got a dozen hugs, and this awesome gift from my friend Kelly. I wish I had words to describe how grateful I am for all the awesome people in my life.
And as the day came to a close and my kids played outside while I did laundry and cleaned I received a text from my oldest. “Mom, come outside and look at the sunset” She loves the sunrises and sunsets nearly as much as I do.
As we watched the sun set into the horizon, we hugged each other tightly and she whispered, “Love you…” and held her even tighter.
This will be a very tough year. But we love each other so very much, that I believe in the end it will help us get through this even stronger. The crazy emotions of the week have brought on a pretty terrible headache so I put off my workout for another day because I just can’t bear to be down for the count. I’ll get back at it in no time.
Who’s your biggest supporter? Do you have beautiful sunrises and sunsets where you live? What’s your latest workout?
I missed out on the weekly wrap this week, and honestly hadn’t planned to post until my husband leaves next week. It’s now very real as he is home packing up all of his gear today. #allthesobs after seeing these pics…
But I am trying to focus on the good, so here goes…
Our weekend was wonderful, having spent it with my parents as they flew in from Arizona. We visited the city, ate yummy good food, and just enjoyed each other’s company. We went to the city on Saturday and enjoyed the unseasonably warm Chicago weather we were given that day (it’s snowing today…really?!?). We took the train down, and hit up our favorite places to eat, Quartino and MK. We also did a bit of shopping, but more so just walked around and had fun together. My parent’s had NEVER been to The Bean, so we of course had to get an obligatory Bean selfie. I skipped my long run this weekend, and am 110% ok with that, especially since we walked over 5 miles on Saturday. I’ve pretty much decided I will only run the half in May, but that’s another post in itself.
Sunday, we got home from having lunch with my sister’s family and wishing my parents safe travels home, and I was feeling pretty sad. Yet here’s what changed my mood: My neighbor AND girlfriend made this beautiful flier for me, passed it out to the neighborhood, and a neighbor that I hadn’t met had stopped by to offer her support. I was just in awe, and am still so touched there really are no words.
In less than a week, he will be gone and I still have trouble imagining this next year without him. I know, it’s probably tiring to read the same thing over and over, but I somehow have to get it off my chest because it literally feels like an elephant is sitting on my heart. BUT…the day he leaves, starts the countdown to his return and I found this super cool app for my phone.
Thanks for all of your amazing support and prayers. We truly appreciate it!
How’s the weather where you are at? Have you had to scale back on a race due to real life before?
I promise I’ve not fallen off the face of the planet. I’m still here…sorta. I haven’t worked out once this week, and cooking has been minimal at best. You see, Monday it hit me like a 10,000 ton of bricks, that my time with my husband is nearing the end. When someone asked me yesterday when he was leaving, and my answer was, “In just under 2 weeks,” I found myself choking back a sob or 10. Ok, more like 10,000,000 but who’s counting?
My days of thinking I could do it all have long since been laid to rest, and now all I can do is force myself to go to bed at night, and then make myself get up for work in the morning. I am tired. All. The. Time. Being this emotionally drained feels more like I’ve ran 10 marathons vs. dealing with deployment fears. Give me the marathon any day!
I am not ready to say goodbye to this man, MY PERSON, the one person who gets me and has stuck by my side for what feels like an eternity. While friends have come and gone over the decades, my husband, MY BEST FRIEND, has continued to love me even when hating me would be so much easier. Trust me, I’m not the easiest person to love. I am moody, emotional, self-loathing, and harder on myself than I need to be on a daily basis.
Yet he loves me. And he gets my jokes. We say the same things at the same time, we know, always, what the other is thinking and feeling. And the thought of dropping him off to get on plane to go terrible-ville in just over a week makes my chest physically hurt. #ijustcant
So I don’t know what I will write, or when I will run or how I will spark my creative juices in the next week or so. I only know that I need to somehow keep it together, for my daughters because they need me. And I need them too.
I hope to be back at blogging once life falls into some sort of routine, but this next week I need to hang on to all the moments. I’ll be taking lots of pictures this weekend (my folks are coming to town) and over the next week in hopes to hang on to every single moment.
Until then, I’ll keep movin’ forward, even if its at a snails pace.
Since the news of my husband’s deployment I’ve gotten so many wonderful emails, cards, and even gifts sent to me by loved ones.
Out pouring of prayers, texts and phone calls have been welcomed with open arms on most days. Because in all honesty even though I do get a daily text of “Love you” usually from my hubby, I have only gotten to talk to him a couple times as in “real conversation” talk in the last few weeks, and that makes my evenings very hard. To say I am just hanging on by a thread or two pretty much sums it up.
Work stress is at an all time high, and of course parenting 2 girls one of which is a teen means my plate is over flowing.
Some days, I am ok. Others…well, not so much.
Last night we had some window repair guys come to the door. I begrudgingly opened the door to have them come in and give their shpeal about how my windows were old (duh, the house is 30 years old) and needed repair. Would my husband be home later so we could discuss? No, D-bag…My husband is deployed and I am the head of the household from here on out for the next year. OOOOOOH. Thank him for his service they said as they looked at my Grandpa’s shadow box on the mantle.
How many tours has your husband done? Two I said. I smiled and said thank you, and told them that I too, was retired military. How many tours? I didn’t go overseas…No comment from either gentleman.
They went on about the windows, and I could feel the fire burning in the back of my throat. So often my service is disregarded, even by myself-but I’m allowed ha- because I didn’t “fight any wars.” Not that they saw at least. And that will always make me sad, because I joined the military in my junior year of high school on the delayed enlistment program TO GO TO WAR and fight for my country. Yet here I am, almost 25 years later still working in a hospital job that was chosen for me by the military.
Miffed, I shook the man’s hands and bid them good night.
Several minutes later, my youngest tugged on my shirt as I cooked dinner to show me the card she and her daycare buddies made for my husband. As I pulled it out of the envelope and opened up the card I choked back sobs in seeing dozens and dozens of children’s signatures wishing my husband the best on his deployment.
And at that moment I realized that serving my country also meant sucking up all my stupid pride and serving proudly as an Army wife.
I may have not had the career I fought hard to attain, but God puts us where we are meant to be. I have to have faith that this is where I am needed, at least for now. Every ounce of support I’ve received is just another thread in the rope I’ll be hanging on to this next year. Thank you!!
This week, I wasn’t going to post. But I decided that despite heartache, I needed to celebrate the fun weekend we had. So here we go, in mostly pictures, my weekend wrap up.
I wish I could say this was an epic hallmark holiday, but I can’t lie. It was tough without my husband. We’ve spent the last several years apart, but tonight’s reminder that we are together always was just what I needed. My neighbors are currently plowing my driveway after our snowfall, so blessings all around. Thanks to Holly and Tricia for the weekly wrap up!
So just when I thought I had it all figured out, well, yeah…I was reminded that I’m only human. My husband is set to leave in the beginning of March. For an entire year. He’s been on orders (training) full time for the last 3 weeks straight. As in up at 4 A.M. for work and home just before 8 P.M. most nights. But what was saving me is that we’d at least have February to spend together as a family before he leaves. He’d go back to a regular-ish work week, and we’d see him at least a couple of the weekends in February. We’d have time to recharge before he leaves in March.
Today I got the news that he had a lot of travel in February to prepare for the deployment. As in the first 3 weeks of February, he would be traveling. REALLY? After several tears, and even more F-bombs, it got me thinking about the many stages of deployment. I thought I’d share a few that have rang true with me through the many years of being an Army wife.
Sadness…as in, my chest feels as if a 10 ton elephant is sitting on my heart and squeezing the life out of my soul. Ok, that’s a bit extensive, but total true story.
Fear…fear of the unknown for both me and my girls, and for my husband and his soldiers. Every. Single. Day. I will fear for his life, and nothing can change that fear.
Anger…even resentment for the passion he has for the Army, and the fact that his passion takes him away from his family, and puts himself in harms way. More so, anger towards the Army for taking him away from me so often. And I’ll admit that’s one of the toughest stages to deal with on a daily basis.
And lastly…but most importantly…PRIDE…because all the sadness, fear, anger, and every other emotion in the world can’t be topped with pride. For this man, MY husband, is protecting our country (and our country is in a pretty sad state these days), and for that, I need to be grateful , proud, and thankful. Because there aren’t many people out there anymore, that are willing to sacrifice their lives.
So while today I reminded him how much I think this FU@#%&*! sucks, and that I have NO idea how I would get through this without him, I am still so darn proud of him. I may or may not have a good cry in the shower, and I lost it at work today which I try to NEVER do, but man, I will keep telling myself that I WILL get through this. I’ve got no other choice, right?
Thanks for all of the continued thoughts and prayers. This year will be life changing for sure.
How do you deal with difficult situations, or family separations?