Deployment thoughts, firsts, Uncategorized

Week 4…unfortunate firsts and lessons

In keeping with my “Tuesday firsts” post, I am forcing myself to write, and not give up on the goal I’ve set.


As you read yesterday, for the first time  last week, I visited the Art Institute of Chicago.  It was REALLY cool, and I love seeing all of the beautiful artwork and reading about the history of Van Gogh’s life.  Winning.  I also ran for the first time in over a week last night.  It was only 2 miles, and it was on the treadmill, but I ran!



Yet while last week was amazing, this week started out darn right terrible.  NOTE: If you are looking for an upbeat post, this isn’t it…But I do manage to end on a good note!!

I didn’t sleep Sunday night, yet made it through my work day with little residual damage having been so tired.  But during the day I had numerous texts, all from my teen telling me how horrible she felt.  Keep in mind, I am not a terrible Mom who isn’t compassionate about her child.  That statement couldn’t be farther from the truth.  But I AM keen to her past behavior and am well aware of her patterns.  Every. Single. TIME. My husband travels, she pulls this…she is too tired, has tummy issues, you name it…anything to NOT go to school.  It’s downright maddening because I already have SOOOOOOOOOOOO much on my plate.  SOOOO, we of course had a major blow out (not a first), and I can’t even repeat some of the things that were said.  Words hurt.  And you can’t erase them.  Just sayin’…

I am NOT doing so hot at this single Mom gig, I tell you that.  And last night, hearing my daughter scream how miserable I make her, multiple times, left me with the heaviest of hearts. So I cried. A lot.  Then I parked myself on the bathroom floor while my daughter took a shower, refusing to leave yet sadly wanting to run away as I heard her sob.

We mended things the best we could, but I did not sleep again last night.  She did not go to school. And our hearts, are still very heavy.  And for the first time in quite a while, I felt defeated.  Deflated.  And all the other bad D words you can think of.  I no longer believed I could do this.  And that made me feel like a failure.

Am I ruining my daughter’s spirit?  Ugh.  I just can’t.  I had my spirit ruined back when I was her age due to other circumstances, and it took me nearly 25 years to find it again…Please God, don’t let me be ruining her spirit. How am I going to get through this year?

Simply stated, I have to get through this year.  I am left with no choice but to have to keep going.  But for the first time I question our ability to get through this in one piece and without shattered spirits.  Numerous texts from my sister and Mom last night and today helped, and I can tell you had it not been for my sister, I probably would’ve been sent home today.  #sistering

And then I remember.  This is just one of the many phases of deployment.  Today, I am sad, heartbroken, tired, and feeling so very empty without my person.  But tomorrowtomorrow is a new day.  And I have to believe, I have to TRY to believe that I can do this, and do it without too many bumps and bruises. Last night I put in my green light bulb to support the soldiers who are deployed, and I prayed.  I prayed.  And I prayed some more.


Thankfully today, after a lot of talking and some rest, I think she’s feeling better and realizes she can’t keep repeated this pattern. #fingerscrossed

Tonight, I decided we needed some Portillos for dinner…because what is life without a good salad and French fries? #balanceright



Week 4/52….22 weeks until our halfway point.  Deep. Breaths.

How do you turn a bad situation around?  Any firsts you’d like to share?

Thanks for all of the amazing support!  Keep on Movin’ forward!

Cheers ❤



Deployment thoughts, Uncategorized

What day is it today?

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.

Even Sammy is missing him
He texted me this photo on his way to the airport. They were being escorted by veterans. SO cool.

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?

Cheers!!  ❤



Deployment thoughts, Uncategorized

This too in time shall pass

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.


Deployment thoughts, Uncategorized

Thinking Thursday

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.
A daily devotional from one of my FB friends ❤
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.
My Dad built this shadow box for my Grandpa, and it was given to me after my Grandfather’s passing.
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.
Just a few of my accolades from over the years
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!!
Deployment thoughts, moving forward, running

The rescued Introvert

I have battled with depression for more than half my life.  Those of you that have been following along for a while, know that for most of my adult life I had taken depression medication.  In fact, my distance running career started partly because I had hit rock bottom, and I HAD to pull myself back up for me AND my family.  So in 2007 I decided in late September that I was going to run my first half marathon just 7 weeks later.  I trained for this race while working full time, going to school for my Bachelors degree AND studying for promotion.  Did I mention I had an 8 year old and a 1 year old daughter to care for too?  LOL.  Most said I was nuts, but deep down I knew I’d go completely nuts if I didn’t escape to the roads to train. I finished said half marathon in 2:19, and I had never been more proud of myself other than the day I graduated basic training.  I DID it.  I didn’t quit.  I didn’t give up. And my husband was there, cheering me on the entire time.
Several years later, in 2012, I would finally complete my goal of finishing my first full marathon, and I did so with my sister by my side.  Another very proud and amazing moment that I will never forget.  I also haven’t taken any depression medicine since 2012, and I keep movin’ forward and feel better for it.
What does all this mean?  Well, running has truly saved me more times than I can count.  Why? How?
Well, I saw myself pulling back from my friends and family again here recently.  I just wanted to go to work, come home, and curl up on the couch and forget that with each passing day, it meant a day closer to when my husband leaves.  But a few weeks ago I decided I was going to accept an invitation from my friends and start running with them on Tuesday evenings.  I was going to GET OUT OF THE DARN HOUSE and do something just for me.  This last Tuesday as I was running and chatting with one of my very dear friends, we spoke of depression and different times in our lives that we battled this yucky disease.  She spoke of a time where she stopped doing all the things she loved, and she became introverted and just wanted to be alone.
And a light bulb went instantly ON.  I was doing this. I was declining invitations, not doing the things I enjoyed, and I was avoiding my friends.
So last night after work, I took my youngest shopping (I normally HATE stopping anywhere after work) at Target, threw in a couple CPK frozen pizzas in the oven, and treated myself to a MUCH needed massage.  I hadn’t had one since June, and it was long over due.  The point, is that I did something for me FINALLY.  I’m not one of those women who gets her hair done at a nice place, or manicures/pedicures unless it’s a special occasion.  I honestly don’t do hardly anything for ME, and it’s gotta stop.  Because here soon, it’s going to be ALL me, and I better MAKE time to recharge.
I feel better today, better than I have in quite some time.  I know some pretty amazing people have my back, and that helps lighten the load tremendously.  And I’ve got hope…barrels and barrels of hope and faith, that my husband will return home safely, and that our family will be even stronger through all of this.

Questions: What’s your go-to stress reliever? Have you or any of your family members dealt with depression?

Cheers to you all for you amazing support!

❤ Michelle

Deployment thoughts

My Christmas wish list

I’ve read several posts about Christmas wish lists, and it got me thinking…

What do I want for Christmas?  I really couldn’t come up with anything.  If I want or need something, I stop at the store and buy said item.  Like last week while I was out Christmas shopping, for example.  I needed new mittens so I can actually run outside this during the winter months.  So I picked up these bad boys which I am told by my runner friends are AH. MA. ZINGGGG for keeping your hands warm.

photo from Amazon, but I got mine at my local running store
photo from Amazon, but I got mine at my local running store

So what could I possibly ask for, for Christmas?

And then it hit me like a ton of bricks as I was watching T.V.  A commercial came on, and it showed a Dad taking his son to see Santa, and then unwrapping presents on Christmas morning.  A toy truck zoomed across the floor and to the front door, where his Mom, a service member, stood in the doorway.  She was returning home from her deployment and wrapped her arms around her family.  I can’t even type it, without getting choked up.

I’ve been part of a homecoming like that, once.  And soon, I’ll have to say “Farewell” to my husband for a very long time.  Next Christmas, he won’t be with us.  And just typing those words makes my heart ache even more.

My hubby and J, the night before he left for Afghanistan in 2003.
My hubby and J, the night before he left for Afghanistan in 2003.

So for Christmas, my wish is for his safety and for the safety of his troops.  Please, God.  Bring them home safely.  Please.

The second happiest day of my life.  <3
The second happiest day of my life. ❤



Times like these, really puts my life in to perspective.  There isn’t anything I could truly ask for this year, other than his safe return home.

What is on your wish list this year? Are you able to spend the holidays with your loved ones?

Wish you all, a very Happy Holiday season.

❤ Michelle

Deployment thoughts, Uncategorized

Sometimes everything hurts

There are some days, when I can honestly say everything hurts.  The ache in my heart seems to permeate throughout the rest of my body, and I just don’t have much left.  That’s my last week in a nut shell.  And it sucked.

So here are a few things that made me smile over the weekend.

Pictured is the watch I spoke about in my previous post.  It was an anniversary gift for my husband, and he truly loves it. My daughters have truly rallied around me (the 16 year old has her moments of course) and keep me smiling.   This weekend was my friend Carolyn’s 40th birthday, and although I couldn’t make it to the city with the girls, I was able to meet for her surprise birthday dinner.  YAY! I miss these ladies dearly, but the stressors in my life have taken front seat unfortunately.  I also made a yummy roast for dinner tonight, with a sweet potato mash topped with parmesan cheese and chives.  YUM. Oh and naps.  Yup.  I had my running clothes on today….but a nap seemed like a much better idea. See, sleep just doesn’t happen anymore so I take what I can get.  #dontjudge

Check out my dress.  I LOVE pretty clothes!  #giddy This is one of the dresses my hubby picked out during our anniversary weekend.


This week my husband will be traveling for a leadership meeting for his deployment.  It all got very real, very quick. Today he was called in for another emergency meeting, and it’s so very hard to digest the whole situation.  I can’t obviously go into it, but let’s just say S#@! just got real.

Tonight, while was cooking dinner I looked over and watched him. He was sitting in his rocking chair, drinking a glass of wine and reading his favorite magazine, Wine Spectator.  But he wasn’t reading.  He was staring at our Christmas tree.  I asked him, “Are you ok?” and he looked down and nodded.  I went to him, hugging him tightly, and he choked back sobs.  This big, strong man was crying.  And everything hurt, a little more.

But this too, in time, shall pass…We WILL get through this.  Thanks to you all for your amazing support and patience.  My blog has obviously taken a turn, but it helps to get it all out there even if just once a week or so.

How was your weekend?  Did you cook anything yummy? What makes you happy during tough times?

❤ Michelle