I’m sorry…I don’t date.

I met a man on August 26th, 2003.  Upon seeing him from across the room my breath was taken away.  I whispered to my friend Kara, “I am going to marry that man.”  But deep down I knew coming off a terrible divorce just 3 years prior that I had no intentions of marrying again…ever.

We talked that night, inside a smoky bar in Alaska.  We danced.  And we laughed…over and over.  We were both stationed in Anchorage Alaska, he serving as a Paratrooper in the Army, me as a pathology technician in the Air Force.  I’ll never forget that night…

After several drinks, laughter, smiles, and we shared an eye contact that couldn’t be broken.  He gave me his number as the night came to a close, and I in turn gave him mine…”I don’t date though, I’m sorry…,” I proclaimed.  I let him know that I was a single Mom, and my loyalty was in raising my daughter on my own.  He smiled, and said he’d call me the next day.

And he called, the very next day.  And every day there after…We talked for hours, yet it seemed not a minute passed by…we emailed short, sweet emails back and forth.  Several days later he came over to my house, and I can honestly say it was love at first sight, all over again.

I tried to hide my emotion.  I tried to tell him I couldn’t love him, or commit to him in a relationship.  But just weeks later I found myself tethered to this man whom I loved and adored.  He welcomed my daughter into his life, and he loved me with more passion than I can even describe.  He. Loved. Me.

But I don’t date…

Six weeks into our relationship we received the news that he was due to deploy.  In October.  I didn’t have to wait…Please, it’s ok…he’d say repeatedly.  But I knew.  I KNEW.  This was the man I was meant to be with for the rest of my life.

And so, on a cold and dreary morning in early October I waved farewell to the man of my dreams as he boarded a plane for Afghanistan.  He didn’t think I would wait for him…Little did he know…

Because I don’t date…

But waited I did.  I endured more sleepless nights than I care to admit.  I lived for phone calls, emails, and watching the news for updates on his unit.  His safety.  We had many close calls.  Many days when I cried more than I felt humanly possible.  But I had my daughter to keep me strong.  I did all I could to hide my sadness from her.  And SHE. was my rock  at the young age of four years old.

Because remember, I don’t date…I was married to my child in all honesty.

He returned home 11 months later, and on August 29th, 2004 this very same man proposed marriage to me.  To which I accepted with tears in my eyes and happiness in my heart.  He. Chose. Me.  I was enough for this amazing man.

And now, as we are just a week before we will celebrate our 10 years of marriage, I find myself reflecting.  Good times, bad times, hard ships, LIFE.  But in the end, laughter and our unending love got us through it all…

Because I don’t date…

Instead, I married the man of my dreams, and I wouldn’t trade a second of our journey.  We’ve been through so very much, lived in several different states, lost loved ones, broken careers, financial hardships, you name it…but at the end of the day, we have THIS.  Thank you dear Brian, for always being my smile. US.
This…is US.

❤ Michelle

dedication, moving forward, running, Uncategorized

Polar Dash Recap, and more!

Today was my first race in over 3 months since I tore my Achilles tendon. Yet when my friends asked if I wanted to sign up for the Polar Dash race series, I was excited to have a race to look forward to again.
We headed out early, despite the challenges of slippery roads, time set backs, and yes, me forgetting my trail shoes and having to run home to get them.
We got to the starting point literally less than 10 minutes before the 14 mile start. I missed meeting up with some amazing women, but did catch Penny from 26.Yikes and SarahJeanne from In Mid Stride.
Lots of laughter, hugs, and chatting and we were FREEZING, but happy.
We headed to the start corral, and I realized WOW…I am doing this. BRRRR….
Not a 1/4 mile in, and we were faced with standing water, ice, and detours through snow banks. But we were HAVING FUN. Crazy right? I mean, really, who signs up for any sort of distance in JANUARY, in CHICAGO? Yup…we did.
So we took a lot of pictures. Stopped to walk the icy parts, and the best part? I didn’t look at my Garmin, at all.
Several comment were made about our attire…and the best being named the “Polar Princess’s” and the “Tutu crew.”
We stayed together.
No runner left behind.
We finished happy.
1-11-14Polar Dash finish
And afterwards we all met up for lunch, and of course the traditional Bloody Mary. Yup. I drank that.
And in the end, people can question our pace time, our finish time, or how we placed….

But guess what. For THIS race, NO ONE cared. It was about being together as friends, laughing, talking, reconnecting, and just RUNNING to be free.
While eating lunch and shortly there after, I found myself laughing…laughing, and smiling so hard I had tears streaming down my face.
THIS is something I don’t do often enough…

But I did it today. And I’m better for it. I thank all of my friends and family, both near and far, for giving me a reason to smile, laugh, live, and run.