moving forward

It’s been a while…

Well, I didn’t meet my goal of blogging at least 2 times each week as of last week, having only posted once last week and not posting since…But sometimes life just gets too hectic for all of the fun things that we enjoy doing.  And sometimes, we just need to step back and let things happen as they should.  For the saying IS true…everything WILL fall in to place eventually.

I had a pretty amazing opportunity come my way.  I will leave that part of this post fairly vague, but to say it’s an opportunity of life time is pretty accurate.  But…I can’t take the opportunity, as I am needed here by my husband and kids. Part of being a military wife, is giving up your own wants and needs so your husband can serve the country. And while I know my husband and kids (and my country) are so much more important than any sort of career chance I may be afforded, I still am left feeling very sad, and ever so slightly resentful.  Gah.

I hate that feeling.  I hate the dreaded sadness that can sit in the pit of your stomach and just burn, reminding you of it’s presence constantly throughout the day like bad heartburn after you’ve eaten spicy Mexican food, far too late at night. I hate crying every time I am left alone with my thoughts.  I hate the reminder of the depressed person I once was and the memory of crying every single day. Double GAH!

So last night I reminded my husband that I only had a few days left before this opportunity would be a thing of the past.  I had to decide.  They didn’t REALLLLLLY need me, did they?  They all spend their evenings on computer games or in their rooms.  They wouldn’t even notice I was gone, would they? #whoamikidding


He shook his head.  “You can’t go,” he said sadly. “We need you,” he said quietly.  And he’s right…and I knew that all along.  But hearing him say it, made me feel needed and loved.  More so than I have felt, in quite a long time.

So while I am sad, I know my family comes first, and that someday there will be ANOTHER opportunity, perhaps at the RIGHT time…until that time, I’ll hug my family, count my blessing, and keep…movin’…FORWARD.  I’ve started running/walking again this week after a 2 week break, which has helped me digest this whole situation immensely.

Have you ever had to pass on a good opportunity?  Did it take you a while to digest it all?

Thanks y’all!!!!

❤ Michelle

Grandma's Marathon

Mid week randomness

It’s time for my mid week check in…here are some random thoughts, in no particular order of relevance.

It’s the final countdown! This week it finally hit me after opening up my own site that the marathon is in 10 days.  But this year my training has been a bit different.  I LOVE that I have gone in to this training, and maintained WHILE training, the premise that this marathon is PURELY FOR FUN. WHAT, you say?  I am not trying to go all out like a cheetah and break mad PR’s and qualify for Boston?

Nope…This run is all about getting away with my sister, running our race strong, yet having as much fun as possible.  We never get a chance to spend time together, just US, so needless to say I am stoked.

With that, I haven’t been stressed this year in regards to pace, because I know I can complete the distance.  I’ve done it twice before, along with several 19/20 mile training runs so I am not nervous in the least that I will finish.  SOOOO…the next 10 days will be filled more with planning, because this is an out of town race, and the farthest I’ve traveled to run a race before.

How will I prepare?

Making lists of course!  I’ve already started!!!

One thing I DO stress over, is forgetting something.  Making lists are a GREAT way to alleviate this problem.  I am a runner that is dedicated to routine.  In making my list, I went through my morning routine for long runs/races in my head, and jotted down everything I’d need.  This helps keep packing/race morning stress free!!!  Which in turn leads to more FUN!!!!


Diet update!!! If you read Monday’s post, you saw that I started the Military diet.  I am now on Day 3, and down 3 lbs.  WINNING.  Tomorrow I can to go back to regular eating, but I think I will keep my breakfast and lunch the same so I can eat a nice dinner with my family at night.  I’ll continue this plan, 3 days each week though, in hopes to lose the final 5 lbs.  This plan was tough, but well worth it.  And I even cheated at lunch today with Egg Drop soup (which thankfully has less than 100 calories, but quite a bit of sodium), but have also been drinking a LOT of water which seems to counter any missteps I may have taken…Tips for those who want to try the plan: Drink A LOT of water.  You WILL feel hungry.  When it doubt, drink more water.  I added cucumber and lemon to my water which seemed to help curb my appetite.  Also, check out the site (see link to Monday’s post) for substitutions to foods you aren’t a fan of.  For example, I am not a fan of hotdogs, so had a couple ounces of salmon instead that equated to the same amount of calories.  Winning!!!  I still have a way to go, but am happy to finally start seeing progress.

Photo Cred:
Photo Cred:

Moving Forward!! If you read this post from a couple weeks ago, you’ll remember I was struggling with a few skeletons that decided to rear their ugly heads.  I am happy to report that I’ve broken that cycle before I let it drag me down, and have continued to avoid all negativity and self loathing.  My mantras: I”f it doesn’t bring me joy, I don’t participate.”  Also…”Don’t confuse my contentment with complacency.”  I am simply happy with ME and where I am going.  I’m not sure why it took me so long, but I’m on my way regardless, lol!!!!  One thing I have learned is that surrounding yourself with like minded people, helps.  A lot.  Like, a WHOLE lot.  I have preached it in the past, but to truly cut out as much negativity as you can from your life isn’t always that easy.  Cheers to moving forward!!

Photo Cred:
Photo Cred:

How is your week going?  Have you had any success with new diets or work out programs that you’d like to share? What is YOUR mantra?

Have a great week, y’all!!! ❤


Friday Five, Grandma's Marathon, marathon training

Friday Five and mid year check

Here’s my Friday fives from the work week and mid year check in, in no particular order…

I contemplated briefly, running a fall marathon.  Yet after my 4 mile run in the heat and humidity, I changed my mind, immediately quickly.  I’ll focus on speed and getting my half marathon time under 2 hours, instead, like I initially planned.

LOL! Photo Cred: Princess and the Frog movie
Photo Cred: Princess and the Frog movie

I have continued to work on my moving forward mantra with lots of self-talk, doing things I love, and surrounding myself with positive people.  I’ve also made more effort to reach out to people who I know too, are struggling.  Yay for forward progress!

Or Photo cred: Myfitnesspal
Or this…lol
Photo cred: Myfitnesspal

I have been eating REALLY well for a few weeks now, (You can read about my shocking revelations here) and have lost maybe a lb. but that’s reaching.  Argh.  Someone pass me a cheeseburger and fries, PLEASE.  I’m truly at a loss…and not the weight kind.  Is it so much to ask to drop 5-10 lbs.?? LOL!!!


My legs/body is tired this week.  I physically feel ok, but every time I run it’s like I am carrying two lead filled bricks vs. legs.  I ran my last 4 miler in my long run pace of 10:30…seriously?  Why does everything hurt?  I am half contemplating skipping my 12 miler tomorrow…but am on the fence.  Even if I’ve cut long runs a bit short, I’ve never skipped one that I can recall…

pretty much how I feel this week, and when my alarm goes off at O'Dark 30 for my long runs.
pretty much how I feel this week, and when my alarm goes off at O’Dark 30 for my long runs.

After no more than 1 day off consecutively in the last 2 weeks, I am  SOOOOOOOOOOOOOO happy it’s Friday.  I’ve got lots of plans filled with power washing my deck, staining said deck, and a baseball game with my family tomorrow night.  Sunday is my nephew’s 8th grade graduation and I can’t wait to see my sister and her family.  It always does my heart wonders to be near my peeps.

Photo cred:
Photo cred:

Have you ever had issues with coming to a stand still in regards to weight loss?  Have you ever skipped a long run during marathon training?  How are you coming along with your goals this year?

Happy National running day…week!!!

marathon training, Recipes

Weekend wrap up

Happy Easter, y’all!  Although I am not one to go to a brick and mortar church very often, I do have a very strong faith and have always appreciated the meaning behind Easter. I pray you all had a wonderful Easter weekend.

Mine started out with a bang.  Or a clunk more so…for the last several days I’ve heard/felt a grinding in my brakes.  I took my Jeep to the shop after work on Friday only to find out I needed to replace my rear rotors and brakes.  Ouch.  Bye Bye pay check. Oh well, better safe than sorry right?

Saturday was long run day, and the day we’d celebrate Easter with my immediate family.  I set my alarm and hit the trails with my friends for my 14 mile run.  I felt little nags and aches but managed to finish this run rather strong after allowing myself a couple walk breaks and several breaks to stretch.  My ITB continues to be a B@#%! but I won’t let it stop me. I will however foam roll daily moving forward.

I haven't ran with these two in a while, so it was great to meet up with Melissa and Pat for some miles!
I haven’t ran with these two in a while, so it was great to meet up with Melissa and Pat for some miles!
Isn't ALWAYS about having fun?  I think so...
Isn’t ALWAYS about having fun? I think so…
overall pace of 10:38.  Not bad!!!
overall pace of 10:38. Not bad!!!

After my run, I came home and made my traditional bacon and eggs.  ALL TIME favorite post run food.  Then I hopped in the shower and headed to my sister’s house.  It felt so nice to be with everyone and I of course got emotional when we got there.

My J, and my niece!  <3
My J, and my niece! ❤
My sis and Mom.  Gorgeous right?! <3
My sis and Mom. Gorgeous right?! ❤

Today was a nice and quiet day at home.  We got up early, hunted for eggs and cleaned the house.  Not very Easterly I know, but ya gotta do what ya gotta do!

I made a yummy and easy Easter dinner of spiraled ham, mashed potatoes and amazing roasted parmesan carrots.

Roasted Parmesan carrots

Preheat oven to 375 degrees

Peel and slice 5 carrots into 1/4-1/2 inch discs.

Slice half a red onion

Mince two cloves of garlic

Grate 1/2 cup of parmesan cheese

Toss everything in a bowl with extra virgin olive oil, Italian seasoning, salt and pepper to taste

Place on a baking sheet that has been lined with foil and sprayed with non-stick cooking spray, in a single layer if possible.

Roast at 375 degrees for about 25-30 minutes


This week I have a doctor and dental appointment, ugh.  Joys of aging, right?  But, speaking of doctors, J is healing slowly but surely and we are hoping she can return to school in the next week or two.  Thanks for the continued prayers.

How was your Easter? Did you have a long run this weekend?  What’s your favorite veggie?

Keep Movin’ Forward, y’all!

❤ Michelle

moving forward, Recipes

Lesson’s learned

If you read my last post, you read of my daughter’s life threatening accident.  This past week has been nothing short of a rollercoaster ride, filled with ups, downs, and more emotional strain than I think I have ever experienced.  But in these last few days, I’ve also learned many lessons that I believe will help me be a better Mom, Wife, friend, and person in general.

Firstly, the old cliché that “Life is short” became very real to me this week. I had flashes of losing my daughter more times than I can count, and moving forward I will truly do my best to embrace EACH DAY.  I won’t nag my youngest about housework when she wants to put on a fashion show, or worry about whether or not I’ve perfectly folded the tee-shirts and socks.  I will spend MORE time living, and less time worrying about meaningless crap.

Doesn't my dog look thrilled?  LOL
Doesn’t my dog look thrilled? LOL

Secondly, I was reminded how very important being kind is this week.  Be it a phone call, a text message, A fruit basket in the hospital, a card in the mail or flowers for my daughter ALL these acts of kindness helped ease my stress.  And in receiving such amazing support, I’ve been given the gentle reminder that support goes both ways.  I’ve often let a busy life be an excuse for not reaching out…well, no more.


Thirdly, the saying “Laughter is the best medicine” really IS true. J needed help in bathing again today, and as I helped her get dressed she smiled.  Just an hour prior she was irritable and grumpy (expected side effects of the injury and medications she is on), so her smile was welcomed.  I offered her my gel deodorant to use, so she took it gently and applied it under her arms.  “It feels funny,” she said, and then started laughing.  It was a gentle, quiet laugh to which she said, “I don’t even know why I’m laughing.” I just smiled with tears in my eyes.  What music to my ears it was to hear her laugh.

Found this on Pinterest
Found this on Pinterest

Lastly, do what you love, and love what you do.  Having been in the hospital for half the week, and the other half just plain exhausted I haven’t cooked or been running.  So tonight my hubby and I tag teamed dinner.  He was on grill duty, and I made some yummy sweet potato and red pepper mash.  I don’t have an exact recipe, but here goes:

Sweet potato and Red pepper Mash

2 sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed

1 red pepper, chopped

2 cloves of garlic, minced

Seasonings: crushed red pepper flakes, kosher salt, pepper, cumin, smoked paprika, cayenne pepper

2 tablespoons of butter

Boil the potatoes in water until fork tender.  Reserve about a cup of the water.  While the potatoes are boiling, sauté the garlic, peppers and crushed red pepper flakes  for 5-7 minutes until tender.  (I sauté in extra virgin olive oil over medium to high heat-drain grease)

Combine everything to include the seasonings in to a food processor, and add the reserved water little by little to ensure the taters don’t get runny.


Tomorrow I’ll hit the trails running with my dear friend for a nice 13 mile run.  There will more than likely be tears, laughter, more tears, and much needed release of stress.  But my miles will be dedicated to my daughter, as she is the toughest little fighter I’ve ever met, and I am so blessed to have her in my life.

Thanks everyone, for your continued love, prayers, and support.  We are movin’ forward!!!


❤ Michelle

depression, moving forward

Fear and frustration = FUEL for marathon motivation

In 2013 I ran my second FULL marathon. I swore I’d never run a second full, but got the bug after the first training run.  I PR’d by nearly an hour (58 minutes to be exact, I SHOULD know the seconds, but don’t, lol) and I SWORE I’d never run another full marathon.  I ran a couple half marathon races in 2014, to include my husband’s first half…did you read about it?  You can read about it HERE!

I love this guy...
I love this guy…

So today while on my break I decided to catch up on blog posts.  My friend Kim asked when training for the Grandma’s Marathon started, and after scratching my head and thumbing through my calendar I realized official training starts in TWO weeks.  WHA????  Here. WE. GOOOO!  In two weeks I need to be back up to a steady 6 mile run. Easy peasy, right?  I’m a marathoner for goodness sake…Ack…I haven’t ran more than 13.1 miles in 4 months…but I’m ready.  And a little scared, too…<3


Have you heard of this race?  If not, read here!  For those that don’t know, this is my hometown race, where I grew up watching marathoners crossing the finish line, thus my  dream of being a marathoner began.


And a marathoner I am…to me, this is one of the hugest mental and physical accomplishments of my life.  I have loved, I have lost, and I have ran 26.2 freakin’ miles.  yeah…quote THAT.  🙂

But the last 2 days I fought with some mental demons, past hurts, and irrevocable YUCK that just can’t be forgiven forgotten.  I ALMOST let it get to me….but NOPE.  Sorry y’all, I’ve got a marathon to train for…#movinforward

So I thank you all for your positive feedback in regards to my last post.  I know we all struggle, we are all human, and we all have those negative forces that try to creep in…BUT…I also know, only some of us decide to move forward…and not let that crap in.  (Yes, I was literally shaking my head today)!!!!


At the end of the day, I managed to finish my plank challenge (Day 2) and added an additional 10 seconds, as well as did the push up challenge I am participating in this month.  Tomorrow is mill day, and I hope to get in at least 3 miles.  I’ll be taking all of my fear and frustration and ‘running it out’ tomorrow…who’s with me? Let’s leave the crap behind us, right?


What are your plans for the week?  Do you have any upcoming races?

moving forward

Movin’ forward, Two things this Tuesday

I have had a bit of a rough week physically.  I’m not sure if it is the weather, crazy storm fronts or lack of good sleep but I’ve just felt a bit off. My sinus cavities aren’t happy with all the weather changes, and my stomach has that “Are you two months pregnant?” look to it that means it MUST be that dreaded time of the month or I have been eating too much crap aka salt. Crap…it’s only Tuesday!

As I drove to work today on my 0.1 nano-seconds of sleep I decided to reflect on how my year has started. (In reference to the nano-second please, PLEASE tell me you know who Mork and Mindy are…).  I use my commute to think, reflect, and devise my daily plan for forward movement.  That is my mantra….right?



Firstly, I started off my year by NOT running due to my accidental idiot mistake to lop off part of my thumb.  I almost let this incident get to me, but remembered last year’s winter and decided it best to keep movin’ forward.  So last week I started running again and yeah…a month off can hurt a person’s mojo.  I can’t get my breathing straight, I hate the dreadmill, and it truly is hard to get motivated enough to get movin’ after a long day of work.  But I’ve kept at it despite not feeling 100%…and although my mileage/speed is crap, I am at least MOVIN’…right?

After work, while dinner was cooking-THIS
After work, while dinner was cooking-THIS happened…lol

Secondly, sometimes winter gets to my emotional well being.  Ok…I hate winter, more eloquently said, winter hurts…ROFL. That being said, I started to let the negative forces creep back in to my life…until I promptly kicked them to the curb.  Be gone!  People, stuff, events, you name it…I refuse to get sucked back in to it all.  So sorry if I am a bit absent from the negativity…#noroomforthatcrap #sorrynotsorry

Pic from
Pic from

Yet tonight I had SEVERAL text messages from friends both near and far that wanted to check in on me/say hi/chat.  Score. My heart was re-filled and I knew I was on the right path yet again.

photo credit, Pinterest
photo credit, Pinterest

And now, as my hubs heads off to his late night soccer game I bid you all good night, and sweet dreams.

Questions…how do you keep yourself movin’ forward during tough times, winter months etc?

❤ Michelle


moving forward

Tuesday truths-part 1…can you say no?

For years I was a person who aimed to please people’s lives…I wanted to make everyone happy, even if it meant sacrificing my own happiness.  Call me a people pleaser if you will…

But today, after an uncomfortable situation at work I found myself starting to steam…my cheeks flushed, and I felt the anxiety creeping in with it’s quiet demeanor.  Darn it…here we go again.  WAIT.

I stopped, drafted an email explaining my concerns with what I was asked to do, and set it aside. 

I waited, nearly 10 minutes and came back to it to reread what I had wrote. 

I hit send…to the powers that be and then…

I waited again for a response…

I got confirmation that I was in the right, and that I didn’t need to do the task I was originally asked to perform as it was out of my scope. 

And then,

I smiled.  I stood up for myself.  I said no. 


This was a welcomed milestone in my moving forward mantra, and I am still smiling. 

Do you have a problem saying no?  If so, how have you dealt with it?



moving forward, running, Thursday

Throwback, Thursday and moving forward

I have been toying with this post for a while, but between my computer dying and lack of time I put it off…

I had read a post on one of my favorite blogs a while back… about whether or not you go back and delete old posts.  My initial response was, “No, my blog is a catalog of my journey.”  But tonight I decided to go back and read some old posts I had written since I started this blog back in 2011.  Wow…it was an eye opener to read some of my early writings shortly after I retired from the Air Force.  My initial blog was named “From blue, to jeans” but I’ve updated it to my current site in the last couple years.

Some of my posts were…well, sheer torture to read.  Was I really so down in the dumps all the time?  Was transitioning from the military, and being a single military wife for many months so hard?  Apparently, yes, it was from what I read… I whined…a lot.  Gah.  So I deleted several posts tonight, because that just isn’t the course I need to take anymore.  I’m sure I’ll go back and delete at least a few more.  For moving forward to me, is a journey filled with change, positivity and not dwelling on the past.  Sure, tough times are had by all…but I don’t need or want that sort of thing to be the premise of my writing.  I’ve worked hard this last year or so to literally delete negativity from my life, because I have the tendency to get sucked in to that frame of mind and in all honestly-I want to break that pattern.

So tonight, after what was the busiest day I’ve encountered at my not so new job, I came home, and ran…just an easy 3.3 miles, but I ran none the less.  I’ve lacked motivation these last few weeks coming off the Fox Valley half marathon with my hubby, but I know I’ve got a race coming up and I just can’t half ass it…it’s not in me to just wing it…My 11th half marathon in two weeks, the Naperville half marathon.

In doing so, I found my inspiration to finally write this post.  I thought back to 2007 when with only 8 weeks to train I signed up for my first half marathon, the San Antonio Rock-n-Roll half marathon.  Seven years ago, at this time I had hit a tough spot in life and decided to give my heart to distance running and I lost myself on the road.  I ran the entire race, which was my goal…and I finished in 2:19 (I believe?  how can I forget?)…I’ve ran 10 half marathons, but this one will always hold a special place in my heart.

My biggest fans after finishing my first half marathon in 2007!
My biggest fans after finishing my first half marathon in 2007!

I found myself there, on those 13.1 miles of streets, roads, and city sites…and although there have been bumps in the road, I now smile daily, and live to tell my story another day.




Two things, Tuesday…or maybe more

After my recent MasterChef open call experience, I gave myself a few days to regroup. I pouted a bit having not made it past the first round, watching simple pasta dishes and chicken salad make it through, and then I realized, reality TV is just that…reality.  And possibly I was just a bit too boring for ratings. Ha, what little they know…but my story, and my dish wasn’t enough to get me through, so I now need to keep pushing myself forward.  Why?  Because my dreams are mine, and mine alone, and I am in control of my future. I took that step forward, and I keep telling myself THAT is what matters most.

So finally, after nearly three weeks of no running (and a looming half marathon in my future the second week of November) I decided to lace up and run last week.  I ran 2 miles on the tready in the beginning of the week, and took my kids to a fun S’Mores run with my run club.  I was on single Mom duty last week, but the girls and I had a blast.

My girls
My girls

My hubby came home early Saturday afternoon, so we were able to hit our run club dinner.

Dinner with running friends=Win!
Dinner with running friends=Win!

Sunday I knew I needed to at least attempt a pseudo long run…despite tummy issues I made it 4.5 miles, and simply enjoyed being outside in the beautiful fall weather before #Chiberia hits.

This is where I run....breathtaking.
This is where I run….breathtaking.

Tonight I made my yummy chicken soup for dinner…the recipe can be found here:

At the end of the day, I know these things to be true:

1. I have dreams and goals of being more, and doing more for my family.  But these goals don’t always pan out…that won’t stop me though.

2. Today I realized that although I work hard, and get paid crap, I find myself smiling so much my face hurts by the end of the day.  That, my friends, is a priceless thing in life.

So with that, I encourage you all to keep moving forward…in life, in training, and in the goals you’ve set for yourself.