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

Deployment thoughts

My 2015 review

I’ve thought a lot about this last year.  I’ve truly changed, and for the better (in my opinion, and that is what counts, right?) if I may say so myself.  I went through and purged my blog of negative posts in the beginning of the year, realizing what a drag I was for SUCH a long time.

So I thought what fun would it be to highlight my POSITIVE posts for my year in review?

This post is where I beam with pride for my husband taking his first command position in the Army.  Now, as he prepares to deploy for a year I NEED to focus on this pride and not sadness.

My hero...
My hero…

And then there is this post, where I talk about my once hated birthday, and how I finally started to celebrate life and all the wonderful blessings I’ve been given.

As we hit the second month of the year, I found myself feeling sorry for myself as I caught my aging reflection in the mirror, and I spoke about the truth. And how important it is to BE TRUE to yourself and others always.

My world was barreled over and changed in the blink of an eye when on St. Patrick’s Day, my oldest daughter was in a life threatening car accident.  This post was (and still is) my most viewed post since the beginning of my blog.  (Thank goodness, she’s is A-OK and you’d never know the accident happened minus a couple scars).

IMG_5211

What would a runner be, without thoughts about running the Boston Marathon?  I share my thoughts, here.

Here, on the eve of my Grandma’s Marathon 20 mile (SOLO) training run, I found myself on the crazy train, and I tell you what, it nearly derailed, ROFL!!!  note: I not only survived, but I ROCKED my last training run!

My current half marathon PR race can be found here, all full of tears and fun balled up in to a great big sweaty mess ROFL!!!!  Throw in a recipe for short ribs, and you’ve got a winning post, right?!  LOL

This pic, truly says it all. Thanks to Dave Sheble from the Fox Valley Marathon for capturing it!
This pic, truly says it all. Thanks to Dave Sheble from the Fox Valley Marathon for capturing it!

My year in review wouldn’t be complete with out the recap of the race I trained nearly half the year for: The Grandma’s Marathon, in Duluth Minnesota.  I ran/walked this race with my sister, and I can honestly say it was one of the toughest races I’ve ever ran.  Guess what? It was also a life changing, relationship building and character testing event that I’ll never, ever, forget.

All. The. Beers!
All. The. Beers!

We headed to the beach in July, and I finally found where I believe home will be once the kids get a bit older.  We started out in Marco Island, but got rained out!  So my hubby saved the day, and the last 2 days we road tripped to Miami and I was instantly in love.  You can see our adventures in my picture post recap, HERE.

IMG_4453

One of my favorite Friday Five posts can be found here.  I love it when you have an “Ah HA!” moment.

I ran my last official race in October, the Prairie State half marathon.  Check it out here!  It was all about fun, friends, and food that day and I had such a blast!

Happy Finishers
Happy Finishers

And then, the news came that my husband was deploying.  Overseas.  To an icky place.  For a year.  And some days, even now that I’ve had a couple months to digest the news, I find it very hard to even breathe. #sigh

So we made the most of our anniversary, knowing we’d be apart for our next.  And just writing that sentence brings more tears to my eyes.

Can you tell I like him just a little?
Can you tell I like him just a little?

Lastly, one of my favorite weekends of the year, every year, is our annual Christmas Staycation in Chicago.  This year we went all out, and it was AH. MA. ZING.

Us just before going in to the Lion King
Us just before going in to the Lion King

As I said, I learned so very much about myself this last year.  I hope and pray I have the continued strength to get through this next year on my own without my husband.  My girls need me.  My husband needs me to be strong for them.  I need to be strong for ME.

How was your year?  Did you meet all the goals you set for yourself?

Cheers to a great 2016!!  Thanks to you all for following along and supporting my journey!

❤ Michelle

 

 

Hump day, Uncategorized

Where will I be?

The laboratory supervisors got our schedule for next year, which includes our weekend rotations of regular holidays and weekends.  It showed me on Christmas PM shift, in 2019.  And that made me stop and think…where will I be in 2019?

I don’t plan to be here in the Chicagoland area.  As much as I love the city, the taxes kill us, and I am ready for a less stressful life filled with downsizing and beaches.  Miami/Ft. Lauderdale is on our radar, but who knows, right?

But let’s talk today…shall we?

Today I realized that even after 24 years of doing my job, I still can kick butt as a bench technician rockin’ out the work like a mad woman.

Today I realized that my little girl, isn’t so little anymore as she asked me, “Mommy, when will I get under arm hair?”  Ack.  #notready

Today despite another sleepless night, I realized I am stronger than I think as I rocked out my 5k/5 minute plank after a crazy day at work.  (see above)

12-9-15.6

Today I realized that it’s only December 9th, and I’m ahead of the game with package wrapping.  Does anyone else feel like it’s double Christmas when 99.9% of your shopping is done online?  I love opening all the packages, LOL!!!

Today I realized that while wrapping, and shopping on said Amazon Prime, that I had left over Cooper’s Hawk wine that my sister brought over for Thanksgiving!!  What is leftover wine you ask?  I can hardly answer that question, ROFL!!!!

12-9-15.6

Today I was reminded of how much my Dad loves me.  I received this gift of two handmade ornaments and a hand carved rolling pin. All. The. Tears.  We don’t see each other very often, but the love is so evident.  I even got to talk to him on the phone tonight, thanking him graciously for such a heartfelt gift.

Today I spoiled myself with a beautiful gown that I will wear next weekend when we are in Chicago.  I most certainly will feel like a princess.  Wouldn’t you?

12-9-15.5

And lastly, today, I was reminded by my husband that although he is gone a lot, he thinks of us all the time and loves us very much.  And that my friends, is a wrap.

How was your day today?  Do you ever wonder where you will be in a few years?

Michelle