Deployment thoughts

T-1 week

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…
Someone isn't pleased...
Someone isn’t pleased…
Time to pack...I'm not ready.
Time to pack…I’m not ready.
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.
Waiting for the train!
Waiting for the train!
Our favorite!
Our favorite!
YUM!
YUM!
Just us!
Just us!
Shopping at Eataly
Shopping at Eataly
#beanselfie
#beanselfie
Dinner at MK
Dinner at MK
He truly is the love of my life
He truly is the love of my life
Daddy and his girls
Daddy and his girls
Grandparent LOVE!
Grandparent LOVE!
When they brought this desert out to him, he lost it..."I'll see you in my dreams..."
When they brought this desert out to him, he lost it…”I’ll see you in my dreams…”
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.
6
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.
9
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?
Cheers!
Michelle
weekend wrap up

Weekend wrap up in pics…mostly…

Happy Monday, y’all!  How was your weekend?!

Mine was great.

I started out my Friday with 8 miles after work.  I was truly chasing daylight to get this one done and I wouldn’t change a thing about this run.  Ok, maybe the pit stop I had to take in the woods to pee at mile 6, but other than that, it was perfect.  Splits were: 9:54, 9:52, 9:56, 9:33, 9:26, 9:24, 9:12, 8:54!  And…I got to capture this picture when I finished.

10-1

Saturday I spent the day in the city with my family.  It’s amazing what a train ride, some shopping, and AMAZING food can do for the soul.  AND I got to meet one the amazing John Colleta of Quartino in Chicago which is one of our FAVORITE places to eat in Chicago.  WINNING.

Short rib tacos from The Grand Lux Café in Chicago-YUM!
Short rib tacos from The Grand Lux Café in Chicago-YUM!
10-3
Chef John Colleta of Quartino took the time not only come out and greet us, but he made us a complimentary pizza!!!
The best pizza I've ever eaten.  Ever.  LOL
The best pizza I’ve ever eaten. Ever. LOL

Sunday was a quiet day filled with football watching, cooking, and one last run to wrap up the week.

10-4

The pic doesn't do this meal justice, as my daughter said she LOVED the sweet potato puree!
The pic doesn’t do this meal justice, as my daughter said she LOVED the sweet potato puree!

It felt great to regroup over the last few months, and I really feel like I am getting back to ‘me’ again.  Despite a rough summer, I can happily say I am continually movin’ forward and it feels great.

How was your week?  Do you ever do touristy things where you live?  What’s your favorite cuisine?

Have a wonderful week!!!

❤ Michelle

Holidays

I think I found it…

I wrote my last post, pretty down in the dumps, wishing the Christmas fairies would sprinkle their dust on me.  I was being a bah hum bug, and truly was getting on my own nerves.  But last month, after some shifting of funds, saving money, and using the hubbies travel points we were able to schedule our 3rd annual family trip to Chicago during the Christmas season.  The kids had no clue…they kept asking, “Aren’t we going to Chicago this year for Christmas?” to which we would just smile, and say, “Maybe not this year…”

For the last couple years we haven’t traveled past a state or two, having gone to Michigan last summer for 4 days, and Chicago a handful of times.  We don’t spend money on fancy hair cuts, and have cut out all luxuries to include massages, nails, cable, and eating out at “regular” restaurants for the most part.  I cook at home more times than not.  We are truly frugal, shopping consignment for clothes, and EBay for many gifts.  BUT…we don’t cut out good food, or nice places to stay when it comes to our family.  We simply believe it’s important to teach our kids to be frugal, but also appreciate the good things in life.

So to get a deal of half off at The Drake Hotel, and be able to use points was a win/win for our family.  Our kids have always begged to stay there, but as most know, a one night stay can cost a pretty penny.  Saturday night we advised the girls to get to bed early, and pack an overnight bag.  They were GIDDY.  “Where are we going?”  We just smiled.  Pulling up to the Drake was priceless, as the girls just were beside themselves with joy.  And THERE…was my Christmas spirit.  I finally found it…in my children’s laughter.  YAY.

So here are some pics from our 24 hour trip to the city we’ve grown to love.  Chicago.  Despite the gray, overcast, and dreary weather, I found myself coming alive this weekend.  And all due to my family’s joy of being there, with, me.  We enjoyed good food, shopping, and some much needed down time.  Oh…and we walked 5.1 miles just on Sunday!  Win again!

Beef shank for dinner at Quarntino!
Beef shank for dinner at Quarntino!
Say Cheese!  At Eataly!
Say Cheese! At Eataly!
The city looked AMAZING this weekend.
The city looked AMAZING this weekend.
My people.  The mirror to my soul.
My people. The mirror to my soul.
Fondue from Quarntino  YUM even though I don't do cheese often.
Fondue from Quarntino YUM even though I don’t do cheese often.
Yes, this is Marilyn Monroe and Joe DiMaggio's initials carved in on their wedding night.  SO COOL
Yes, this is Marilyn Monroe and Joe DiMaggio’s initials carved in on their wedding night. SO COOL
Roasted Octopus from Quarntino.  More winning.
Roasted Octopus from Quarntino. More winning.
Our tradition to buy an ornament each year in Chicago left us with THIS. Love.
Our tradition to buy an ornament each year in Chicago left us with THIS. Love.
yes, I got the 15 year old to sit on Santa's lap...More winning.
yes, I got the 15 year old to sit on Santa’s lap…More winning.
Sisters...my heart!
Sisters…my heart!
And here is where I found my spirit...in these two little people's eyes...joy.
And here is where I found my spirit…in these two little people’s eyes…joy.
Eggs benedict from Bar Toma.  DELISH.
Eggs benedict from Bar Toma. DELISH.
True love...TRUE love.
True love…TRUE love.
Zappoli's from Quartinos...have you been there?  You MUST GO!
Zappoli’s from Quartinos…have you been there? You MUST GO!

Sooooo…at the end of the day, besides being tired, I find myself full of Christmas spirit finally.  We were able to spoil our kids at the mall due to being TRULY frugal all year, and seeing their faces made my heart melt.

And yes…there was mad jumping on the huge bed in our hotel room, just to add to the fun.  My kids were LAUGHING and my heart sang.

There it is… my Christmas spirit.  I am so glad I found it. Family…food…feel good stuffs.  YAY.

Merry Christmas/Happy Holidays everyone!

❤ Michelle