Showing posts from 2012

Our Christmas Card

I haven't been a very good blogger lately. James is still in "redeployment mode," which means he goes to work early for PT and then is home somewhere between 12 and 2pm. It's amazing. I could seriously get used to this. He's got a few more days before leave starts for Christmas and we have a whole bunch of family coming. So we've been trying really hard to get the house ready. I did get Christmas cards done though.
I just love shutterfly. Although, I did have to edit it a little so I could post it on the blog. I really wanted to have a family picture with Roxy too (I seriously love MrsMollyP's family Christmas photo), but our puppy was a little too crazy.

I'm not gonna be too awesome about updating for a while. So here's our Christmas card to you. In case I don't check back before Christmas, have a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

<3 Amy

Deployments and Cars and Murphy's Law

I'm sure you are familiar with Murphy's Law. Anything that can do wrong, will go wrong. This is especially true for deployments and you'll hear it confirmed by any military significant other that you talk to.

I thought I would share with you the story of my car and the deployment. This is my Honda CR-V. 
After James left for Afghanistan last December, my mom flew out to Seattle to drive back home to Illinois with me. On the way to pick her up from the airport (James had been gone only a few days), a truck kicked up a rock and hit my windshield. I ended up having to get my windshield replaced. 
On our drive home to Illinois, my engine light mysteriously turned on. We stopped to check the oil. It was empty. No oil. My engine was actually burning oil so badly that we had to add a quart of oil every time we stopped for gas. And it's not like it's a super-old car, since it's a 2005. 
I got it back and they had to replace a gasket. The problem came back again later a…


The unpacking is happening. Also, I accepted a job. Starting January 21st, I will be a Data Programmer/ Analyst for a company located in Tacoma. Slowly and slowly, I'm beginning to see the start of "normal life" falling into place.
When we put everything into storage a year ago, I put aside one box of keepsakes and treasures to take with me. I knew I wouldn't need these things while I was in Illinois, but I brought them anyway because there's always the chance the storage place could have burned down. And- I feel justified now in this fear because a storage place in the town next to ours did burn down, so it literally could have been ours.

This box has our wedding album, letters that James wrote me during various times he's been away, and different things that he has made for me over the years. He's actually a pretty crafty guy, and I love how it balances out with the infantry manliness. Besides the letters, this Bible might be my most treasured possessio…

Meet Roxy

This is Roxy. She is a 5ish-month-old German Shepherd/ Border Collie mix. She hasn't grown into her ears and her paws yet. Which is pretty much adorable.

My husband is a huge "researcher." He loves doing shopping and researching online for everything we buy. So as soon as we found a house, he went into dog research. He's wanted a dog for a long time, but we've never been able to have one where we've lived.

A couple weeks ago, we went down to Portland area to see NAIA Cross Country Nationals. Our old cross country team (all the way from Illinois) had made it so of course, we had to go cheer them on.
Sitting at Starbucks, waiting for the race to start, James found a picture of Roxy online. So after the race, we went to this pet shelter to go meet her. We got to take her for a walk and found out that she loved running with us. Perfect. So we signed adoption paperwork and paid for her. It happened pretty dang fast, but James had been doing his research and we kn…

Redeployment Life

It's taken me a while to getting around to writing this post. James is home. It's weird typing it still. I feel kind of like I got married all over again. Bittersweet goodbyes to family, moving in together, cooking dinner and doing other housewifey things, getting to sleep in a bed with my favorite person.. It all feels new again. 
Right now, James is only only going into work a few hours a day to get some redeployment** stuff done, like getting up to date on medical stuff (he hasn't been to the dentist in over a year, etc) and making sure the guys in his platoon are on track too.

It's been mostly blissful. I won't deny that there have been a couple difficulties in the transition. When I imagined James coming home, I pictured me sleeping restfully in his arms, no longer worried about his safety. Well, James snores. Something that I seemed to forget about when I was just wishing he was home. So while it's true he's home safe now, I wouldn't call my sleep…


Alright. I admit it. I was being a little bit sneaky with you. If you read my post before James came home, I purposely made it sound like I was going to be waiting for him longer than I was. Truth is, I knew we would only be here in Seattle a couple days before he got back.

I was supposed to get a call from the FRG (family readiness group) approximately 48 hours before he landed. When I didn't get a call on Tuesday, I was sad since I figured that meant the earliest he would get home would be Friday. Then I got to talk to him on Wednesday (on instant messenger) and he let me know they would be getting home the next day. I can't tell you how awesome that was to hear! 
Me: But wait. You're coming home tomorrow? I didn't get a "48 hour" call yesterday.  James: Looks like they dropped the ball on that then. I'm going to be home tomorrow. 
My stomach kind of flipped. It was really happening! Then as I was still chatting with him, I got the phone call. "You…

He's Home!

The deployment is officially OVER! He just got home TODAY! I will post more after I get some quality time with my husband. :)

<3 Amy

Happy Election Day

I'm so thankful for my right to vote! I actually voted 2 weeks ago, but I kept my "I voted" sticker and I'm wearing it proudly today! Brave men and women have sacrificed so much for YOUR right to vote. Don't waste it!  <3 Amy 
PS: We made it to Seattle!

Driving Army Wife

My mom and I are driving. A lot. We are in day 2 of an approximately 4 day trip.  Leave Chicago was sad and exciting at the same time. Saying goodbye to my friends and my high school group at church was hard. Saying goodbye to my dad and my brothers was the hardest. But I had to say bye so that I can be in Washington for James when he gets back. Bittersweetness at it's finest. 
Now I'm on the road with my mom (she's my driving companion and then she'll fly back to Chicago so I get to put off saying goodbye to her). Typing this up on hotel wifi. I am so excited. Leaving my parent's driveway and driving out of the neighborhood almost made me start crying all over again. I didn't used to be this emotional! I didn't even cry at my wedding. This dang deployment has made me a basketcase.  Can't tell you exactly how long I'm hanging out in Seattle-area until James gets there. I'm not even sure myself, to tell you the truth. The Army has changed it on …

Happy Picture Wednesday

Thought I'd share a picture from a Halloween party a few years ago.  You can't see my awesome orange socks in that picture so here's the full outfit:

Happy Halloween!
<3 Amy

Running Through Deployment

I've started packing. I'm heading out with my mom pretty soon to Fort Lewis area to search for a place to call home and wait for James.  In pretty much one picture, this is what I accomplished during the deployment. This included my 10k medal, 5 half marathon medals, the caution tape "human lives" that I claimed from 4 human runners in my Zombie 5k last Sunday, and my greatest accomplish: my first marathon medal. Theoretically, I may do another race or two in 2012 but I'm done with racing until James gets home.

I also included my Team Salute singlet. Even though it was pretty uncomfortable, I did end up wearing it in the marathon. I exceded my goal of $520 and raised $657 for Salute Inc, an organization for military families in need. The Chicago Marathon Team Salute runners (about 100 of us) raised over $75,000. Training for the marathon became about something greater than just me, and I'm so proud that I was a part of it. 
It felt strange to lay it all out …

Scary Picture Wednesday

I did a zombie run. Again. James and I actually did one last year. This year I did one with my brothers.  This year I actually did catch 4 humans (humans had 3 flags to signify "lives" and got a 20 second head start)! Here is a picture of the zombie start. Maybe not a "happy picture" but it was really a fun race so I'm using it anyway. And the zombie dude next to me does look pretty happy.
That's me in the orange singlet and my two brothers to the right of me. I know. I look pretty scary. We added some blood last minute so I actually didn't even know I looked that scary until later. 
Then afterwards we went out to dinner and still had our Zombie make-up on. And yes, we got some stares. And scared a few children (unintentionally, mostly). It was fun. 
<3 Amy

Happy Picture Wednesday

These are most of my favorite girls from the youth group that I volunteer for (including my co-leader and one of my best friends Sarah on the far right). This is back during a winter retreat and I know them and love them even more than when this picture was taken. I'm going to miss them a lot when I leave to go back to Fort Lewis.

Recovery and Relief

I hadn't heard from my husband in a several days. That always kind of makes me nervous when he's not able to give me a heads up about it. If I wake up randomly in the middle of the night, I'll sometimes check my iphone to see if I have any new emails from him.

Then this morning, he emailed me and told me that he was at his new location. He's now at a much safer place for the rest of the deployment and doesn't have any more patrols. No more worrying about IEDs or getting shot. He's on a big base with walls and barbed wire and guards with guns and lots of Americans. It took a few minutes for that fully to set in. Then I told my mom and asked her if we could break out some wine to celebrate. At 10am, haha. And then I started crying out of relief. 
The danger is pretty much over. I say pretty much, because it still makes me nervous that he's in Afghanistan at all. But really, the danger is over. I have to keep telling myself this, because I thought that I would…

Happy Picture Wednesday

Just in case you're new, I post a happy picture every Wednesday while my husband is deployed. This one makes me especially happy.

Chicago Marathon

Chicago, I always knew you would be my first. Oh goodness, where do I even start?

The Expo. It was the biggest expo that I've ever been to. I kind of felt like I was at Disneyland for runners. They had a really cool wall that you could scan your number and your name would appear with "Amy Owns 26.2" or "Amy Owns Chicago." I actually waited in a line to get this silly picture but I'm glad that I did.

Nike Chicago (formerly Nike Town, which just opened back up after about 6 months of remodeling) had this pretty cool thing going with the hashtag #ownchicago and the @chimarathon tag. There was this screen (that Nike Chicago also tweeted) that was made of twitter names. The more that you tweeted about it, the bigger your name was. Apparently I tweeted about @chimarathon a lot. 
So I thought that was pretty dang cool. Then I went over to try to sign up for one of the official Nike Pace teams and hit a conundrum. There was a 4:10 group and a 4:25 group. Not a 4:15 …

Butterflies & A Badly-Fitting Singlet

Oh, golly it's coming fast. It's hard to believe that I signed up for this race 8 months ago. Holy cow. I just got my confirmation ticket/packet in the mail the other day. It's a 36-page participation guide booklet. I'm a little overwhelmed to say the least. Soo much information.
My pace tattoo also came. For 4:15. Ah I don't even know if 4:15 is realistic for me. I'm still going by Jeff Galloway's Magic Mile calculator.

Also, I met my goal for my Team Salute fundraising. Yay! Actually I went over. I have some awesome friends and family. Here's the only problem.. I'm not really a fan of the Team Salute singlet.
So.. in Brooks and Nike stuff, I'm pretty much always a small. This is actually a medium. It's too short, and the neck holes and arm holes are too small. Plus, I kind of wanted to wear a bright color so that my family could pick me out easier in the crowd. Since I hit $500 in my fundraising, I'm supposed to get a Team Salute runnin…

Happy Picture Wednesday

It's time to break out the scarves! Happy Fall!  I thoroughly believe it's not possible to own too many scarves. 
PS: James made me the two middle ones.

Thoughts on Prayer While My Husband is at War

My mother-in-law invited me to go with her and some of her church friends to an apple orchard today. We carpooled together and the woman sitting next to me has a husband who used to be in the Marines. We got to talking about prayer. Then she said something that really hurt me.

"My parents prayed for my husband's unit every day he was deployed. Not a single soldier in the unit died. Then a week after they got back, two soldiers got killed." 

And she goes on to talk about the power of prayer. As I'm typing this, I'm even getting tears in my eyes again. I wanted to say "But I've been praying every day too." And men in James's unit have still died, and it's been heartbreaking. Thank goodness that I was wearing big tinted sunglasses. I didn't say anything. The other lady in the car mentioned how amazing that was. I noticed that my mother-in-law didn't say anything either.

What part of me wishes I had asked.. Is that supposed to be a good e…

I Got Rid of My Countdown

I'm not saying you should too. Get rid of your countdown, I mean. If you have one. But I had to. Here's the thing about deployment countdowns.. they can make you focus so much on how much time is left until that day that you'll be happy he's home, that you might forget how to be happynow.
And time goes slower when you know the exact date. Believe me, it's true. I had a little dashboard widget on my mac. Now it just has a count-up since I last saw him and a countdown to the marathon.
I don't think that counting up is bad. You'll probably see a happy tweet from me when it's been 5 months since I said goodbye to James at the end of R&R. Woohoo! Another month that we've conquered! That's different. When I had the countdown, I looked at it way too often. I got rid of it about half-way through the deployment. I cannot tell you how much "faster" things have gone for me now. And you could argue that maybe it's just because the second h…

Miles & Miles Before I Sleep

This title may be overused by running bloggers but I don't really care. I've been proud of my mileage lately. I haven't run this many miles since college. I love dailymile because I can look back at my mileage from the past year.
And the funny part is that I can see how life events have affected my mileage. James left in December for his deployment. I had to finish packing everything up and drive home to Chicago. I didn't feel much like running that month. Then he came home for 2 weeks in April. Hence the drop in mileage there too. I was so excited for him to come home that I didn't run much before he got here, and then I didn't feel like running much when he was here either.

And then marathon training! I love how much a good long run can boost my numbers. Dailymile even shows me my top 5 farthest runs. All of which are marathon training runs at the moment. And I'm also so excited that I've run 104 miles in September and I still have a week left!

The be…

Happy Picture Wednesday (Late.. I know)

So a friend of mine posted a picture of this stuff on facebook. I didn't even know that such a creamer existed. Where have I been? So I made a decision. I must have it.  I went to two grocery stores and neither of them had it. This was discouraging. I stopped by a Target. Nothing. Then Meijer.. who does carry International Delight.. but no pumpkin (by the way, I never realized how many creamer flavors are even out there? Butter Pecan, Coconut, Peppermint Patty..). Two employees happened to be standing there so I asked them if they would be carrying it. "Um.. we should be getting that in really soon actually." Then the other said, "Actually, I think I might have seen it in the back." So he went back and got it for me! So I am literally the first person of the season to buy Pumpkin Pie Spice creamer from my local Meijer.

And since I'm currently mad at Starbucks (taking away my gold carb member free syrup and soy options), it's perfect timing. Now I can e…

20 Miles in the Bag! Hello Taper Time.

Yesterday I did my 20 miler! I signed up for this organized training run (so I even got a race bib, but it wasn't a race) with water stops along the way and several hundred people to run with. It was a lot of run! It went by a lot faster than if I had run it myself. And it was my last really long run of training. I'm really really happy about how it went. I didn't walk at all except for a few steps through the water stops.  And I felt like I could have gone longer! Basically I'm totally confident now that I can do this marathon.
Also, I found my little Garmin Connect stick so I was actually able to upload the workout. Here's my splits!

I found out that you're actually supposed to go really slow for your long runs compared to your goal race pace. That seemed pretty dumb to me but then my friend Army Army* mentioned that she did better in her second marathon when she did this.. so I did some more research. 
There's something called Jeff Galloway's Magic M…