decided to not just survive this deployment, but do my best to thrive.
visited girlfriends in LA, Chicago, New York, Canada, St. Louis and Sacramento.
saw Paul's friends in San Francisco.
planned a birthday surprise.
played a third wheel and a fifth wheel.
programmed my phone with all the important numbers.
happily drank a half bottle of wine by myself at 4:59 on a Wednesday.
sometimes drank more than a half bottle.
developed a love affair... with Brussels sprouts.
attended 34 Bar Method classes.
washed the car.
sewed a quilt.
ate probably 65 spinach salads & 80 eggs.
found us a new place to live.
scrubbed our old place so it sparkles.
made phone calls and asked important questions.
bought a new couch.
started painting over the stripes on the wall.
filled all the nail holes.
re-hung the doors that it took two people to get down.
ran a half marathon.
ordered Christmas gifts for our families.
painted three things I am excited about.
wrote over 150 blog posts.
hosted a real life minibook workshop.
hosted an online blog design workshop.
washed 50+ loads of laundry.
learned to navigate Trader Joe's with my eyes closed.
baked a cake.
saved more money than ever.
changed my skin-care routine.
wrote a magazine article.
found a new haircut that I love.
laughed until I cried.
cried until I hyperventilated.
worked for a big company.
rented a car.
stayed solo in a hotel.
flew to a funeral.
celebrated a life.
sent birthday cards.
sent sympathy cards.
sent congratulations cards.
sent thinking of you cards.
sent thank you cards.
cried on a shoulder.
held someone while they cried.
decided to buy a Christmas tree.
waited to watch our favorite TV shows.
picked out a new refrigerator, washing machine and dryer.
called customer support.
dealt with the DMV.
yelled at the DMV.
cried on the phone with the DMV.
remembered I am miserable at handling the DMV.
canceled our Netflix disc mailing service.
had another love affair... with Friday Night Lights.
stayed in my pajamas all day.
dressed up in my fanciest attire.
bought new lipstick.
contributed my share to our family's income.
maxed out our Roth retirement funds.
made plans to try for a baby in 2012.
baked a lot of bread.
saw a movie in a theater by myself.
killed spiders & fruit flies.
dealt with mold.
watered the plants.
fixed our Internet.
broke our garbage disposal.
danced around the house.
day-dreamed about our trip when he's home.
woke up in the middle of a nightmare.
asked for help.
said I could handle it on my own.
called my parents in tears.
saw two USC football games in real life.
emailed Paul with relevant (and irrelevant) news updates.
stayed upbeat most of the time.
drove 500 miles up the five and then 500 miles down - twice.
lost my mind in a fit of rage - at least twice.
got lost - way more than twice.
scheduled and re-scheduled oodles of flights.
designed wedding invitations.
took thousands of photos.
had trouble sleeping.
slept like a baby.
made new friends.
prayed for strength and for Paul's safety.
rejoiced and thanked God.
felt immense support from both people we know and from complete strangers.
been overwhelmed with pride for Paul and what he is handling over there.
felt so much respect for others who have dealt with deployment, heartbreak & loss.
remembered everyone is fighting their own battle.
aged 105 days.
always known that of course, OF COURSE, life goes on.
*When I started writing this post I was definitely fueled by anger (at an anonymous comment? come on, Elise, get over yourself) but by the end of it, I'm totally at peace. That's a real good thing. Putting my life on the internet has been one of the best decisions I have made in the last six years. I have closed the comments because while I wanted to share this post, I am not reaching out for sympathy or anything of the sort. I am so very grateful for this blog and for so many readers who are willing to offer encouraging words. Truly, it's a blessing. And now... back to regularly scheduled DIYs and recipes - with some personal stuff thrown into the mix. :)
**I can't help but read the title of this post like I am Kelly Clarkson singing into a mic.
***confused by that photo? read this post.
****last thing, I highly recommend this exercise. Pick a time period. Write down everything you can think of that you have done in that time period. It doesn't matter if you are single, married, divorced, aged 15, 41, 83, happy, sad or struggling. It's therapeutic as hell. And so empowering.