The Lonely

I hate the holidays. 
I'm trying so hard, and I don't understand this.  I miss Frankie, I miss our life.  I miss feeling like I belong to something absolutely incredible here on earth, and like I have to wait to be complete again until I die.
I am lonely.  I know everyone will say, but you are never alone...he is always there.  I know that, but sometimes missing him just takes over, and I cannot shake that painful feeling.


Missing U

Sunday nights.  There is something that makes this night of the week unbearable.  It is a culmination of all the other nights of the week added up without him.  It was one of our favorite nights of the week, where after church we would usually pack a lunch and take a stroll down to Lanikai beach, and read our favorite books, or just sit and look out at our favorite place together.

We would go home, and usually head outside to barbecue a delicious dinner and play phase 10.  We would just laugh and talk and stare at the stars after eating.  Sometimes we would take a dip in the pool.  And then we would wind up the night relaxed on the couch or cuddled up in bed ready for another week to start. 

I miss our Sundays.  I miss every day...but Sundays were always just ours.


Links, links and more links to Frankie's Silver Star Ceremony!

The legacy of heroes is the memory of a great name and the inheritance of a great example.   ~Benjamin Disraeli


On September 23, 2011 Frankie received the Silver Star.  This medal was well deserved, and I am so proud of him receiving it!  Words really cannot accurately describe that day.  It was beautifully done, and everything went so smoothly, which I have the amazing Civil Engineer Corps Headquarters in D.C. to thank for it going off without a hitch.  Admiral Mullen, former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, presented the award to Frankie.  Him and his wife Debbie have been an amazing support system to me, and I have been fortunate to become rather close to them.  Frankie has made some amazing things happen, and meeting them was one of them. The ties I have made with people since Frankie's death has been incredible.  Somehow he still manages to bring amazing people together and I know that these meetings have not happened by circumstance.  Frankie somehow managed to bring all of our paths together and I am continually proud to call him my husband, my soul-mate, my best friend, and the best person that I have ever met.

A nice news article:

Full video of the presentation: 

Part I: 

Part II:

This was a day to never forget, and I am just so proud of Frankie. 


OK! Fine... I'll admit it:  

I literally have so much to blog about, but lately have been lacking any motivation to do it.  I don't know what my problem is, or what is going on with me, but it was like I was hit by a giant wave of reality and grief, and pain, and missing Frankie like crazy.  Enough to actually knock me down and make me not want to leave my bed for a week.

I feel so strange lately, and like I am letting everyone including myself down, but I feel immobile, and stagnant, and like I have been ignoring the reality of how much I hurt.  It was just over three years ago we said our last farewells in person, and I put Frankie on a plane to head over to Afghanistan.  6 months later, he was placed in the ground, and then life stopped for a while.  Little things in between have kept me going, of course Frankie's love, other amazing widows and friends, my puppy, my dad, and sisters...but every time I actually pause to think about things...It just makes me realize how huge this is, and how much of my life was ripped away from me in a moment..How much my life is never, ever going to be what I expected it to be.  It has made me doubt a lot of things, and made me want to throw in the towel.

But, I know that I won't, I haven't.  I just needed a week of pain and sadness to remind me that I am still alive, and still feeling every moment of grief, love, hurt, life, happiness, and allowing it to creep in even though Frankie will not be able to be here physically with me.  I sometimes push that pain and grief side away from me.  I hate that feeling of drowning, and being knocked down by waves of reality, I hate feeling sorry for myself or miserable.  I am really good at pasting on a smile and being pleasant, when I feel like I want to die.  But sometimes, I need to let it overcome me, to remind me of why I am still here, and what I need to do.

"Don't try to fight the sorrow you feel. The only way to take sorrow out of death is to take love out of life."


5 Years

Frankie's Grammy is amazing. She was the first family member I met of Frankie's. Her and Grandpa Roger. They have so much love for one another, and I loved Grammy's hugs and Grandpa Roger's winks when he would tease me. Less than a year into dating Frankie, Grandpa Roger had surgery, and unexpectedly died during his recovery. He loved Frankie so much. He attended every Kings Point football game of Frankie's, and spent summer's with him when Frankie was young. He adored him.
Grammy, Frankie's siblings, cousins, and Grandpa peeking through

Grandpa Rogers funeral was only the 3rd I had ever attended and the only one where I really knew the person. He was an amazing man, with an amazing love.  I remember feeling so sad for Grammy knowing that the love they shared was one she would wait for until she saw him again.

Frankie stood and spoke at the funeral service wearing his academy uniform that Grandpa Roger was so proud to see him in.  Grandpa Roger served in World War II. Frankie and I spoke with him about his military service only once. We were out at one of his favorite steak restaurants, and we asked him about that time. Grandpa Roger told us his duty was on the front lines running the communication lines for the men fighting so they could keep in contact with one another. He was literally one of the first ones heading into battle. We saw his eyes glaze over with tears, and could almost see the images that he must have seen, but he did not talk about them. Ever. 

I think of him and Grammy often. I thought of Grandpa Roger during our wedding and felt his love there with us. I think of them on our wedding anniversary because every time I look at my ring, I think of the true love they share and the love I share with Frankie. They both gave us the most amazing gift. The gift of a true example of what it means to love eternally.  Grammy gave me her wedding band with a note just before Frankie and I got married. I wear it with so much pride, and always will. 

Grammy knows how much love Frankie and I share. She gave me another gift right after Frankie's funeral. It is a necklace with a swallow on it from a company called DoDo. It's meaning: Come back to me

One of my favorite quotes I have lived by since Frankie died reminds me of this necklace:

"Be like a bird
That pausing in her flight
A while on boughs to light,
Feels them give way
Beneath her and yet sings,
Knowing that she hath wings." 
-Victor Hugo

I know Frankie cannot come back to me physically.  Although, I hope on occasion he is able to see what I am up to and is able be here in spirit.
There is one thing I have put my faith in on this beautiful journey of life. And that is that I am working my way back to Frankie --- I am growing wings, and moving forever forward in this life and beyond to be with him. I feel him saying Come back to me, my love.
I know the only way to do that is to put one foot in front of the other and live this life fully for not only myself, but for Frankie. To give to others, to keep my faith at the forefront, to exemplify happiness, joy and love, to make new goals and accomplish them even though it is very hard to do that sometimes, and to walk up these uneven, well-worn stairs of faith in this life in front of me.  

Forever forward, Forever upward, I keep telling myself. I will keep going. Until we meet again.  I'm coming back to you, my love ----and our reunion is going to be such an amazing one. 

Happy Anniversary baby, thank you for being the biggest blessing to me in my life, and beyond. 



I am proud to be a BodyRocker! http://www.bodyrock.tv/

I wrote to Zuzana and Freddy, who I discovered last year, just to thank them for their amazing workouts they post online, and other great tips.  It has now become an everyday habit doing her awesome workouts.  She shared my e-mail online with the rest of the bodyrock community, and the support has been so incredible.  I am so thankful for the motivation that this has given me to accomplish all of my workout goals.

I have loved reading all of the comments, and am so inspired by all of the people who I know are pushing themselves to be their best all around the world, and who I know will continue to motivate me.  Feeling good....Now time to work it!! :) 



"A portion of your soul has been
entwined with mine
A gentle kind of togetherness, while
separately we stand.
As two trees deeply rooted in
separate plots of ground,
While their topmost branches
come together,
Forming a miracle of lace
against the heavens."

Baby, I have just been so thankful for your soul lately and all it has given me.  In the times where I have needed you the most, you have been here.  On the days, I just want to quit, you have gently reminded me that you are here.  I miss you so much, but in my soul you always stay.  You have found a way to reach into my heart and have kept me going strong and full of love and life.  And without you physically here, that in itself is a miracle. 
Together forever we will stand, and our souls will never part.

I am so in love with you.  You are my best-friend, my soul-mate, my heart.

I love you more and more with each setting sun, and I know you are with me always. 

Love, Your Wifey



Today, I learned how to ride Frankie's motorcycle.  
Turning the key, and having it start was music to my ears after not hearing it for nearly three years.  
I am so happy he had the chance to have that before he died and that we lived every day to the fullest.  
Today I am thankful for great friends, and people who motivate me to be more and do more. 

Today I am thankful for finding out Frankie is receiving a Silver Star.  
A much deserved honor...
and even though it does not bring him back to me,
it just makes me even more proud (if that is even possible).  
Today I am blessed with an amazing family, who I love being around...even if it means staying in Idaho for a while. I am thankful that Idaho is actually growing on me...

Today, I am ready to take on new challenges and work hard for an amazing cause.  

Today --- and tomorrow, and the days that follow....I will be thankful, and I will be hopeful.


The Biggest Loser :)

Image and quote borrowed from American Widow Project's Weekend Wisdom.

“If you try anything, try to live, if you try to lose weight, or to improve yourself, or to love, or to make the world a better place, you have already achieved something wonderful, before you even begin. Forget failure. If things don’t work out the way you want, hold your head up high and be proud. And try again. And again. And again!”
-Sarah Dessen
Well....I didn't win the 12-week challenge.  Not even in my category.  I was somewhat disappointed, but proud at least to have made it to the finals.  I know that I am feeling better, and will continue to work hard at the goals I have set for myself. 

I have heard from several people that they thought I should have won, at least in my category, but I guess you can't force people to make the right decisions! :)  haha. I really did make a huge transformation, and am proud of where I am, and where I am headed. 

I am still as motivated as ever on this healthy lifestyle.  Although, in New Orleans I caved a couple of times eating things I probably shouldn't have....but man, that southern food.  And those macaroons...yummmmm! 

I have been through so much the past two years, that just signing up and completing the challenge was good enough for me.  (Shhhhh...hush down competitive side...Second place is not the first loser)! :) 

But really, it is so nice to see pictures of myself and not hate looking at it.  I felt so disgusting before and am glad that I am getting back to who I am, and in more ways than just weight loss....I am feeling more motivated in so many aspects of life, and that is what it is all about. 

I will take a picture of my before and after and may even consider posting it on here....maybe :) 


I spent this past weekend in New Orleans with 14 other military widows.  I have had some time to process the whole weekend. and just wanted to share with you a little bit of what I have come away with from the AWP Give Back Getaway.

I was interviewed by CNN while we were doing work on a house for a woman named Tanya, who literally lost everything because of Hurricane Katrina.  She lost her home, her health, her financial means, and her community, all because of the devastating affects of a storm, and a breaking levee.

During the interview I was asked several questions, but the one that stood out was...How does coming and serving this community with the AWP help you with your loss?

At the time it was a difficult question to answer.  I knew the two were tied together, and I know that serving others helps to take my burdens away, but it was so much more than that.  Here we were...a group of 15 military widows, helping rebuild the life of another person.  We did not lose the roofs over our heads, but we did lose our sense of home, our sense of belonging and our sense of safety, when we lost the person who we love the most.

By helping Tanya rebuild her home together, we were rebuilding ourselves as well.  We were working together for the common good of humanity, and trying to get a sense of that goodness back as well.

When we went to a homecoming celebration for a family moving back in to their rebuilt home it all came together for me.  One of the St. Bernard Project volunteers was saying a few words and what he said really struck a chord.  He said that it was amazing that volunteers like us, nearly 6 years later were continuing to come to New Orleans and that we are the true heroes.  We are the ones who have not forgotten the people of New Orleans and their struggle.  In reality, it is not even myself or the other volunteers, it is the amazing people who envisioned the organization for volunteers to be able to continue to come make a difference with direction.  They saw the need, and their vision and heroic efforts made the St. Bernard Project what it is today. 
It made me think of how people so easily forget devastation.  If they are not directly affected by it, their lives move on just as they always did.  They might add it to their prayers, or just see it on the news the week afterwards, but then....Nothing.  It is tucked away in their minds and forgotten.  Even I do that, and did do that with Hurricane Katrina.  It took seeing it with my own eyes, the continuing struggle of the people there. 

Sometimes it feels the same way with the wars that we are fighting overseas.  One of my biggest fears is that people will just simply forget Frankie, and will not talk about him 5, 10, 15 years down the road.  And even though no one can heal me, or rebuild a home for me...they can mention him, talk about who he was when he was alive.  That is healing for me.  And the best people I have found to talk about him with are other military widows.  They have brought me back into this life, and taught me so much, and have made me realize that my journey is my own.  They have helped to sand away some of the rough edges that built up in my soul after Frankie was killed, and I know they will never forget, because they have experienced a loss as big as mine....

So, how did this weekend help me with my loss? It reminded me to keep hope, and to be positive, and to always look for the good in people just how Frankie always did, because somewhere along their path in life they have known struggle.  It reminded me that humanity still exists, and there is so much good to be done in this world...we just have to keep our minds and hearts open to it, and not forget about those around us.

I am so thankful for the American Widow Project.  It was truly inspired by love...true, unconditional love, that continues to be shared by all those who choose to be involved.


One of those days

I have so much to catch up on with blogging, like Frankie's amazing bridge, my 12-week challenge results, and getting through the two year anniversary, but I tried starting those blogs today and realized...

That today just sucks. There is no other way to put it.  I miss Frankie so much.  I laid down last night and felt so alone.  I woke up feeling the same way.  It has been hard to smile today, and to put on my happy face. 

It hurts today.  My whole being aches for for Frankie.  My void is so deep, that I feel like nothing can get me out of it.  But that is just today....Or is it?  Because tonight, I will go to sleep alone, and tomorrow I will wake up alone....
and the next day,
and the next day,
and the next.

4 years and 8 months baby.  I miss our monthly wedding anniversary dates.  I hope tomorrow will be better.



When Frankie and I first started dating in March of 2003, we fell in love so fast.  It was just so natural and perfect.  It was as if my whole life led up to that moment of meeting him about 7 months before, becoming good friends, and him developing feelings for me that I was unaware of...until that first weekend we spent alone together.  I kept telling myself we were "just friends"  going on a snowboarding trip together and staying over at his Grammy and Grandpa's.  

Even when we cuddled a bit on the couch watching Braveheart, he put his arm around me, and asked me if it was OK.  I enjoyed it, but kept insisting we were only friends.  I fell asleep with his arm around me.  I remember waking up as the movie was almost over.  He was still awake and just looking at me.  He smiled and said I looked so cute sleeping.  We went upstairs to go into our separate bedrooms, but we ended up in the bathroom brushing our teeth together.  We just brushed and smiled and looked at each other.  It could have been awkward, but I got the feeling that we would be brushing our teeth together more often.  And then he asked me to spend the next weekend with him. He did not want me to be alone on Easter weekend, since I had not planned a trip home.  Easter with his family.  It was wonderful. 

From there our relationship blossomed.  It was so easy.  We were great friends, becoming best-friends, and we had so many special moments in the first few weeks.  Our love story was finally coming true; we had found one another and it felt like we knew one another forever.  And from the moment we kissed..we just felt the magic between us.  We knew we were made for one another.  I remember a few days after Easter, I was dropping Frankie off at his school.  Both of us did not want to part.  It was a warm night, with a misty rain.  I remembered a baseball field not to far from his school.  I went and parked, and grabbed a blanket from the back of my car.  We went to the middle of the field and just talked and laughed in the drizzle.  We kissed our second time, and it was... to say the least, spectacular.  I remember Frankie got a little uncomfortable, like he wanted to say something, but was holding back.  So, he said..."If there was a ever a moment to tell you I love you...this would be it."  Then he got even more uncomfortable and was like.. "Does that freak you out?" Without any hesitation, I said, "No, not at all. And you are right, this would be a perfect time."  So without saying it, because we knew how serious those three words of "I LOVE YOU"  are, we both knew that this was it! We had found each other.  We were up talking until dawn, and then we went and got hot chocolate at Dunkin' Donuts. 

This was only about 2 1/2 weeks into us seeing one another.  It was unexplainable, but it was as if lighting struck and from there on out, our commitment was unwavering. Those feelings literally never weakened during our six years together.  If anything it was enhanced.  Those butterflies got stronger, and we would just look at one another and wonder how we were so blessed. 

We had known we were similar when we were friends, but we quickly discovered we were just like one another.  Weird, outgoing, friendly, adventurous...I had always dreamed of someone like this, but did not think it was possible to meet him.

With Frankie there was never any fear.  When we finally said, "I love you"  about a month and a half later, it was perfect.  We just knew that this was it.  It is almost impossible to explain.

This time of year, I am always reminded of our first snowboarding outing.  I always think of those first wonderful times that led to what we have now...eternal love.  I always had dreamed of meeting the perfect man for me...and without any doubt Frankie and I were each other's dreams coming true.

I have so many wonderful memories that outweigh the bad this time of year.  It was exactly the same weekend 6 years later when Frankie gave his life for his friends.  Next weekend will be tough coming up on two years of Frankie's death. I have been really emotional, and this month has been a tough one for me.

I really cannot describe how it feels...but there is one thing that I know.  Frankie is my one and only.  Always has been, always will be.

I had written this poem a long time ago...even before I met Frankie.  I always wanted to find the man to give it to.   It belongs to Frankie and I am so blessed that I had the chance to give it to him.


You are the one for me
The one I love so honestly
I want you to know
I'll be there for you
Love you like a lady should
You don't have a clue
How much I love you
I see forever in your gaze
My soul in your heart
An eternity of love
With the best start
Take my heart and make it yours
You are my best friend for sure
My eyes locked to your strength
In your arms I'm so secure
I don't think I understand
That we'll always be
Or you will ever know
How much you mean to me


Our "first song"

So, when Frankie and I first started dating, he did not have a car because he was at a military academy. No cars allowed until their senior year.  I quickly became his sugar mama, ride giving lady.  That's right! Mmmhmmm :)

On our first trip alone together, we were driving up to his Grammy's before heading snowboarding the following morning.  We were in my radio-less car.  It was really awesome actually because we did not need the radio at all.  Well, at some point during the ride, I started humming a song.  Frankie was like....whoa! What song is that?  

I told him and apparently he sang it almost every morning to himself and his roommate for the past little while, and never knew who it was.  Both of us had not heard it forever, but would always randomly sing it.  Brainwaves...maybe!  It is a soul-mate thing, I swear! 

So, I literally have not heard this song since I have been with Frankie and it was definitely a few years before he was killed. And we only heard it maybe twice together...besides when we would bust out singing it at random times.  

Well, tonight, after a not-so-great day...I heard it!  The timing was just right.  I had unplugged my i-pod from my car stereo...which rarely (never) happens.  I turned it to a random station and on came that song.  It ended just as I pulled up to the gym.  Perfect timing. 

I couldn't help but laugh out loud.  I busted out the song like how I would when Frankie and I sang it together.  I had a huge smile on my face, and I said..."Hey baby."  It was just as if he was right next to me, smiling and remembering "Our first song."  I got those familiar chills that make it feel as if he was right there with me in spirit.

And tomorrow, I will wake in the morning, and step outside, take a deep breath...and just keep on breathing knowing he is right there....always.  

And this is the first time I have EVER watched this video.  It is pretty strange...



One month down! 8 weeks to go!

Well, one month has flown by!  I can say that I am looking better and feeling better.  I have lost some poundage, inches, and quite a bit of body fat percentage, and am getting really excited about the next couple of months...and even after.

I have been working out consistently 6 days a week and going really hard.  At least 2-3 hours a day. 
I know 2 hours sounds like a lot, but for me 2+ hours is necessary.  Every exercise I do serves its purpose.  Back in the day, I would work out whenever I could between work and school, and on Saturdays I would do my own solo triathlons just  for fun.  So, sometimes I got in 3-4 hours of working out a day.  When people say they do not have time for it... I say baloney!  Even if it is just a couple of times a week, for 30 minutes.  There IS time! 

Of course, I do not have a job right now, or kids, so I could work out for  8 hours if I wanted to. :)  But, when I was working, going to school, and being an awesome girlfriend and wifey, I just made time for it.  I would study while doing cardio on the treadmill, or sometimes even coerce my boss into doing a fitness video with me.  And of course, Frankie was a fitness phenom, so we worked out all the time together. And if we weren't working out, we were snowboarding, rock-climbing, playing volleyball, ping-pong, basketball, swimming, surfing, or trying some other fun sport! We motivated one another perfectly. 

This  2+ hours does not include my walks with  my puppy wuppy doo doo.  Those are usually around 30 - 45 minutes.  On Sunday, I try to take it easy, but take a much longer walk/jog with Kai.

On top of that, I hired a personal trainer, who has given me a workout plan and some really fun, but really tough workouts a couple of times a week, and he is just really awesome.  He knows I am really serious about this, and has actually mentioned once I lose the weight that I should do a fitness competition.  He does them....and I can see that being a good goal, but first I have to lose 30+ pounds! ha!

It really has not been hard at all.  It is amazing how much more energy I have.  Even when I am not working out, I feel like I need to be doing something.  Besides my intense workouts, I am eating the right balance of foods that my body is fueled the best by.  I have always eaten clean, healthy, organic foods, but the last couple of years it has been hard to consistently feed myself right.  My metabolism went all crazy because I started eating less frequently, and that on top of stress did me in.  Now, I know that for me, I have to stay consistent.

I am not one of those girls who can get away with light workouts, and sort of eating healthy.  I have to be all in. So, I am all in for the long-term!  8 weeks are going to fly-by, but even after that, I am so excited to maintain and even get better over time.  Frankie and I were immensely inspired by Don Wildman.  Seriously, if you have the time, click on his name and read the article about this man!  Both Frankie and I aspired to be like him when we were old!  I want to get back in shape so I can keep having more adventures like the ones Frankie and I had together.

I felt like I had lost a huge piece of who I was by not working out consistently.  I absolutely love it.  Always have.  Now, there is no stopping me!  It is so amazing because I had the drive to workout before Frankie died, but now it feels so different.  Sometimes my workouts are pretty insane, but I smile the whole time because I know I push myself harder because of how blessed I feel to still have my body and spirit together.  I am amazed really at all that our human form is capable of and know that Frankie would want me to use it to the up-most of it's abilities.  I know he smiles every time I think to myself "Can't is a bad word."  And of course his favorite, "Pain is only weakness leaving the body." 

This is just for my own personal motivation :)  Every time I run, I think of this in my head!
I feel amazing.  Man, I missed this feeling.  Can't wait for another good workout tomorrow.  :)



Frankie and I always got each other cards.  Usually 2 or 3 at a time because we liked funny ones and weird ones, and serious ones.  We always gave each other random cards during the year.  But, I went through all of our Valentine ones this morning.  I love them all for different reasons, but this one just summed up so much of of what I feel every day.  And Frankie would always fill up the whole other side of my cards with the most loving words.
Frankie and I were always so blissfully happy because we had each other.  And even now I feel that bliss because I know he is around me always.   Today I could not help but just celebrate our love even more than I always do.  I saw a few things during the day where I knew he was with me, and I couldn't help but smile because I knew he was next to me...making me happy.  Man, I love my husband so much.  It is amazing how it is so strong, and even stronger through all of this.

I have put the following that Frankie wrote to me on my blog before....but I love it so much, and it is the perfect thing for me that sums up our never-ending love.  Happy Valentine's Day! 


There is an ocean which no eye can see the end. There are no sides, no beaches, no banks, or beds - Just water that continues forever. Within this sea that has no end there is just two people. Just you and me - swimming and splashing, laughing and kissing. I hold you close as I lift my hand from the water we watch the water drip off my skin and it goes back to the ocean drop by drop. I look into your eyes so blue and true to me and say - "Each drop that must fall to fill this ocean is from my heart and each one is a piece of my love I have for you. As you can see it is never-ending. Never. With each passing unit of time my sea of love deepens for you Brooke. I love you."



Heart Break

Tonight I am getting that feeling.  That overwhelming build up of emotions inside. My eyes brimming with tears.  Missing my love so much.  That tightening of my chest, because I feel my heart snap again from the pain. 
"I stood still, vision blurring, and in that moment, I heard my heart break. It was a small, clean sound, like the snapping of a flower’s stem." — Diana Gabaldon

I miss his laugh so much.  I miss all the silly things I would do, just to make him laugh.  To see those eyes light up with love for me, is better than watching the most gorgeous sunrise or sunset I could ever imagine.  I loved it when he would just look at me, and then he would take a deep breath, and I would realize I had stopped breathing too, and we would both just breath in...and no words had to be said, because it was just so right. 

And now my tears have fallen, and I will go to sleep, on my tear stained pillow with hopes of dreaming of his eyes looking into mine. 

And tomorrow I will awake, and I will pick up the broken pieces and gather my broken heart, again... and I will choose to smile and will continue to dream and hope for what will be,  with our eternal love guiding me...


12 Week Challenge

12  Week Challenge.

In January 2009, the gym I went to held a challenge for its members to sign up to lose weight and get into better shape.  I signed up thinking it would be a perfect opportunity for me to lose the weight I had gained from eating dessert every night with Frankie.  Plus, Frankie would be getting home just before the challenge had ended, so I would be looking good for his R&R, and the prize money would pay for our amazing vacation I had planned.  

Well, then March 27th happened, and with just a few weeks before the final weigh in, I  was planning my husbands funeral instead and the challenge fell by the wayside.  I stood a really good chance of winning, and had worked really hard to completely transform my body, but now....all that did not matter AT ALL.  Even though I would have probably won from the additional 15 pounds I lost after Frankie was killed, I honestly could care less about it.

Now, two years later, I am signing up again at the end of this week.  I usually do things like this without too many people knowing, but I have been lacking motivation lately, and have never really needed help in this area, until now.  I love(d) working out, but it just has not seemed important to me lately.  So, I am putting it out there into the blog universe that I am going to get my butt into gear and I am actually really excited to get back to the gym, and feel those endorphins lifting my mood.
Trust me, I need it.

I am looking forward to feeling better, and looking better, and I can't wait to capture that top prize!

And I will NOT be posting before pictures --- :)  No way, no how.   I will keep you updated on my progress though!



Warning!!! This post has some disturbing photos! :) 
So, I made it through into the new year. Past my second year of holidays.  It is hard to say it is 2011.  It is tough knowing that Frankie missed all of 2010 and most of 2009.  It is even more difficult going to family holiday functions alone and having them afraid to mention Frankie, and looking through family albums and seeing my beautiful sisters all having the lives I somewhat imagined.  I am over-joyed for them, but it is tough.  All of it.  I know Frankie's love has gotten me this far.  But, I have realized that  one of the many reasons he chose me, is because he knows how strong I am.  How even though life and things may be tough....I AM TOUGHER!!  He knows how strong my commitment is to him and I know how much he cannot wait to see me again. 
 He knows that even though this course on the the rest of my race in life is going to sometimes be like trudging through thick mud with giant blisters on my heels.........I will not quit!!
  I am tougher than that.

We did the Marine Corps Swamp Romp in Hawaii, which is a grueling 5.2 mile course, that includes going over and under barriers, a portion of running on the beach, an ocean swim and low crawls.  These blisters formed well within the first mile.  Frankie wanted me to stop so he could check them out, when I complained about my heels hurting, but I did not want him to see it because I knew it was bad, and he wouldn't have let me continue.  I had to finish the race.  And I did --- With a huge smile on my face. 
   The pain of missing him will not stop me.  I will not look back to see how difficult the path has been.  I will continue to look forward.  I will finish the race, embrace the pain, the joy, our love, and I hope to be smiling the whole way, because I know what my reward will be: 

Happy New Year everyone!  Let's make it a good one!  We can do it!  
Let's make our loves proud!