A year ago today I returned home after being gone for over thirteen months. My sister and I were able to pull off a super surprise. My family thought I was coming home the following week, so when I walked down the stairs at my sister’s house everyone was shocked.
I’ve been back a year, but I still say I just returned. What I’m learning talking to my friends who served there with me is, you can take us out of Afghanistan, but you will never fully take the Afghanistan out of us. Afghanistan certainly left a tattoo on my heart and as I age it will sag and fade, but it will always be there. From my last post, I’m still wearing my bracelet with no intention of taking it off.
On July 4th 2018 I had the next year planned. We had multiple camping trips booked. I was racing with the pinnacle to be the Ironman in October. In the middle of all that I would return to my civilian job. In the spring, TJ and I were going to take a trip to Spain and Italy just the two of us. And I’m sure we would end the year taking some great camping trips with our family of five!
I also said when I came back I would keep writing and I did write a few times over the last year, but not as often as I thought I would. I’ve missed this blog and I am making a commitment right now to write more often. I am not making any promises of what more often is, but more than eight times in a year. I do want to write about the day Eugene was born, but I’ll get there another day. However, Eugene Daniel was born fast and furious at 1:39 am on April 2nd. He was born only a few hours after I posted my last blog post. He’s happy healthy and the perfect addition to our crazy family.
There is certainly still a pull on my heart to become an Ironman, but I’m letting that wait for another day. The reality is, it’s just not in the cards this year and probably not next year either. But what I need to remind myself is that Ironman will always be there and despite not achieving that particular goal I had a really amazing year. I may not have heard the words “Darchelle You Are an Ironman,” but I should still be proud of what this year morphed into.
I am extremely proud to be the mother of four. Our life has turned super crazy, but I love every minute. I can’t get enough of their smiles and laughter. I am proud watching Timyra as she turns nine next week, becoming a strong independent young woman who will conquer the world as an amazing adult. She makes solid well informed decisions and works hard at everything she does. Her courage and work ethic would make most adults look bad.
I am proud watching Timothy at the age of six. He is the sweetest boy, who always takes others feelings into consideration. He broke his arm over Labor Day weekend while we were camping. All he was concerned about was making sure his brother and sisters never broke their arms. He apologized because we had to come home from camping early. He works harder than anyone on the soccer field, playing with the eight year old boys and often practicing so hard he makes himself sick.
I am proud to watch Taylyn at the age of four out wit and outlast just about everyone. Her confidence and independence is unmatched. She is a handful, but I will never be afraid sending her out into the world. She will take any bull by the horns and tell it who is boss!
I am proud watching Eugene as he grows and changes everyday. He completes our family and makes all of us better. He teaches us patience and I believe he will keep me young. At only three months old, we are still getting to know each other, but I can’t wait to truly meet the sweet boy we created.
I spent this 4th of July running fourteen miles on the 4th. I enjoyed the time to reflect on this last year and let go of what I missed and truly love what I have. Not only did we add to our family, but I passed my Project Management certification exam and I was selected for promotion in the Navy. Not a bad year at all!
What I want to remind you today is we all have our Ironmans. Replace Ironman with the thing you want to accomplish, yet continually seems to be just out of reach. You should always be proud of the effort you put towards each and every goal you set. You also need to remember you may not have heard you are an Ironman, but you heard something else just as great and don’t let that be overshadowed. I can’t say I’m an Ironman, but I can say this….
Darchelle You are a Project Management Professional!
Darchelle You Are a Commander in the United States Navy!
Darchelle You Are a Mom of Four!
Darchelle You Are a Wife!
Darchelle You Are Loved, Respected, and Awesome and don’t forget that!
And I’m all these amazing things even without my Ironman, and you are too!