the new normal.

Today was a good day. I took Nim for an adventure at a nearby park that we hadn’t explored yet. As we set out on the trail, surrounded by trees and covered with fallen leaves, I had to remind myself for a minute that I was in Oklahoma. I felt more at home in those woods than I have in a long time. It was a welcome reminder of past joys and a good place to contemplate the journey ahead.


doesn’t this almost look like NY/PA?

The best way for me to cope with Ben being gone is to keep busy and maintain a regular schedule. From things as simple as eating normal meals at normal times to actually taking the time to do my hair after I shower even if I’m only staying at home for the day.

During the week, that doesn’t take much effort – work, dog walking, and random life maintenance activities fill that time easily. The weekends can be tough. Coming into this weekend, I had a pretty empty schedule. I had plenty I wanted to accomplish, but it didn’t necessary involve other people. I made lots of progress in remedying the lack of kitchen storage in our not-so-new-to-us home by setting up some shelves in the third bedroom/office to store kitchen items I wanted to have easy access to, but didn’t have room for in our itty bitty kitchen.  My kitchen is now free of boxes – hallelujah!  It only took 3+ months.  I replaced a couple fence panels because someone (…Nimitz) likes to rip them off so he can see his puppy friends on the other side.  I did the usual weekend chores and errands to prepare for the week…and found some time to catch up on my shows.  All in all, it was a good weekend.  There were some pangs of loneliness and wishing I had a likes-to-walk-in-the-woods friend or a grab-a-beer-and-wings-and-watch-football friend, but that’s bound to happen occasionally.

While Ben was at OCS, I decided that the best way for me to stay busy during those 4 months was to train for a half marathon.  Crossing the finish line on that cool, rainy day in Pittsburgh was an accomplishment, but I don’t plan to repeat that as my distraction this time around.  I’ve decided that my deployment distraction project is going to be creating a cookbook – compiling all of my favorite recipes into a hold-in-your-hands book.  I have recipes on index cards, sheets of paper, napkins, a binder full of magazine clippings and a bunch bookmarked on the internet – and it drives me crazy.  I want a centralized way to keep my favorite recipes close at hand and easy to find.  So I’m going to make a cookbook.  I’ve already played with a few design concepts and am starting to pull together all of the recipes I want to include…it’s fun to see it start to come together.  It’s going to be a beast of a project, but it will be therapeutic in its own way.  I’m oddly excited about it.

One week down. And it wasn’t so bad. I’m really thankful for all of the love and support from so many of you this week – your calls, texts, notes, and encouragements are so appreciated. Ben is really enjoying his training and is excited about the year ahead – seeing that joy in him makes this so worth it.

Thanks for listening, dear friends. I’ll probably be sending things out into cyberspace more now that my only roommates are adorable dogs who can’t talk.




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2 responses to “the new normal.

  1. Linda

    Kristen, you hang in there — your plans for the cookbook sound great. Please know I enjoy your posts & think about you. Your dads cousin, Linda

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