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Deployment and the Military Spouse – Geek Turned Athlete

Deployment and the Military Spouse

Yesterday morning the hubby deployed.  I’m one of the lucky ones because he is only gone for 4 months instead of 6, 12, or 15 months.  Nonetheless, it was and will continue to be difficult to see him leave.

When we woke up, I decided to make him his favorite pancakes before he left.  These are the fluffiest pancakes ever because the egg whites are whipped, then folded in.  It’s like eating clouds!

Blueberry Pancakes


Please excuse the pic, I’m getting a new camera soon since mine has apparently given up…

  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 large eggs, separated
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted
  • nonstick cooking spray
  • blueberries, 1 cup or more
  • Preheat griddle to 350 degrees F or a pan on med-low to med heat.

    In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt.

    In a small bowl, combine milk, egg yolks, and 2 tablespoons melted butter; add to flour mixture, whisking until smooth.

    In a small bowl, beat egg whites at medium-high speed with an electric mixer until stiff. Gently fold into batter. Gently fold in blueberries.

    Spray nonstick cooking spray in pan or on griddle. Ladle about 1/4-cup batter for each pancake onto hot griddle or pan. Cook pancakes for 2 to 3 minutes, or until tops are covered with bubbles and edges look cooked. Turn and cook the other side. Serve with more butter and real maple syrup.

    After Steve finished packing after breakfast, I drove him to base.  I helped him get his luggage out of the truck, and we hugged for a few minutes while I fought holding tears back.  I seriously hate crying especially in situations like this because I don’t want him to feel bad.  It’s bad enough that he knows that he has to leave me for a while.  My swollen wet eyes and snot dripping out of my nose, I’m sure, don’t make it any better.  A tear or two did manage to sneak their way out of my tear ducts though.  We said our “I love you’s,” kissed and held each other a little more, and he was off.

    The thing is, I’m not mad or upset at anyone for this situation.  My husband LOVES his job, and he wants to be deployed.  He wants to utilize the skills he has learned.  He never complains about his job.  He is proud to serve his country.  I’m proud to serve my country by supporting him in anyway I can.  Seriously, it’s the least that I can do.  I have been all over the world, and it honestly makes me so thankful that I am an American citizen.  Most American citizens have no clue how lucky they are.  They are spoiled, materialistic, and think they “deserve” things without any hard work.  Steve and I have been together for 5 and a half years, and it has taught me that love and friendship are the only “real” things in life.  Traveling has only made that more apparent.

    When I tell people that Steve leaves as often as he does (our last year in the states, he was gone 280 days) or as long as he does, they say, “Oh, I couldn’t do that!  I feel so sorry for you!”.  I know this is meant to be a compliment meaning that I’m very strong for dealing with this life that I have being married to a person in the military.  I laugh it off, but inside I’m a little irritated.  If you really truly loved someone, YOU WOULD deal with it.  TRUST ME.  YOU WOULD.  And, I don’t feel sorry for myself, why should you?  I’m not going to lie, and tell you it’s easy.  It’s not.  I don’t imagine that it will get any easier when we have kids either.  I spent the night at a friend’s house last night so I wouldn’t have to spend the first night alone in my house, and I did cry a few times yesterday.  I’m sure that there will be a few more crying episodes in the future, but nothing worth having is ever easy.

    Steve and I trust each other, and that helps a lot in situations like these.  To me, there is no other man that comes close to comparing with him, and he thinks the same way about me.  We are honest with each other about everything.  He also knows that I am independent enough that he doesn’t have to worry about the car breaking down or something like that happening while he is gone.  Shit happens (literally and figuratively), and I will deal with it if and when it does.  Thinking about what happened during the last deployment when everything in our house decided to break or blow up or the septic tank backing up into the house through the bathtubs (that was fun, let me tell you), it will probably be a question of when rather than if.  :)

    If we were co-dependent on each other (or if even one was on the other), our marriage wouldn’t work.  I have met some military spouses that are so dependent on their significant others for happiness, and this often leads to divorce.  I make it a point to be happy everyday or at least have something to laugh about everyday.  Even though I cried a few times yesterday, I still laughed with my friends last night.  I’m a happy person because I choose to be, not only because I’m married to someone.  Although, my hubby does make me happy. 😉

    Well, that is it for now.  I was really hesitant about posting this, but I had to get it off my chest…

    I decided to skip spin for today simply b/c I don’t feel like it, and I am off to yoga now.  Maybe I’ll go for a run later.  Regularly scheduled workouts will resume tomorrow…

    { 25 comments… add one }

    • Leah @ Simply fabulous January 6, 2010, 11:31 am

      Nothing worth having is ever easy…. yep you say it girl. Marriage is a hard thing, relationships of any kind can be hard (be it friendships, work relationships etc) – it’s how you deal with them that can make them or break them. I’m so glad you are so supportive of your husbands job and that probably makes him love you even more! Thanks for such an honest post!

    • Erica January 6, 2010, 12:21 pm

      First off- your husband rocks for all that he does. Second- I think you are amazingly strong and awesome for what you do. I have a lot of friends whose spouses are in the military and I have seen just how difficult it is for them. Very sweet of you to make him such a fabulous breakfast before he left. My heart is with you!

    • AshleyP January 6, 2010, 2:54 pm

      A big thank you to your husband for his service.

      I think your attitude is awesome- there is always a bright side, even if it’s hard to find. (And septic into the bath tub, oh dear, it sounds like there’s nothing you can’t deal with!!) Sending positive thoughts your way.

    • The Big Blue Dog January 6, 2010, 2:58 pm

      Nicole reading this post made me feel so greatful for both you and your husbands dedication! It’s a hard thing and being away from your husband and best friend is never ideal or easy.

      I love how you talk about the importance of independance in a relationship. I think that is so true! It is essential to do things to make yourself happy outside of the relationship I think. After all you didn’t intially fall in love because of your devotion to each other but because you admired a quality in the other that was independant of you. Does that make since?

      It’s so easy to lose yourself in a relationship or marriage! You are amazing or what you and your husband are doing. A post like this is very inspirational and reminds me again to count my blessings! Thank you for sharing! Know you have a wealth of blogger friends who are always here :)

    • Marisa January 6, 2010, 3:35 pm

      Girl I totally know your feeling! My hubby is constantly on the road and I’ve found ways to keep busy and that definitley makes time go by faster. I so understand the “oh, I couldn’t do that” or “wow it’s like having a long distance relationship” line! and it irritates me too! I am here if you ever want something to do…you can help me walk my dogs… they’re better company than a rabbit 😉

    • Jenny January 6, 2010, 3:57 pm


      First of all, this was a wonderful post. There are so many things that resonated with me here. You’re right- nothing worth having is ever easy and thanks to your husband for his service- and to you for supporting him! I’ve been thinking and musing A LOT over happiness the last couple of weeks and what you said hit the nail on the head EXACTLY! You’re a happy person because you CHOOSE to be. Very wise words :)

      And of course, I had to say THANK YOU SO MUCH for a my terrific Secret Santa gift! I just got it because I was away on vacation until this week. It was so generous and I cracked open the olive oil right away- unbelievable. I’m a bit of a connoisseur, being Italian and all (haha!), and this stuff is absolutely perfect. I don’t think I’ve ever had that much chocolate in my possession for a LOOOONG time. Looks fantastic! Thanks again!

      Happy New Year!
      Jenny :)

    • Suzanna January 6, 2010, 4:07 pm

      INSPIRATIONAL!!! That was a great and inspiring read! I think some of your strong and positive attitude might have just rubbed off on me……..Suddenly, I feel the urge to climb out of my “winter fog!”
      Plus, those blueberry pancakes look FANTASTIC!! I will be giving that recipe a try!! Thanks!

    • Holly January 6, 2010, 5:27 pm

      you are going to help a lot of people by voicing this – your honesty is refreshing, and i feel the same way about relationships. any relationship in which you are co-dependent on one another is NEVER going to work. you have to be your own person with and without your loved one.

      thanks for sharing dear – lots of love to you, steve and traveling! YAY for that! and those pancakes :).

    • Casey @SpicyandSweet January 6, 2010, 6:29 pm

      Those pancakes look SO yummy! Mmmm. Your blog is so cute, I just came across it!

    • Good Taste. Healthy Me January 6, 2010, 6:45 pm

      Those pancakes look AWESOME!

      I love this post. Your words are so true and it must get old hearing that same old line. I love how strong your relationship is and it’s really inspiring! I agree that being independent is key to a healthy relationship. Too many couples depend on each other too much!

    • Ameena January 6, 2010, 6:46 pm

      So sorry your husband had to go but I am happy that he really likes being deployed. It would be so much worse if he didn’t want to go.

      Your pancakes look delicious. What better send off could there be?

    • Mike January 6, 2010, 7:32 pm

      One of the only regrets I have in my life is I never served my country in the military. You have such a great perspective on his deployment. Even though it is harder than hell, you support him and I am sure that means everything to him.

    • Kimberly January 6, 2010, 7:41 pm

      Been there, done that–both of us. You’ll get through it, like you have in the past and like you said in this post. I love you so much and you can talk to me about it all!

      Love you!

    • Bonnie January 6, 2010, 8:15 pm

      Hey there… I’m holding back a few tears for you and his bravery too! Thanks for posting this and putting things into perspective. Hope you enjoyed your yoga!

    • Blond Duck January 6, 2010, 10:47 pm

      Popped in from How Sweet It is to say hi! Kudos to you and your husband for sacrificing so much for your country. It’s inspiring.

      As are those pancakes….

    • Joan January 6, 2010, 11:29 pm

      You make us very proud to have you as our daughter-in-law, Nicole. Thanks for being so supportive of our son. We love you both!

    • Courtney January 7, 2010, 3:51 am

      Those blueberry pancakes looks so awesome! I will have to remember to fold in and whip the egg whites. :] I am sorry about your hubby – sounds like you have a strong head on your shoulders though!

    • Natalie January 7, 2010, 7:13 pm

      so glad i found this blog. it was funny enough that i clicked on it because of the name [geek turned athlete] but on top of that, i just cannot stop reading it.

      this particular post hits home on so many levels. i’m military [reserves] and my husband JUST enlisted in the Army. he’s going the officer route, and while i’m used to friends deploying i’m know it will be completely different when he deploys.

      good luck with everything, and i am following your blog religiously now!

    • Tea January 7, 2010, 10:29 pm

      WOW–you are an amazing person because of your honesty and ability to share this with us. I hope you have a support group or friends around who can help you as needed. Thank you and your hubby!

    • asdasd January 8, 2010, 11:34 am

      “I have been all over the world, and it honestly makes me so thankful that I am an American citizen. Most American citizens have no clue how lucky they are. They are spoiled, materialistic, and think they “deserve” things without any hard work. Steve and I have been together for 5 and a half years, and it has taught me that love and friendship are the only “real” things in life. Traveling has only made that more apparent.”

      amazing comment, keep up the good website

    • Leana January 9, 2010, 7:41 pm

      Wow, such an amazing post. Thanks so much for sharing. I worked with some guys who were in the reserves when I was down in Texas and they were being activated. I asked if they were scared or didn’t want to go and they told me that this was the reason they had joined the reserves. They were really excited to get called up.

      I hope your husband has a safe deployment.

    • lucy January 11, 2010, 9:48 pm

      Dear Nicole,
      what an inspiring blog. I too, as you know, have traveled all over the world and know what it means to be away from family for long periods of time. I fortunately was able to go with Dennis wherever he went. People would say how can you live like this? But to me it was worth it because I was with him all of the time. And yes, we Americans are spoiled. Try not being able to flush your toilet paper down the toilet, or not being able to get meat or groceries unless you drive 2 1/2 hours one way. How about not having any heat, for several days in a snow storm, because they cannot get to you with the oil you need. But I have a positive outlook on life as you do. But more important, I am swelling with pride for my Nickie. Love Grandma

    • LindsayRuns January 27, 2010, 12:36 pm

      Oh how I know that feeling so well. Those last few hours are the worst because you want to suck out every minute with them as you possibly can, but yet could you just LEAVE so it could just START please?!? I’m happy to see you’re one of the strong ones and I know you have a wonderful support system around you. Whenever people say “I couldn’t do it” I gets under my skin too…I just want to ask them point blank, “So you’re telling me you’d quit the relationship because he had to work??” Found you and started clicking around, I like your style girl! I’ll be reading!

      Look at you, almost a quarter done with it already, too 😉

    • Anne @thefitbridesmaid February 9, 2010, 5:34 pm

      Just found your blog and was first drawn in by the fact that you’re an engineer (ME, TOO!!).

      Then I started to read about your husband. My brother is in the USMC and leaves next week for his second deploymnent. It is so hard, and I am so impressed with your ability to deal with it. I’ve been freaking out since I heard the news two months ago. Hopefully he’ll only be gone about 7 months.

      I hope your husband (and all of the military) stay safe! “Until they all come home.”

    • M April 30, 2010, 4:05 am

      Wow. I just stumbled on your post and am so glad I did. Although I’m not even close to being a military spouse, I do care a lot about a guy who just deployed (coincidentally, same name and same length of time). I did the same thing — tried so hard not to cry at the airport so I wouldn’t make it harder on him. Then burst into tears in the parking lot. Fantastic. Anyway, I just wanted to say thanks for sharing your story. I won’t say I feel sorry for you, but I think it’s truly admirable that you’re strong enough to choose to be with the person you love, regardless of how hard his job might make it. I guess your husband should be coming home soon, so yay for that!


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