Why I took (almost) a year off from painting furniture...

Friday, March 6, 2015


*taps on mic*

Hullo, anybody still out there? I know, it's been a while...a long while! Where have I been?! Well, here's a quick pic...let's see if y'all can guess.

If you guessed Afghanistan...you nailed it. I deployed for 9 months last year and was fortunate to come home in time for Thanksgiving and Christmas! It was one heckuva ride, and while deployments are never easy on anyone I am grateful for the Soldiers and Civilians I served with during that long nine months.

Even more so, I am grateful for the support of my family and friends back home. They all kept me going through constant contact on Facebook and Skype...as well as some pretty awesome care packages...as you can see I have some fantastic friends and family!

There were a couple of rough spots...the worst of which was Mother's Day...

But, I decided that I would make the best of a rough situation and better myself physically and mentally...I hit the gym and by the end of the deployment I had lost 25 pounds...woot-woot!!!!

We worked pretty long hours most days, but the people around me kept it fun and interesting...most days! I also traveled to  other FOBs in Afghanistan (Forward Operating Bases) for different missions. That definitely kept things interesting!

I always said a very long and serious prayer before those flights. Although most were not very long, I still asked for strength and protection for myself and those I loved back home. The amazing men and women that piloted and crewed the Blackhawks we rode on never faltered and never failed. They are nothing short of amazing in my eyes.

Finally, it was time to come home. F-I-N-A-L-L-Y! I was astounded at how much everyone had grown...especially my oldest! Look at that giant! I love my beautiful kids!

I honestly don't know how I would have made it through this deployment if it hadn't been for the love and support from my husband and children. They were a team that supported each other and made things WORK while I was gone. I found myself amazed over and over again at how resilient and strong they were...in turn, they made me stronger. I don't know how I can ever show my husband how truly grateful I am to him for pulling double duty...no triple...as Dad+Mom+Soldier. Shuttling kids to school, soccer practice, grocery shopping, making medical and dental appointments, juggling those against work requirements that NEVER stop or slow down, being a leader to his Soldiers...all I can do is love him as much as possible and be the kind of wife that shows him the love and respect he deserves.

I would be remiss if I didn't mention my Facebook business page fans. They were there the entire time...never left. They posted positive comments...they sent me care packages...total strangers did that for me!!! I was blown away by that! Out of the six deployments that I have been on, I have never received so many care packages! They were from my fans and friends made in painting groups...many of these friends I hold closer to my heart than people I have met in real life. I hope to finally meet them one day to hug them and tell them how special their support really was to me.

So, that's the story of where I've been for the last year or so! It took a while for me to get back into restoring and painting furniture again...but I'm definitely back! I have an amazing makeover to share with you this weekend, I can't wait for you to see it. If you've been here all along, THANK YOU. If you are new, WELCOME. Love to all, Claudia


  1. I have kept you on my blogger list and so excited to see your post. Welcome home! Looking forward to see your new makeovers.

    1. Wow, I wondered if anyone was still out there! Thank you so much, you just made my day! :) <3

  2. What a beautiful post, Claudia! You inspire me on so many levels! Thank you for your service, for sharing your heart, and for sharing your talent! Mad love! xo

    1. I totally love you too, Angela, your care packages were amongst the most popular for me...everyone totally raided me! :)

  3. Beautiful post welcome home thanks for your service ! !!

  4. Welcome back and thank you for your service! Looking forward to seeing some of your furniture makeovers :). ~Amy

  5. I can't adequately express my gratitude for you and all those that you worked with, that leave their families and comfortable lives to fight for freedom every day while we here at home still enjoy those comfortable lives we are blessed with. Thank you, sincerely, from my soul to yours. I'm so glad I found you on blogtalk. You and your family are beautiful. Welcome home!