The National Memorial Day Concert… Photo Blog (Army Wife Network)

Remember that saying, “A picture is worth a thousand words?” Well, I think it’s true. I was recently privileged to attend The National Memorial Day Concert in Washington, DC. And today, I want to share some of the most photogenic moments. [Read more…]

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The National Memorial Day Concert… And How It Changed Me (Army Wife Network)

It’s no secret that army-wife life is full of surprises… the constant changing of the no-plan-plans, PCS’s that end up a little bit backwards, and even just the small day-to-day experiences we encounter. One thing I have learned through the years is that ALL milspouse experiences can change us, usually for the better, be they big or small.

And recently, I had one of those very life-changing experiences: I attended The National Memorial Day Concert in Washington, DC. [Read more…]

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When the Going Gets Tough: Part 3 (Giveaway/Link-up @ AWN)

All good things must come to an end– but not before we go out with a bang! Welcome to our final installment of tips and tricks on how to survive (and maybe even THRIVE) when the going gets tough as milspouses. (Just joining us? Check out our previous posts in this mini-series by clicking here and here.)

Today, my tip for toughing-it-out survival is once again pretty simple. My go to when I start to feel a bit cray-cray? Get. Some. Rest. 

It might sound impossible, but I learned that “rest” can come in a variety of forms, not just catching up on the eleventy-billion hours of sleeping you feel like you are behind on. Yes, it’s true that I do try to take some kind of “nap” several days a week. Much against popular believe, a nap does not need to be 3 hours long to be effective. Even just laying down for 20-30 minutes will do wonders for my body and soul.

Rest can also be shutting off all the noise in the house and just breathing deep for a few minutes. It could be forgoing the to do list and heading to bed right after the kids hit the hay. Try to take things off your “list” to free up a little more space for margin in your life. We are a single-income household and when we were recently preparing to birth our second kiddo, we pulled some strings to outsource the “house-cleaning” a couple times a month. Now I have clean toilets AND my stress level is so much lower… AND I have a little bit of time to rest instead of worrying about how long it’s been since I vacuumed.

But again, don’t just take my word for it. Check out the final (awesome) tips contributed from our AWN milspouse viewers like you by clicking the following link:

When the Going Gets Tough … 

PS: Don’t forget to enter our giveaway and link up!

Going get tough, I get Jesus,

 

 

“But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.” ~2 Corinthians 12:9

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That Empty Chair at the Table (Army Wife Network)

I’ve been an army wife for what my husband commonly refers to as “a hot minute.” You would think that after all this time, I would stop being surprised at #AllTheThings that come with army wife life.

But nope. Experiences like random TDYs, changes to our no-plan-plan, promotions, future duty stations… It almost always catches me a little bit off guard. (I have grown significantly in my ability to be flexible…)

There is one aspect of the military wife life that I’ve experienced over and over again, but yet it still surprises me every.single. time. It typically occurs at the military ball. [Read more…]

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When the Going Gets Tough: Part 2 (Link-up & Giveaway)

You might recall that last month, we kicked off a mini-series about what to do when the going gets tough as a milspouse.

We had such a good time with it, that I didn’t want to stop there. So today, I will be sharing another one of my personal “coping” tips when things are harder than normal for our military spouse lives. And of course, we will also take another look at some great ideas shared by our AWN fans!

So here is my monthly tip on how I deal with life when the going gets tough… I get busy– “Sharpening my saw.” 

No, friends, I don’t get all lumberjack and start building a cabin. But I do take leadership guru Stephen Covey’s advice and take a time-out to sharpen my saw.

Here’s the premise: Two woodsmen are out in the woods, you know, doing woodsmen stuff. (I assume this means chopping down things.) Both are under a deadline to meet a quota. One of them stops periodically to check his blade and take a few precious moments to sharpen it. The other one keeps sawing away, as his blade gets duller and duller. Who do you think is going to be more successful (and less exhausted!) at the end of the day. Yep, the one who stopped occasionally to sharpen the saw.

I do the same thing as a military spouse. My motivated to-do-achiever-self-instinct is to keep frantically pushing forward until I feel like the wheels are about to fall off. But I have learned that the smart thing is to take a break every now and then… Do something that fills my souls and recharges my heart.

It could be huge and profound like taking a couple days away by myself. But that only *maybe* happens annually– if I am lucky. I CAN do something ever couple days or so to sharpen my saw: Read a book for fun, drink a hot tea and watch a show on Netflix post-bedtime, Zentangle,  close my computer and take a couple of hours to window shop downtown, get a “fancy” yet simple lunch and dine by myself, grab a quick coffee with a friend or even drink a Coke Zero in the parking lot of Wal-Mart while scrolling Facebook for 15 precious minutes.

But don’t just take my word for it. See what other suggestions our AWN follows had to say about…

When the Going Gets Tough … by clicking HERE.

I don’t know about you, but this is super motivating (and a great reminder for me too!) What do YOU do when the going gets tough?  Jump in and leave a comment below. (And don’t forget to this month’s giveaway!)

Until next time… Keep calm and soldier on, my friends.

Proud to be a soldier for Christ,

 

 

“You armed me with strength for battle;
    you humbled my adversaries before me.” ~Psalm 18:39

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A Special Thank You & A Veteran’s Funeral (Army Wife Network)

I’ve been blogging for Army Wife Network for over three years now. And if you have been around these parts for any length of time, you have likely heard about my theory as a military spouse to live out the “No-Plan-Plan.

For the most part, the No-Plan-Plan pertains to the everyday milspouse stuff– the PCSs, TDYs, deployments, when hubby is coming home (ish,) what day he has off (ish), where/when we will be going next (ish)… Well, you get the point.

But sometimes, the No-Plan-Plan happens in big ways when we least expect it. As normal people. (My husband calls that “life.”) [Read more…]

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Reasons for Milspouse Pride (Part 3: Link-up & Giveaway)

In the words of the late Paul Harvey, today it is time for “The Rest of the Story.”

The last couple of months, we have been talking about Reasons for Milspouse pride. (Need to catch up? Check out Part 1 and Part 2.)

So now, we present our final chapter of:

I am a proud military spouse when… 

[Read more…]

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6 Ways Parenting a Newborn Is Like Being a Military Spouse (Army Wife Network)

Listen VERY closely… Do you hear that?

It’s my own personal internal tick-tock clock as I anxiously await for this New Tiny Human to be born. (I am writing this post a little bit in advance, because hopefully, by the time this post is published in late February, this kiddo would have been evicted and settling into the “real world” in our arms.)

You may recall that last month, I wrote a post about how pregnancy was like being a military spouse.  Well, my love for analogies hasn’t stopped, so today I would like to share 6 Ways Parenting a Newborn is like Being a Military Spouse.

(Sidenote: The kid we are preparing to birth is our second Tiny Human… so I am also tapping into all the things we learned in Round #1 a few years ago.)

Let’s hop to it.

1. Both parenting a newborn and being a milspouse are MESSY jobs. 

And I mean that very literally. Those of you who have ever had a newborn in your home, you are probably picking up what I am laying down. The amount of laundry that results from the bodily fluids that just seem to ooze out of someone so tiny are almost mind blowing. And sometimes, bless my dear husband, I think the same about him! The sand tracked in on his boots. The smell of unwashed ruck-marching feet and B.O. Random pieces of TA-50 scattered in every room, every vehicle, every nook and cranny of our abode. Yes, both are physically messy… but they can both be emotionally messy too…

Want to keep reading about the other 5 ways these experiences are similar? Jump on over to Army Wife Network. 

Also, don’t be shy– if this post made you grin, be sure to leave me a comment. (I always love reading your feedback!)

Blessings to you all- whether you are in a season of parenting a newborn (or not) or living the military wife life (or not.)

All For Him,

Initials Signature Blog

“As a mother comforts her child, so will I comfort you; and you will be comforted over Jerusalem.” ~Isaiah 66:13

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Reasons for Milspouse Pride (Part 2: Link-up & Giveaway)

Some people say that there can be “too much of a good thing.”

I *might* agree with this statement if talking about rich cheeses, excessive exercise or Netflix binge watching.

But I just can’t agree that there is ever such a “thing” as too much military spouse pride.

You might remember that last month I shared the first installment of our series “Reasons from Milspouse Pride.”

As promised, today we share Part 2…. Brought to the generous and loving hearts of military spouses and viewers like you.

Read on to see more ways that…

I am a proud military spouse when… 

reasons-for-milspouse-pride

I am proud to be a military spouse when I can smell the dirt from the field as he walks through the door because that means we both survived another round of training.” ~Lacey R.

I am a proud military spouse when my husband is thanked for his service. It doesn’t happen much because we live in a very military saturated place.” ~Lisa H.

I’m proud to be a military spouse when I see my husband in his dress uniform. He wore his blues at our wedding in 1994, and it always makes me happy and proud to see him in them again. He’s been through a lot in his career, and each of those ribbons and pins shows how much he loves being a soldier and serving his country. And he looks so handsome in his blues, too!” ~Christie P.

“I was the proudest military wife when I seen my husband walking down the airport corridor at the end of his deployment and could see the look on his face, meeting his son for the first time.” ~Nikki H.

Dear readers…there is MUCH more where this came from! (And did we mention this post also includes a link-up and easy-t0-enter giveaway?) Swing by Army Wife Network to tap into some more milspouse pride and enter to win!

Thanks for your support… And stay tuned for our final installment of Milspouse Pride (with giveaways) on the first of next month!

Proud in so many ways,

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6 Ways Pregnancy is like being a Military Spouse (Army Wife Network)

As I write this post, I am sitting in the recliner with my feet up. My smallish dog is nestled beside me, my arms are stretched out farther than they have ever been before as my “belly dances” and I mentally calculate how long I have until it’s my daily “power nap time.”

Yep. You guessed it. I’m pregnant. The State of the Uterus is very much occupied.

I am at the point in this pregnancy that no longer classifies as a “little bit” pregnant. I am really pregnant. Like middle-rapidly-approaching-end-of- third-trimester pregnant.

It’s our second kiddo, so we are excited (and less terrified than the first time we did this…) Although my preggo brain is not nearly as sharp as it used to be, lately I have been thinking about how the whole experience of pregnancy is like being a military spouse… because really, who doesn’t love a good analogy? [Read more…]

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