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

Like what you see? Share it!

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

Like what you see? Share it!

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…]

Like what you see? Share it!

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

Like what you see? Share it!

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… 


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,

Initials Signature Blog

Like what you see? Share it!

Reasons for Milspouse Pride (Pt 1: Army Wife Network)

I have a confession to make. (You didn’t know this post was going to get so juicy so fast, huh? You are welcome.)

Sometimes, in the day-to-day shenanigans that IS army wife life, I forget about the pride the comes with this calling.

And I don’t mean pride like, “Look at me, I am so awesome” pride… More like, “Wow. My spouse is the bomb dot com. This life can be hard but I sure am PROUD of what he is doing for our country/world/family.”

Maybe, hypothetically, kinda-sorta you find yourself sometimes forgetting the pride-part of this milspouse ride. [Read more…]

Like what you see? Share it!

My Christmas Meaning- A Poem (Army Wife Network)

I am no Emily Dickinson. Definitely not even close to Robert Frost. And even though I might add a “-th” to random words and say “thou” or “thee” on occasion (just because I can) I will never be a great playwright/poet like William Shakespeare.

But sometimes, I get to feeling a bit salty and try to bust out my mad rhyming skills. Because it makes me feel cool and I think of how to rhyme words like “fo-shizzle” in my head. (Note: I will not be a rapper anytime soon either. So don’t panic. Please put down the phone if you were planning on calling your Congressman.)

Today, I would like to share what Christmas means to me by way of a poem. This won’t be winning any poetry awards anytime soon, but if I have fun writing it (and you get just a tiny bit of enjoyment out of reading it) then I vote yes. Here goes…


You probably know that I am a proud Army Wife,
It’s no real secret to anyone around,
I, out of necessity, often do things differently,
Living life with “boots on the ground.”

Being married to a soldier,
Changes my perspective on much,
Especially when it comes to holidays,
How we celebrate special occasions and such.

Every year right after Turkey Day,
Seems the fall air and attitude shifts,
So many in our world change from thankfulness,
To the chaos of who gets what gifts.

But to me, Christmas is greater,
Much bigger than shopping and decor,
More profound than feasting and vacation,
Oh yes, to me Christmas is much more.

Don’t worry… The poem doesn’t stop here. Jump over to Army Wife Network to discover what Christmas REALLY means to me.

Dear readers… What does Christmas mean to you? I would love to hear your heart on this subject. Feel free to join the conversation and leave a comment below.

From my family to yours, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Happy Birthday Jesus,

Initials Signature Blog

“For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” ~Isaiah 9:6

Like what you see? Share it!

Humorous Holiday Hacks: Round 3 (Army Wife Network)

It’s the most wonderful time of the year… Not just because Christmas makes us feel all warm, fuzzy, snuggly and gives us the perfect excuse to eat #AllTheThings. But because I have a new reason to create yet another “batch” of humorous holiday hacks…

These Humorous Holiday Hacks are tips and tricks that, while entertaining, may or may not make your holiday season easier. (But hey, if it puts a smile on our face, that’s something right?)

Before we dig in to this fresh round of all things humorous, holiday-ish and hack-like, feel free to hop over and check out our previous hack batches by clicking here and here. 

Now, let’s get down to business. And by business, I mean let’s get ready to laugh about all things holiday.


1. Every holiday season, I just get so dang overwhelmed. I tell myself every year that I am going to keep from getting stressed but it never seems to work. I feel like I am running in a million different directions with my hair on fire yelling ‘What do I do with my hands?!?!’ Talk about a joy sucker. How can I keep the Christmas spirit without losing my mind? 

Hack: Ah, dear reader… Solidarity! Most of us, at some point, have probably been there, done that, spilled spiked egg nog on the T-shirt. But now, I would like to introduce you to one of my favorite terms, actually adopted from this army-wife life. Are you ready? Say it with me: VOLUNTOLD. This delightful word is the key to all things sanity, especially around the holiday season. It’s that odd hybrid of getting someone to volunteer, but in reality its more of a command than a request. (See the connection with the army now?) We personally have to muster up the courage to say, “No thanks” when someone tries to back us in to a corner and voluntell us to do something. (If you struggle with telling others no, you can always pretend not to speak English OR wear earbuds wherever you go so as to pretend you can’t hear anything around you.) Also, be bold and start voluntelling other people in your circle to get to crack-a-lacking and help you out.

I’ve got three more humorous hacks to share with you this year (AND an Amazon giveaway going on– you don’t need any military affiliation to enter/win) over at Army Wife Network. Pop over, check it out and enter to win some extra spending money for this Holiday season.

Which humorous hack was your favorite? Do you have a humorous (or real) holiday hack you would like to share? Feel free to comment below!

And have a very Merry, non-stressful and humorous holiday season!

Laughing through the Holidays,

Initials Signature Blog

He will yet fill your mouth with laughter and your lips with shouts of joy.” ~Job 8:21

Like what you see? Share it!

The “Missing” Factor (Army Wife Network)

We’ve all heard that oh-so-delightful <sarcasm here> quote, “Absence makes the heart grow fonder.”

Several years ago, this quote always ticked me off. Mainly because I wanted my dearest, darling, most-handsomest-stud-of-a-new-husband around all the time.

Most of our courtship was long distance, a few short months living four hours apart, then 12 months of a deployment.  By the time our wedding day rolled around, I was over the “absence” part and all geared up for some lovely together-til-death-do-we-part time.

But we all know how the army rolls. And my new stage five clinger self didn’t take it well. [Read more…]

Like what you see? Share it!

A Comedic Comparison: Deployment Beginning Vs. End

Deployments are a funny thing.

They are (of course) very much a challenging part of this army wife life, and they are always full of surprises. As I type this, sitting in the Fort Lewis Starbucks, we are in the homestretch of our latest deployment. (Yes. We see the humorous signs that homecoming is coming!)

Hopefully by the time this post publishes, my Beloved Husband and I will be back in the same zip code. (Pending broken planes, incorrect scheduling, etc.) [Read more…]

Like what you see? Share it!