There’s no place like home: a perfect frame of mind

Christmas in July. It’s about to happen. But first, a story:

Growing up in a large family (I’m the second of six children), every day was loud. That scene in Home Alone where the cousins are all together and no one can find who actually owns the house? That’s the perfect representation of Thanksgiving at my parents’. It’s the best kind of chaos. After college, I couldn’t wait to trade life in KC for a life in DC. I had big dreams of my own high rise condo overlooking the city, oversized sunglasses, high heels, and a fabulous life. Instead, I could barely afford to rent someone’s futon (which I did for five months), and kept all of my shoes in the trunk of my car, along with a plastic dresser I’d visit every morning before walking the few blocks back to that first floor apartment to change clothes (in the pantry no less, while my roommate was in the shower). My sunglasses, while large, were knock-offs I bought from a peddler in Georgetown. I was a hot mess, but I was sort-of living the dream. I never thought when I left home that would be it; I never imagined I wouldn’t somehow end up in Kansas. Rather, I thought I’d do the DC thing for a bit, someday get married and live next door to my older sister where our kids would run between our houses interchangeably. I someday (eight years ago) did get married, and both my sister and I did have kiddos, but instead of next door, we’re over 1000 miles apart. And instead of Kansas, we went to San Diego. And then Guam. And then the East Coast. Dorothy was right on two fronts: we are definitely not in Kansas anymore, and there’s no place like home.

Nobody really knows what they’re getting into when they get married, and I certainly didn’t have any idea what to expect as a military spouse. As a couple, you expect some separation. Although they never get easy, you learn how to handle deployments. But one thing I never quite prepared for was how much I’d miss home. My siblings are all back in Kansas. That sister I planned to live next to? She’s a five minute drive from my parents. With my husband gone again, our house feels too quiet, all the time.

What does this have to do with Christmas in July? Everything. Fitz approached me about a promotional opportunity, and I was instantly interested. When I started writing the Deployment Diary two years ago, I was almost immediately approached to sponsor products, partner with businesses, and help sell things. But here’s the thing: I don’t want to peddle insurance for a company I don’t use. I’m not going to promote a bank I’ve never set foot in. In good faith I don’t feel like I should try to sell you on something I have no interest in buying myself. My primary focus as a writer has always been authenticity. I believe there is great value in vulnerability, and ultimately I want readers to connect with our family’s stories, whether it’s finding hope and encouragement in the difficult times, or discovering something as simple as camaraderie. That said, I have yet to sponsor a product. Until now. Because… I actually think this one is amazing. And, not only did they give me one to test-run, they gave me TEN MORE to GIVE AWAY.


To give away to military families.

I feel like Oprah.

So. Here’s the background on why you want one, and then the info of how to enter.

“Fitz was built to help connect loved ones and families and enable sharing, watching, and re-living memories in a modern and easy way. Fitz Frame is closing the distance between family members and loved ones with simplified, real-time photo sharing. With a WiFi enabled photo frame controlled entirely from a mobile device, you can send photos and videos to a Fitz photo frame from anywhere in the world, instantly.”

Fitz’s digital photo frames are different because of the connectedness they encourage. Anyone with an invitation to your frame (which you send out sooo easily from the free FitzFrame app) can upload pictures directly. When my husband pulls into port in a few days and has WiFi? He can upload a video message for the kids. I was making dinner the other night when a picture of my sister-in-law dancing with my dad at her wedding popped up. Those cousins I long to have running in our front door? Well, they’re scrolling across a screen in my kitchen instead, and my kids are ecstatic. You can have multiple users, from anywhere in the world, all uploading to your frame with the click of a button. It is MAGICAL, and truly the perfect gift for a military family to stay connected with one another, parents, siblings, and grandparents as well.

How to enter? Comment on this post with why your military family wants a Fitz frame by midnight eastern time on July 3. You’ll receive an extra entry if you share this post on Facebook, and another entry if you share on Twitter. Be sure to hashtag #FitzFrame Giveaway wherever you post it, and let me know in your comment that you did, so you’ll get all the credits you deserve! Winners will be selected in a drawing on 4th of July. And if you don’t win? Here’s another another reason to buy a Fitz frame: Fitz offers a 20% discount to all military families on their website:, with the code “MilitaryFam” at checkout.

There might not be any place but home, but a special thanks to Fitz for closing the distance!






34 thoughts on “There’s no place like home: a perfect frame of mind

  1. Alyssa Smith says:

    My family would love one! We just moved to Key West so we’re even further away than we were before. One of my sisters just had a baby and 2 more sisters have babies due in the winter. We’d love to be able to see these babies and all my kids other 16 cousins anytime we want!
    Sharing on FB 🙂


    • T. T. Robinson says:

      Congratulations! You were selected as a winner! Please be on the look out for an email from Fitz Frame in the next few days to coordinate shipment!


  2. Nyna Lueken says:

    I absolutely LOVE the idea of this frame. Pictures are such a huge deal to my husband and me when he is gone. I also have nieces and nephews in Wisconsin who I’d love to see scrolling by, as well as a brother in law who recently joined the navy and is currently in boot camp. We don’t all get together often, so pictures are what we live for.
    Sharing on fb and twitter!


  3. Elba Dore says:

    This pretty awesome. My husband is currently deployed and this would be a great way o share photos. Sharing on FB.


    • T. T. Robinson says:

      Congratulations! You were selected as a winner! Please be on the look out for an email from Fitz Frame in the next few days to coordinate shipment

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Melissa Horner says:

    This would be amazing! I’m always running out of room for more frames! It would also be great to view more pictures of my family states away not only for me, but for my daughter to see them more often:). Thank you for hosting this contest!


  5. kate says:

    Our family is gearing up for back to back deployments and this would be a great way for our daughter to stay connected with my husband


  6. amy marshall says:

    I would love one. Being a military family pictures are so important.


  7. Kristin says:

    This would be an AMAZING way for our family (spanning 9 states) to stay connected as my SO leaves on this upcoming deployment. It would also help tremendously to help him reduce FOMO (fear of missing out) on the 6 weddings, 3 babies and numerous trips the family will be taking!
    Thanks for hosting – this is awesome!


  8. Susie says:

    My little family would love one so my awesome husband can send us photos, and so can cousins, in-laws (& outlaws), and siblings who live all over the world from Japan to Nashville. Shared on FB. 🙂


  9. Chris Schilling says:

    Omg! We would love one as we say “see you soon to my husband and our girls daddy!” I’d love for him to be able to view the girls and our family memories upon his return!


  10. Tessa Davis says:

    This would be amazing for my husband who will be in a year long training to send things to my daughter as well as after during his next deployment it would be used everyday. She has a hard time when she doesn’t seem him at all and doesn’t fully understand. Shared on Facebook.


  11. Noralee Jones says:

    This is so cool! My family could absolutely use one! My husband has missed so many things in or lives including the pregnancy and birth of our two children. His next deployment would be so much better if my children are able to feel more connected to their dad. Thank you!!


  12. rhechristine says:

    This would be such a cool thing for our family! We live so far away from so many people we love. I love the idea of being able to have so many pictures available for my kids to seal the time.


  13. Jena Jung says:

    This would be amazing!!! I love taking pictures and most of them just stay on the computer or shutterfly account. This would be a great display in our living room and would allow my kids to see pictures and videos of family members that they rarely see because they live on the other side of the country. This would also be wonderful to communicate to my brother who is deployed on the other side of the world for the next few months. This will also be amazing to communicate to my husband when he deploys and travels for work as well. We would be so blessed to have one. Thank you for this great opportunity for the military families.


  14. This would be amazing! Devin will be deploying early next year and this will be a great way for us to all stay connected (in a “where in the world is Daddy” sort of way :)). Out of his brothers, two will be deployed and one lives in Texas, so finding a way to keep us all connected and have Em “see” her family would be incredible. Such great work you’re doing, Tess!


  15. Brooke Greenstreet says:

    Oh I know four kids who would LOVE this frame all the time but fill it with pictures of Daddy When he is gone would be especially sweet!


  16. Robin DW says:

    This would be such a great way to help my husband feel connected on his upcoming deployment! And also a great way for my kids to “see” family that we don’t get to visit very often. What an amazing idea! Sharing on FB


  17. Meighan says:

    Well, I’m not active duty military anymore, but it would be amazing to have this Fitz frame since we are living in Berlin and our families are in the States and Australia.
    By the way, I didn’t know you had a website! I love reading your articles and now I can find them all in one convenient place (instead of scrolling through your Facebook profile).
    Also, I shared this on Facebook to let my military friends know about it.


  18. Jennifer Coley says:

    Our military family would love a Fitz digital frame! We welcomed out 5th baby girl last Summer and life has never been busier for our family. My children love to see pictures of themselves except I hardly have time to print and frame them. This frame sounds as though it is impossibly easy to use. I could really use some easy in my life right now 😉


  19. Robyn Hilliard says:

    I would love one for my hubs who just deployed. My 1,4&5 year old want to send daddy pictures and this would be a great way for him to change them out as the boys grow!!! Thanks so much for doing this!!


  20. Robyn Hilliard says:

    I thought I posted my comment, but I don’t see it. :-/ My husband just deployed and is missing our one year olds milestones. My 4&5 year old have wanted to send daddy pictures and this would be a great way to send many & keep them consolidated. Thanks so much for the chance to win! Happy 4th!! Also I shared on FB. 🙂


  21. Erin says:

    What a cool idea. We’re at the start of our first deployment with k8ds, and it would be great for my husband to feel more connected to us when he pulls into port.


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