Category Archives: SpouseBuzz

5 Phases of MilSpouse Swimwear

  
Like it or not, it’s officially swimsuit season. Maybe you just finished a marathon and can’t wait to hit the pool. Or, maybe the only marathon you finished this year was a series on Netflix, and you’re dreading the dressing room. Whatever your body type and whatever your confidence level, here are SpouseBuzz’s his and her swimsuit selections for each phase of your life.

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I’m Not Just a Spouse, and You’re Not Either

  
I stood in line at the Pass and ID office, patiently awaiting my turn. Unbeknownst to me, my military dependent ID had conveniently expired a few weeks after my husband deployed, and was confiscated at the front gate en route to the children’s Christmas party. Oops.

Fast forward several months later, and now that homecoming is a few weeks away, I finally got my act together to get my ID replaced. In heels and a business suit, I left work early for my appointment. When I finally made it to the front of the line, I told the the gentleman behind the desk my ID had expired and I needed to replace it. With a smile and no ill-will, he asked, “Are you a contractor ma’am? Or just a spouse?”

The words reverberated through my ears like nails on a chalkboard.

I might not be a contractor, but I’m not “just” a spouse.

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Military Love Letters: 1776 vs. 2016

  
It’s been 240 years since the Revolutionary War ended, and our spouses still need our support on the home front.

If you close your eyes, I bet you can picture the scene in Yorktown in 1776. The sweeping grass and rolling hills of Virginia. The men in their uniforms: the tall boots, fitted pants, the tails of a cropped jacket whose hand-adorned golden buttons mimic soldiers in a straight line. The wigs, the pirate-like hats, the bayonets in hand. Now, add the low rumble of a snare drum, the distant sound of a cannon. Just slightly different than the battlefields of today, right? No wigs, smaller hats, more practical uniforms, not to mention the vastly evolved warfare.
And, yet, some things don’t change: valor, commitment, and the importance of good communication with your spouse.

In honor of the 4th of July, SpouseBuzz presents an actual excerpt from a letter from George Washington to his wife Martha (apparent typos included on purpose) … followed by what it would sound like in an updated version for today’s military couple.

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4 Lessons Military Spouses Taught Me

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We live in a society that teaches us not to have regrets. We are told to go all-in, all the time; pour your heart and soul into everything you’re doing.

For the most part, I subscribe to this mentality, but given the chance, there are a few things I’d gladly jump in a time machine to correct. Like the day I got my flip flop caught in a revolving door at my brand new job after changing out of my heels: could have done without that.

More aching on my heartstrings is the first time I received an email from a fellow military spouse, inviting me to have coffee.

A month before my husband and I were married, he took orders to San Diego. Determined to keep my job in Washington D.C., I commuted the first six months after our wedding. We were newly married, but I was living out of a suitcase. Somewhere in there a woman emailed me, introducing herself and inviting me to get together. We were going to be in Guam at the same time, and she had previously lived there. I thanked her, but ultimately blew it off. I didn’t consider myself a “typical” military spouse – whatever I thought that was. I had a good job, no kids, my own identity and a big ‘ole chip on my shoulder. I didn’t have time for coffee.

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An Open Letter to My Military Children

An Open Letter to My Military Children http://wp.me/p1d7d0-9tN

My dearest little ones,

Long before your father and I met, we were raised to believe we could do anything. We were taught to work hard, give of ourselves, and the difference between right and wrong. We were given separate dreams for similar things: to find a lifetime of love and laughter, purpose and promise. So much of those things we found in each other, and in turn, in you. But even before I knew him, your father found his purpose. He joined the United States military. He was compelled to serve his country as generations before him had, and it’s a choice he continues to make every day. That incredible decision, while always noble, isn’t always easy. But it is a choice.

As you grow older, my dear children, you will learn that all our choices bear consequences. While it may seem that your father and I (and the Department of Defense) make the decisions for our family in a vacuum, it’s important that you know we are thinking of you every step of the way. While the military will demand much from our family, it is our responsibility to uphold the promises we have made to you.

We can’t give you permanence, but we promise you stability. 

We will move. You will have to navigate a new town, with new friends, in your new school, while we unpack boxes in another new house. You’ll have a different room, different zip code, different teachers and different routines. While every move will bring unique challenges, some things will not change. We will hold you to the same standards no matter where we live. You will still be expected to be kind, gracious, and respectful, even if your new classmates aren’t. We know it’s hard. Moving is hard on us, too. Places will come and go and so many things will change, but our family will be your constant. Through uncertainties, you will find resilience.

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7 Times Military Luck Was Not on Our Side

Sometimes the luck of the Irish strikes on our side, and sometimes that greedy leprechaun takes his pot of gold and runs as fast as he can the other way from you. Military life is the ultimate gamble. Maybe you’ll get those orders to Italy you’re hoping for, or maybe you’ll get Oklahoma instead. Maybe your husband makes it home from deployment in time for the birth of your first child, or maybe he deploys the month you’re due. Whether you’re smiling at the end of the rainbow or crying into a bowl of Lucky Charms, join SpouseBuzz in celebrating Saint Patrick’s Day with our seven lucky spouses, and these, our seven unlucky ones:

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7 Times Military Luck Was on Our Side

Every March we celebrate the Irish heritage we may or may not have. Whether you take in a parade, live in a city where the rivers are dyed green or boycott corned beef and cabbage all together, one thing we can agree on is that it’s always nice when the luck of the Irish is on your side.

Our two-part feature (this is the first installment!) on military luck highlights spouses who won big, and then those who may have bet big, but walked away empty-handed. Between PCSing, Space-A travel, weddings, and more, military luck is one giant game of roulette. Read on for the stories from seven lucky spouses who hit the jackpot.

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3 Ways Deployment Can Bring You Closer as a Couple

IMG_2286As military spouses, we’ve all been told at one point or another, “Absence makes the heart grow fonder,” by a well-meaning friend or family member. And, every time I hear that phrase I want to respond, “Hmm. Try it.”

Instead, with a polite smile and a deep breath, I usually mutter something along the lines of, “Yep. What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, right?”

My husband and I didn’t live in the same city until we’d been married six months. Of our 10 years together, nearly half have been spent apart. Long-distance relationships get such a bad reputation, but I’ve met so many great military couples who have made them work. Could it be possible that with back to back deployments, TDYs, training, individual assignments and more training, your relationship can flourish as if you were in the same zip code?

In her study “Absence Makes the Communication Grow Fonder: Geographic Separation, Interpersonal Media, and Intimacy in Dating Relationships,” researcher L. Crystal Jiang found just that.

“Indeed, our culture, emphasizes being together physically and frequent face-to-face contact for close relationships, but long-distance relationships clearly stand against all these values. People don’t have to be so pessimistic about long-distance romance,” said Jiang. “The long-distance couples try harder than geographically close couples in communicating affection and intimacy, and their efforts do pay back.”

Good to know; it’s definitely possible. But how can you make sure your time apart actually brings you closer together?

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How to Beat the Groundhog Days of Deployment

(Photo courtesy of Flickr user Anthony Quintano via the Creative Commons license.)
(Photo courtesy of Flickr user Anthony Quintano via the Creative Commons license.)

It’s been 129 years since the people of Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania first allowed a groundhog to predict the nation’s forecast for the arrival of spring. Every year on February 2, the town is flooded with people rooting for a marmot named Phil not to see his shadow. And every year, by the time February hits, the days all seem to run together. As a military spouse going through deployment, I often feel like Bill Murray’s character in the movie Groundhog Day. It’s easy to get in a rut when every day feels like the one before.

This year, find your groove by using these five tips to dig out of the deployment doldrums:

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4 Lessons from the Greatest Generation in a Time of Fear

It feels like a time of fear. It feels like we are on the edge of more war, more conflict, more battles, more farewells, more hurt, more pain more … terror.

Last month, as news of the Paris terrorist attacks came in and the horrifying details emerged, many of us were glued to the news. Once we’d started processing the devastation, the inevitable questions started to arise: how would this affect our military, our families and our lives?

Although it may have felt all-consuming to many of us, the fact remains that Kylie Jenner’s low cut top and Starbucks’ controversial red cup were the trending stories on social media while Paris burned — evidence of a modern society indifferent to the plight of the world.

Yet, 75 years ago, on December 29, citizens across the country were united as they gathered around radios in their family rooms, listening to President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s Fireside Chat 16: “The Arsenal of Democracy.” The nation hung on his every word as the president detailed the threat of war and his faith that the country would pull through; it was a unifying speech aimed at clarifying their commitment to national security.What can we learn from the Greatest Generation in a time of fear?

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