Category Archives: Uncategorized

7 Stages of PCS Packing

PCS season: It was the best of times, it was the worst of times. But really, it was the most stressful of times.

It starts long before the move; during the season of orders uncertainty. Remember that scene in “Legally Blonde” where Harvard’s finest are huddled in the hallway anxiously awaiting the internship list to be posted? We thought it would probably be Warner and Viv, but of course we were all pulling for Elle. Her infamous, “ME!” was one of my favorite parts of the movie. If you’ve watched it once, you know the scene.

Click here to finish reading on NextGen MilSpouse.

52 Week Challenge: Register to Vote

Originally posted on NextGenMilSpouse.com

  
Photo from NextGen MilSpouse

Whether you’re on the “Trump Train,” you’re “With Her,” you’ve Googled Gary Johnson or you have no idea which candidate should get your vote, as an American citizen you have an obligation to cast that ballot.

As military spouses, we know all too well what sacrifices have been made to protect that privilege.
Not feeling the presidential race this year? Remember, there are a plethora of local elections that warrant your attention as well.

There’s nothing worse in an election year than showing up at the polls and realizing you’re not registered to vote. Or talking to your deployed spouse overseas and realizing that he or she missed the window to request an absentee ballot.

Click here to continue reading this post on NextGen MilSpouse

5 Must Read MilSpouse Books

Originally published on Spousebuzz.com

  

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The kids are heading back to school, the days seem shorter and fall weather is finally in sight. National Read-a-Book Day is this week and it’s no wonder why: it’s the perfect time to curl up with a good story. Whether you’re reading on the porch with a cup of coffee after carpool drop off, have a long commute on public transportation to turn the pages, you’re crawling into bed alone (again) during deployment or anything in between, SpouseBuzz gives you five must-read military spouse books:

Click here to continue reading on SpouseBuzz.com



5 Reasons for Spouses to Go Back to School

This post originally appeared on SpouseBuzz.com

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Summer is almost over and stores are already filling their aisles with back-to-school goodies. New markers, crayons, and glue sticks abound while parents wander with checklists making sure they have the prerequisite-sized notebooks. You’d think the end of pool days would be enough to drive kids everywhere into a deep dark depression, but if you’ve ever been school supply shopping with a little one, you know how pumped they are to pick out their new backpack. What if you could be that excited? Whether you didn’t finish college or have been thinking about that masters’ degree, here are five reasons you should go back to school:

Click here to continue reading on SpouseBuzz.com

Labor of Love: 10 Hilarious Military Birth Stories

This post originally appeared on SpouseBuzz.com

  
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According to the United States Department of Labor website, Labor Day “is a creation of the labor movement and is dedicated to the social and economic achievements of American workers.” That’s awesome. One thing those workers have in common? They all have a mother who went through labor in their own right.

This year, in honor of Labor Day, we’re going to talk about the other kind of labor — the kind that gives life. We bring you 10 real life military labor stories to keep you laughing, shaking your head, and being impressed by the resilience of military mothers.

Click here to continue reading on SpouseBuzz.com

5 Ways to Emergency Prep like a Pro

It’s that time of year again — that time where you hear about the hurricanes, the tornadoes, the heat waves. The time when you see a community devastated by weather, or a Facebook friend posting about a near-miss with Mother Nature. You know, summer.

Last week I was on the highway when a tornado warning sounded, so I pulled off and hid in a Sonic bathroom. I knew they had an interior concrete structure, and I really like their slushies.

Do you know what to do in an emergency? The only things predictable about weather is that it’s always present, and, it doesn’t discriminate. Weather doesn’t care if you live in a new house or a 100-year-old money-pit. It doesn’t care if you have renter’s insurance or if you just paid out of pocket to get the hail damage from last year repaired. It has no capacity to understand your personal or financial situation, but somehow, I swear, it knows if your spouse is deployed.
Don’t wait until you have an emergency to prepare for one. Get ready now by using Spousebuzz’s Five Tips to Prep like a Pro.

Continue reading at SpouseBuzz.com

5 Reasons to go Back to School

  
Summer is almost over and stores are already filling their aisles with back-to-school goodies. New markers, crayons, and glue sticks abound while parents wander with checklists making sure they have the prerequisite-sized notebooks. You’d think the end of pool days would be enough to drive kids everywhere into a deep dark depression, but if you’ve ever been school supply shopping with a little one, you know how pumped they are to pick out their new backpack. What if you could be that excited? Whether you didn’t finish college or have been thinking about that masters’ degree, here are five reasons you should go back to school:
Click here to continue reading this post on SpouseBuzz.com 

The Military Life Fairy Tale

  Once upon a time (10 years ago) in a faraway land (Florida), lived a beautiful princess (fairly average looking woman in her mid-twenties paying off student loans). One day, at a ball in Tallahassee (ladies’ night at a college bar), the princess encountered a handsome prince (Naval aviator). He courted the princess, they were betrothed, and shortly thereafter they moved to a tiny kingdom in the Pacific (Guam).

The handsome prince left his blushing bride on the island a few weeks after arriving, to go slay dragons (terrorists) and keep all the kingdoms safe from harm.

While the prince was away, the princess longed for him. She stayed in bed for days aching for his return. Her tears flooded the island and she plotted her escape back to civilian life. Unable to afford the $3,000 commercial flight home, and without her prince to do such things as bring food home and take out the trash, the princess withered away and died. End of story. Actually, no. No, she didn’t. That’s not how it ends. That’s not how it ever ends.

Click here to continue reading on SpouseBuzz.com

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.

Ten.

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: https://fitzframe.com/pages/military, with the code “MilitaryFam” at checkout.

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

 

 

 

 

 

Join the Journey: Humans on the Homefront

Two things that inspire me most: our military families and Humans of New York. Thus Humans on the Homefront was born. Join me on the journey as we tell the stories of the brave men and women who serve our nation, and the incredible people who love them.

Follow the journey here: http://www.humansonthehomefront.com

 

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