Making it through a screen-free week

As part of NextGen MilSpouse’s Make 2016 Your Bitch Challenge week nine was having a week of no screen evenings. Full disclosure: I wrote the article and took it on as a personal challenge since I may have a problem with FOMO and screen addiction. So James and I started our no screen week and here’s what we did…

I participated in the NextGen MilSpouse weekly podcast to talk about going screen-free. Let's just say this: the struggle was real. Listen now:
I participated in the NextGen MilSpouse weekly podcast to talk about going screen-free. Let’s just say this: the struggle was real. Listen now:

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Tips and Tricks for Managing Your Tricare Benefits

So I have to say that one of my favorite benefits of this military life is the medical insurance aka Tricare. Care aside, because that varies by provider, it’s an absolutely amazing deal as an active duty family. Most companies charge far more for family members to be covered by insurance than we do as an Army family (we only pay for dental and that’s a very low price), so it’s a great benefit! But it can be tricky to manage aka what makes it not so great as the dependent. I have had some ups and downs with Tricare and I wanted to share what I’ve learned in these few years in hopes that it can help you!

Tricare logo

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Surviving 2 PCS moves in one year

Well last year was…fun. And again, sorry for the lack of posts, again life got crazy. Or maybe I love Netflix too much. I was doing some freelance work too though! And we moved…again. Yes, we moved twice in one year. I learned so much on these two moves that I really want to share with you some tips for success – and dealing with not-so-great outcomes (let’s just say move #2 did not go smoothly).

Us embarking on PCS #1 in 2015 with a packed car. Photo by J. Hall.
Us embarking on PCS #1 in 2015 with a packed car. Photo by J. Hall.

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Confession: I’m a liberal military spouse

For those of you that know me, this is no surprise. But to those of you that know me through my blog, you probably didn’t know this fun fact about me (unless you saw my recent guest post on NextGen MilSpouse or follow me on Twitter). But with the way the midterms election turned out and the beginning of the 2016 Presidential Campaign on us – I wanted to share. Why? Because it’s an important part of who I am and as this country moves forward, I want to share my opinions on issues, campaigns, and other political things that may come up. See, I’m a bit of a political junkie and I want to include some of that here on this blog.

So in the interest of sharing – here is this part of my story:

With my parents at the Democratic National Convention at 1988. Photo courtesy Jessica Hall.
With my parents at the Democratic National Convention at 1988. Photo courtesy Jessica Hall.

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Becoming the “Seasoned” Spouse

Many months ago I read this post from They Call me Dependent. It reminds the readers of what life was like when we were the new spouse. That the first anything was traumatic and that others’ reactions, particularly those seeming to have a good time, couldn’t be right. But more importantly it reminded me that we’ve all been there and as time goes we learn and change and cope. And around that time I also realized that I was becoming that seasoned spouse.

It only took me about two and a half years but I think I’ve become a seasoned spouse. Or at least I’m feeling more seasoned. It really hit me at a unit event a few weeks later talking to some new spouses. There were so many things that came up that I remember worrying about like crazy just a year ago and now…well not so much. And it was hard for me to articulate that it wasn’t something to spend all their time worrying about.

Do I still worry about our life in the Army, James when he’s gone, and what lies ahead? Yes. Do I still learn new things every day? Yep. But it all feels different. I feel different about all of the things the Army throws my way then I did even a year ago.

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12 deployment tips for every couple

A reader wrote in asking for tips to make it through a deployment when you aren’t married and/or the unit doesn’t have a strong (or any sort of) support group, such as an FRG.

While I was lucky and have been a part of great FRGs where I made great friends, each FRG is different, and it may not provide the support you need or want. And that’s okay.

I’ve reached out to a few of my friends who have been through trainings and deployments alike in both these scenarios to get their best tips. I’ve also compiled some general tips to help get through anytime apart, with or without official channels in place, and with or without a marriage certificate.

More Than A military spouse
I dabbled in Pinterest projects during deployment – including making pinata cookies. Photo by Jessica Hall.

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Military Monday: Are spouses entitled to salutes, extra pay?

There have been some crazy articles in the Military Spouse world lately asking for benefits that I have NEVER EVER heard of. And they are sounding like crazy people so let’s break them down (and apologies in advance but I rant a bit):

An officer’s wife wrote into a Navy publication upset that she/her car were no longer being saluted at her duty station when she drove on post. Personally I’ve never experienced this when I’m in the car by myself. When my husband is driving us onto post he is saluted, but salute a wife? I didn’t even think this was a thing. Apparently it is…kinda.

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Living a Dual-Military Life

I met Julie at a last year and we hit it off! She and her husband are both Active Duty currently stationed at Joint Base Lewis-McChord. Today she’s sharing what her life is like.

After meeting Jessica at a baby shower for a friend, I started following her blog. I am honored to be able to share what it’s like to be more than a military spouse, and in this case, more than just a military service member!

Dual military spouses—this is the title both my husband and I have in this crazy Army life we live, and it definitely has its own set of challenges. Casey (my hubby) is an active duty Infantry Officer currently deployed to Afghanistan, and I, Julie, am an active duty Medical Service Corps Officer stationed at JBLM.

Julie and her husband Casey. Photo courtesy Julie.
Julie and her husband Casey. Photo courtesy Julie.

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My Story

My family has served in the U.S. Military for three generations, starting with my grandfather, followed by uncles and cousins. When I met my now-husband five years ago I was not interested in these West Point boys that were going to be at the party in my friend’s NYU dorm room. In fact I only planned on staying for five minutes, be polite and say hi to these guys we had briefly met the year before, but then there was James, who was a freshman, therefore new to the group. I will admit that his blue eyes and smile drew me in immediately and before I knew it five minutes turned into hours of talking, laughing, and flirting. The next day we had our first date and almost four years later we were married.

This is me in California posing with some sleeping elephant seals.

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