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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Staying positive no matter what

It’s hard to stay positive with all that life throws at you, let alone what the Army throws at you. In general I try to not let moments get me down, like a bad day at work, an assignment gone wrong, or time apart from loved ones, but it’s hard. There are always days or weeks that you have the blues. So just what do I do to stay as positive as I can?

Staying Positive No Matter What | More Than a Military Spouse
Silver linings in everything. Love the color contrast in this photo from our trip to the Tulip Festival last year! Photo by Jessica Hall

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Back from hiatus!

Hello and so sorry about the long break in posts. It’s been a busy few months with work, school, holidays, and life. But I’m pledging to myself to write more and bring this blog back to action! I have a few posts in the works from the last few weeks, all in draft form, but wanted to give you a heads up about what’s to come this year:

Here's a picture of Mt. Rainier this summer just because. Photo by Jessica Hall.
Here’s a picture of Mt. Rainier this summer just because. Photo by Jessica Hall.

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Liebster Award Part Two

I got nominated for a Liebster Award again! This time by MC over at Pearls, Diamonds and Everything Else. I am totally honored by my fellow military spouse bloggers! Since I did this once, check out my picks from the fall, and here are my answers to MC’s questions:

  1. If you could live anywhere in the world what country and why would you pick? Italy. I studied abroad there and absolutely love everything about it! The language, food, culture, art. I can’t wait to go back and visit!
  2. What is one item you couldn’t survive without? Probably my cell phone…keeps me connected to everyone!
  3. Lipstick or mascara? Mascara, only because I wear it everyday and usually forget lipstick.
  4. Describe your perfect Saturday Cooking up a great breakfast, going on an adventure (just getting out of the house and going somewhere!), end with a great meal. And it’d all be done hanging out with my husband or my friends!
  5. What’s on your nightstand? My Kindle, coaster for my necessary nighttime water, sometimes a magazine, hair tie and reading light.
  6. How would you spend 1 000 000 dollars? Pay off my student loans first and foremost! Then any remaining debt. Save a good chunk. Travel somewhere new!
  7. Do you have a favorite book you have read so many times that you know it by heart? If yes, name it. Well my all time favorite book is The Wonderful World of Oz
  8. If you could spend a weekend with anybody…who would you pick? So many options!! Actually I’d love to spend time with my grandparents again, just to ask all the questions I never did and get to know the ones I never knew.
  9. Favorite quote “Life is not about finding yourself, life is about creating yourself.” -Anonymous
  10. What is your favorite meal to cook? I love me some brunch. And baked goods.
  11. How did you spend your last birthday? On my actual birthday I went to one of my best friend’s weddings in my hometown! That day my mom also made me an AMAZING cake. Back in WA we had a fondue party with all of our friends!

Check out MC’s blog for all sorts of fashion tips and inspiration boards, among other things. Anyone share anything in common with me from these questions? Would love to hear what in the comments!

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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Liebster Award

Thanks to Salena over at Journey of the Luptons for nominating me for this award!

Here’s how it works. There are 4 steps to receiving this award:

1. List 11 things about yourself.
2. Answer your nominator’s 11 questions.
3. Choose up to 11 bloggers with less than 200 followers and ask them your own questions.
4. Inform your nominees of their award nominations.

11 Things About Me:

  1. I consider NYC my second hometown after going to NYU and living there for a total of 5 years.
  2. I love trying out new recipes, I have subscriptions to 3 food magazines.
  3. My favorite boy band was 98 degrees, followed by N’Sync.
  4. I’ve been a fan of fun. since they were The Format back in AZ. (Ok the lead singer is the same, but still, love them!)
  5. I almost didn’t go to the get together at my friend’s the night I met my husband.
  6. I have a dog planned out in my head down to the name. We just can’t have a dog yet.
  7. I love tonic water, just by itself, with a lime. And with gin.
  8. During undergrad I did not drink coffee regularly.
  9. I can only make coffee with my Keurig.
  10. One of my favorite foods is crepes. My grandmother’s family has French origins, so crepe pans are a necessity in our kitchens!
  11. I’ve seen all seasons of Project Runway, including All-Stars.

Salena’s questions:

  1. How long have you been blogging?   On here since October but in general: years. I had a Xanga and LiveJournal (oh I hope no one can find those…). I also have another blog too about food and travel.
  2. What made you start blogging?  For this blog it was sparked by a class, but the idea has been floating around in my head for a year or so. I want to share what military life is like, and that being married to a man in the Army doesn’t change who I am as a person, just some of the everyday things are a bit different.
  3. What do you like the most about blogging? Sharing stories and connecting with people.
  4. How many relatives do you have and how old are they? The hubby, 2 parents, a brother, 8 cousins + their kids and my in-laws (there are a lot of them). Ages: youngest is 5, oldest 71.
  5. What do you like to do on your free time? Cook, travel, spend time with my loved ones and friends.
  6. What kinds of movies do you enjoy?  Comedies and drama.
  7. If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be? Maybe a few inches taller…
  8. Who are you closest to in your family?  Besides my husband, my mom.
  9. Favorite website (not a blog)? Pinterest.
  10. What’s the best part about the holidays? The food!
  11. Where are you from? Phoenix, AZ

The winners!

These are some of my fellow MCDMers’ blogs, military spouses, and friends! In no particular order, but I hope you all enjoy their blogs as much as I do.

  1. Creative Quince
  2. Restrictions Turned Creative
  3. Unicorn in Uniform
  4. Vintage 1969
  5. Take That to Go
  6. Quartermisses
  7. The Manic Military Wife
  8. And Then We Laughed
  9. Look Beyond the Imperfections
  10. A Writer’s Purpose

My questions for these bloggers:

  1. What sparked your blog idea?
  2. What’s been the most difficult part about blogging?
  3. What have you learned in the process of blogging?
  4. If you’re on Twitter, whose your favorite person to follow? If not, favorite Facebook page?
  5. What’s your favorite food?
  6. If you could only make one trip, where is the one place you want to visit in the world?
  7. What are you most looking forward to this holiday season?
  8. What’s that last book that you read (for fun)?
  9. What do you think about Pinterest?
  10. What’s your favorite magazine?
  11. Holiday cards: a do or don’t?

So that’s it! Who are some of your favorite bloggers? Thanks again to Salena for the award!

Watching Sandy wreak havoc on my other hometown: NYC

Tonight as I watch news accounts, Twitter feeds, and my Facebook newsfeed about Hurricane Sandy wreaking havoc on the east coast, I can only be scared for NYC. After living there for 5 years, I can tell you that it will always be home to me. I can tell you that most places I lived would be without power. My junior year apartment: I would have had to evacuate. My university falls in the no-power zone (as I type this, below 39th Street). And the fact that NYU is closed, huge deal, it didn’t close for storms for years, because nothing as serious had happened I’m sure.

A photo from Brooklyn of the Manhattan power outage, via AP

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“Me turns into we,” a friend shares her story

This is from my friend Jess. She emailed this to me after my post about my month of anniversaries, and more importantly, how over time her relationship with D has shifted from young love to something more, and that where his career goes could definitely be about her. Because well love is a powerful thing. Here’s what she said:

I met D when I was 14, the summer of 2002 as a high school freshman and that October we started dating. I remember when he left for Korea after boot camp in Fall 2004 and all I could think about was when I was going to see him next, I didn’t know. So I ended it 4 months later because it was getting too “tough.” I was 17 then though…and I remember as the years passed I told him I didn’t know if I would be able to date him if he was still in the military just because of how they took him away and how everything just “was” with the army. Looking back on that now, I realize how much of a baby I was at the time and how selfish I was thinking about only me, but then again I wasn’t looking towards marriage yet or anything along those lines. Now, here we are, 7 years later and back together, and back to being 9 months apart and long distance, but he’s still been the only one for me. There’s never even been anyone close so, like you mentioned, love is a big game changer, a big player in the deck of cards. This post literally made me cry because like James, D is asking me about how his next two years will pan out and how WE (not he anymore, we) will need to decide if this is it or to stay put or try for DC (which I would really love) and see OUR options. It’s crazy how me turns to we in the army, and he’s willing to make me happy as well because it’s important to him that I enjoy the crazy military ride.

Thanks for sharing your story Jess! If you want to share your story about being a military significant other feel free to email me:

A Month of Anniversaries

October is a special month for me. Sure it means that fall is here, which I absolutely love, but more importantly it is the month that I met my husband, and a few years later, got engaged.

When we met (5 years ago!) I did not think the relationship would turn into what it did at all, mainly since it would be a long distance relationship, during college, sounds not so fun. But then you fall madly in love and who cares? You just want to be with that person. But, it is much more than that.

From day we met to engagement: October was a great month for us!

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