Military

Basics for the New Military Spouse

This post was originally published on Military Spouse Advocacy Network and I am honored to work with them.Basics for the New Military Spouse-3

It was May 2016 and the day finally came when my whole world was about to change. My husband was leaving for Newport, Rhode Island for what would turn into fifteen weeks, to embark on his dream of becoming a Naval Aviator for the United States Navy. Officer Candidate School (OCS). We prepared for this for weeks. We made sure he had the right t-shirts, the right socks, he could run 1.5 miles in a certain amount of time, and even made sure he could do X amount of pushups and curls as well. We were prepared with stamps and paper so he could write. He had a watch for when he could have one again, and we prepared snacks and food for his drive. But I wasn’t prepared for the goodbye.

We woke up early, loaded his truck, and double checked we didn’t miss anything on the list. I was fine. I thought to myself, “this isn’t as bad as I thought it was going to be.” And then he turned and looked at me. And I wasn’t fine. I was excited for him, and I was excited for me, but I couldn’t help but cry because this would be the last time I got to see and touch his face in person. We hugged each other tighter than we ever have before, and I followed him outside to the truck. We hugged and kissed a dozen more times before I watched him back down the driveway onto the street, he made a right onto the next street, and another right on the street after that. As he drove away and the corn fields were between us, the tears stopped and I began counting down to when we would be reunited. I wasn’t ready for the goodbye, and I wasn’t ready for how quiet the house would be when I stepped back inside. It was eerily quiet.

The military is a challenging life to maneuver and you are  thrust into it in a way that is no better explained other than sink or swim.

“Hi welcome to military life, now I’m going to steal your partner away for you to figure it out on your own.” “Here, let’s talk in acronyms so you feel like you’re trying to translate a language you’ve never heard before!”
There are so many things I learned those first few months while my husband was away, and there is so much more I have to learn. There’s a lot of pride you can gain from learning something new or overcoming a challenge on your own, but if there was a cheat sheet I could have had last May,this is what I wish it would have said:

basics list

  1. Power of Attorney– If your partner will be going away for any amount of time, you need to have a power of attorney to manage important matters while they are away. It may seem intimidating, but don’t let it overwhelm you. Documents can be printed offline and you can sign them with any notary. If you are unsure, or still feeling hesitant, the legal office on base can assist at no charge.
  2. DEERS– Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System. Your first acronym, and there will be many more to come. To get you enrolled in DEERS your partner is going to need your birth certificate, social security card, marriage certificate, and photo ID. These have to be originals or certified copies. For your marriage license, make sure you have the certificate from your county clerk’s office. We didn’t think about this, and when my husband presented the license the officiant filled out, it was not accepted. I then had to obtain the correct form and overnight the marriage certificate to Rhode Island. Why all the hassle? Your spouse will also need the certificate to enroll you in TriCare, in order for you to obtain medical benefits.
  3. Military ID– Get a military ID ASAP! If your partner has all of your documents, and is deployed, you will have to wait for him to send them back to you. It might be a good idea to have duplicate certified copies of all important documents, so both you and your spouse have a set. Once you have these items, go get your military ID. This will give you access to the base, Exchange, commissary, and will allow you to receive military discounts at other businesses.
  4. Social Media– Not everyone uses social media, but if you do there are some really great support groups and pages out there. Another spouse may be aware of a local page or you can do a search for your area and ‘military spouse’. Many times the groups are private, so you may need a member to add you. While my husband was at Officer Candidate School I was lucky to find a page for friends and family of his OCS class. The girlfriends and wives of the class then formed a spinoff group and we messaged each other every single day. Being able to share your experiences with others going through the same things cannot be substituted. No matter how supportive your local friends and family are, it simply is not the same. I still talk to these wonderful women to this day.
  5. Be Empowered– Your partner is embarking on this amazing opportunity to further their career and accomplish goals they’ve set to enrich their life and yours. This does not mean you are simply along for the ride. You can further your education, work on your health, your career, or even your passion.  While my husband was away I made multiple lifestyle changes towards a healthier lifestyle and lost 40 lbs! There will be times when you will be alone, and lonely. These are the times when you have to rely on yourself, and your strength to get you through. Reach out to a friend, in person or virtually (again those Facebook groups are great!). You have the power to make or break yourself.

When do you reach the point when you’ve learned all you need to know as a military spouse? I’m going to guess never. Have I mentioned the acronyms? There is a never ending supply of acronyms. The military is not static, and it is always changing and evolving. Right when you think you have it figured out- nope! How exciting does that sound? Or is it exhausting? Let’s be positive and say exciting!

Health

Simple Life, Happy Life

Less is more.

This popular saying is my mantra for 2018.

Five tips for a simpler, more satisfying life pinterest.png

I’ve spent so much time thinking and planning and trying to outdo myself in every aspect:

  • Having the perfect pinterest-worthy house
  • Making as much money as possible
  • Perfect body: thin, flawless skin

It’s so easy to get caught up in the rat race of life where nothing is ever good enough. There’s the belief that there’s always room for improvement, and nothing and no one is perfect. The danger of this mindset is that you will never be satisfied with anything you ever accomplish. Lost 2 lbs this week? You could’ve lost 3 or 4. Ran a mile? You could’ve done it faster. Made x-amount of money? You can make more if you do xyz. It’s a never ending cycle.

Yes, it is important to have goals and not be stagnant. It is also important to learn to appreciate what you do have. Gratitude, health, and happiness will contribute to a more fulfilling life than any of the material items, or non-essential milestones I or society sets before me. What does simplifying my life look like?Five purge tips to simplify life.png

  1. The Household Purge
    • I’ve moved twice in the last year, so I already downsized a lot of items just so I won’t have to move a bunch of stuff over and over again. Now that I have lived in one place for 9 months, I can identify even more items that I can get rid of. If it hasn’t served a purpose in the last 9 months, then there is no reason to continue hoarding it or bringing it to the next destination.
  2. The Clothing Purge
    • I’ve had a lot of the same clothes since high school. They’ve had a good run and I think it’s time to retire them. May they rest in peace.
  3. The Social Media Purge
    • I deleted the Facebook app off my phone. I have spent too much time mindlessy scrolling through my newsfeed. I unfollowed anyone on Instagram I don’t personally know. I’ve gone a month now with these drastic reductions in social media and it has been so refreshing. I honestly don’t miss any of it.
  4. The Career Purge
    • Work/life balance is crucial. Identify if what you are sacrificing is worth the reward. I’m having a hard time making any changes in this. I still want to make more money. I’m still actively pursuing ways to do this. I’m a work in progress.
  5. Body Expectations Purge
    • Yeah, I need to work on this too. I still want to be thinner, and my skin sucks. I can’t do it all at once. Baby steps. But learning to let go of certain expectations and not maintaining the thought that once I achieve certain things, only then will I be happy. I will purge myself of this behavior.

I am looking forward to continuing to implement these small adjustments to how I live my life. I’m turning 30 this year and one of the great things about getting older is really getting to know yourself and for me a simpler life is a happier life.

 

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Travel

Travel Addiction

My name is Carlie and I am a travel addict. 

It feels good to get that out.

This time last year I made a list of a few destinations I wanted to experience in 2017. You can read the original post here.

Let’s review what did and didn’t happen.

  1. New Orleans  – checknola-bound_new-orleans-in-24-hours
  2. Overlanding the TransAmerican Trail – didn’t happen =(
  3. Camelback Mountain Resort and Waterpark– checkCamelback Mountain Resort
  4. Pensacola, Florida – checktripadvisor-vs-local-top-5-things-to-do-in-pensacola-florida
  5. Washington – check; Alaska – didn’t happen =(IMG_0526

So these were what I planned to do for 2017. As you can see, most of my plans did happen! Some didn’t. But I was able to add some destinations that weren’t on my original list! Such as:

  1. Corpus Christi, TexasCorpus Christi feature image
  2. San Antonio, TexasSan Antonio Feature image
  3. OBX, North Carolina
  4. Road trip: Connecticut, Massachusetts, Maine, New HampshireNew England road trip
  5. Big Bend National Park-TexasOV7nQXjiQpKRO0NcNq+eSA

2017 was a great year of traveling for me. I experienced so much more than I thought I would and it inspired a few of my travel goals for 2018.

2018 goals

  • Visit 30 states before I turn 30 in NovemberF45A4A34-5770-4E22-9A31-15F8D2B0997D
    • I was able to check off 7 states I never visited before in 2017. I have now visited 23 states in the USA, so I hope to visit 7 more states to bring my total to 30 states before my birthday.
    • March 2018- Spring Break Road trip Oklahoma, Arkansas, Missouri, Kansas
    • Moving We may be moving again this summer. Wherever we end up should give me the opportunity to add another state to my list. Will it be Mississippi? Will it be New Mexico? We shall see.
    • Nevada Long weekend in Vegas? I’m hoping I can make this happen.
    • New York: Harry Potter and the Cursed Child Weekend Vermont– since I’ll be in the area
  • Learn Latvian in LatviaMy husband is from Latvia. He lived there until he was a teenager and Latvian is his first language. We’re approaching 8 years together and I’ve always said I wanted to learn the language. This is the year I make it happen!
    • The University of Latvia offers a free intensive language course over the summer. So I’m hoping to make the journey to Latvia to spend 3 weeks finally making strides towards learning the languange of his people!
  • Dirty Thirty Cruise
    • I didn’t get to take a cruise in 2017, which is one of my favorite ways to vacay. I’m due. And I’d love to relax in Mexico with a margarita for my thirtieth birthday.

Do you have travel goals for 2018?

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Military

Dream Military Weddings

This post was originally published on Military Spouse Advocacy Network and I am honored to work with them.

It started with a proposal to spend the rest of your lives together: to make the world know how much you love each other through a pair of rings, a set of vows, and probably changing your relationship status on social media. Many people grow up wondering what their wedding will look like when the time comes. It may include robust flower arrangements, an extensive guest list, and elaborate centerpieces. When I was planning my wedding in the civilian world, Pinterest became my best friend and my enemy. Pinterest is wonderful for making you feel crafty and creative. It will also encourage you to make those individualized mason jar invitations that explode glitter, fireworks, and cupcakes when opened. And can be made in three easy steps! Oh, if only it really was that simple, and if there was about ten more hours in the day this would be incredible! Unfortunately, that is not reality, and furthermore the military lifestyle complicates our ambitions for marriage before we even get started.

The Multiple Journeys to Wedded Bliss

Since my husband commissioned into the Navy, I have made friends with numerous couples who started as friends, became fiancés, and ultimately spouses. Every single journey to their marriages looked different, but the end result was always the same. Wedded Bliss.

wedded bliss

Couple #1 got engaged directly after the commissioning ceremony. They were engaged for a few short weeks before having a small beach ceremony with family and friends, and then the husband had to depart for his first training school.

Couple #2 had their ceremony at the courthouse and followed up with a larger reception with friends and family a year later when their schedules allowed.

Couple #3 spent the last 10 months planning their dream ceremony and reception to be held this summer.

Each one of these scenarios was unique. Not every story was lived how they pictured it would be when they were younger, but none of them have any regrets. When your ultimate goal is to spend the rest of your life with your partner, you make the best of the hand you are dealt, and I would not call that settling. Each of these couples still has the same result.

As with anything in the military, flexibility is key, so be prepared to start with your wedding if you are new to the life. You will hear many times over the course of your lifetime that the military comes first, but even if you find yourself compromising on your wedding there will still be great rewards in the end. Regardless if you elect to do a courthouse ceremony, a small ceremony, or a large wedding, the ending will be the same: you will be lawfully wedded to your service member, the love of your life.dream military weddings-2

Are you a military spouse? What did your nuptials look like? Do you have any advice?

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Travel

Three Days in San Antonio, Texas

You may all go to hell, and I will go to Texas!

-Davy Crockett

I can’t lie. I haven’t been the biggest fan of the Lonestar State since moving here in April 2017. My main complaint is the heat. My second complaint is how long it takes to travel ANYWHERE. Texas is a beast of a state.

Those complaints aside, I spent a wonderful weekend in San Antonio, Texas with my best friend when she visited me in May 2017. Despite the heat, I loved San Antonio! I loved the history, the sites, the food, and just the overall experience. Do you have a trip planned for San Antonio yet? Add it to your list and you must do and see everything we did! I did the hard part of researching, planning, and testing it out, so you don’t have to! You’re welcome.

Accommodations: We stayed at this fabulous Airbnb. The host was super kind and full of recommendations on where to eat and what to do while we were in town. It was also very conveniently located less than a mile from the Pearl District and more affordable than any of the hotels I researched.

Never used Airbnb? Well pal- if you use this link, you will get $40 of travel credit when you sign up. What are friends for?

Transportation: We parked our vehicle at the Airbnb and used Uber to travel downtown and then walked to many of our destinations from there. Some of our other excursions that were not located downtown, we drove to easily in my car from the Airbnb.

Itinerary:

  • Day 1-
    • Arrive and check in at your hotel or Airbnb.
    • Find your way to the Pearl Brewery for amazing food, views, and shopping. You have to sample a flight of beer at Southerleigh, and indulge in macaroons from Lorraine’s Bakery. 10 out of 10 friends would recommend it.
    • Next, travel downtown for the Riverwalk. Take a riverboat tour and enjoy hearing about the history of the Riverwalk and recommendations on places to go while you’re in the area. IMG_0172
    • If you are there on a Thursday, Friday, Saturday, or Sunday. You CANNOT leave until you have experienced the light show outside San Fernando De Bexar Cathedral. It’s completely free and worth sticking around until 9pm, 9:30pm, or 10pm. fullsizeoutput_ac9
    • We intended on going to Cowboys Dancehall San Antonio after the light show, but I’m an old lady at heart and was ready for bed instead. However, this place has great reviews on TripAdvisor. They offer dance lessons, live music, and tasty drinks if you’re not quite tuckered out yet. me
  • Day 2-
    • Head on back downtown for what you really cannot leave San Antonio before seeing. The Alamo. Do I even need to explain? It just has to be done. To be honest, I was underwhelmed because I expected it to be a lot larger. Which apparently is the case for many. But the amount of history and significance of the destination continues to make it a must-see. fullsizeoutput_ace
    • If you’re in the market for souvenirs then you should definitely make your way to the San Antonio Market Square. There are tons and tons of little shops and stands for you to acquire everything and anything you need and don’t need all at the same time. I saw some pretty large margaritas and there was also live music and performers in the center of the Market Square. IMG_0286
    • Despite The Alamo not being what I anticipated, the San Antonio Missions exceeded all expectations. They make up for in size what they lack in popularity. I had never heard of the Missions before researching things to do on this trip, so they were a pleasant surprise.
    • If you still have time, you could also go to the San Antonio Zoo, Japanese Tea Gardens, maybe even the Old Time Wooden Nickel Company.
  • Day 3-
    • I really wanted to experience something unique and a little weird on this trip. And I definitely succeeded. The Toilet Seat Museum. It’s exactly what you think it is. Hundreds of toilet seats decorated and on display. A very kind, elderly gentleman has been honing his toilet seat decorating craft for decades. He has been on numerous television shows and even honored by the mayor of San Antonio for the museum he runs in a small building located next to his home. Be sure to stop, sign his guest book, and sign the toilet seat for whichever state you hail from. IMG_0304
    • On our way to another excursion, we decided to make a pitstop for a unique photo opportunity. The Largest Boots in Texas. They’re on display outside a mall. I won’t lie. You can skip this. It wasn’t that impressive. IMG_0289
    • Have you ever been down into a cavern? Well a short drive outside of San Antonio you will find Natural Bridge Caverns and Wildlife Ranch. If you’ve never been in a cave, you really must. And if you’ve never driven next to elephants, giraffes, ostrich, and various other wildlife, you really, really must.

San Antonio helped me change my negative Nancy outlook on Texas. Texas was no longer the never ending stretch of hellish heat I was stuck in. Instead, it became an opportunity for adventure I got to conquer- one mile (going 75 mph) at a time. I DO love the speed limit here.

Have you ever been to San Antonio? What did you think and what did you do?

Never been? When will you be coming? I’ll meet you there!

San Antonio pinterest graphic.png

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Health

The Weighting Game

Pun intended. The weighting game-2

My second blog post was titled, How to Lose Weight. I recall being so proud of writing this post. I was told how brave I was for being so honest about my struggles with my weight throughout my life. I remember feeling almost smug at how I had it all figured out. I had dropped a pretty decent number of pounds and I was down to the lowest weight I had been in many years. I was pretty pleased with my progress.

P1010054
Looking fly-y-y-y

 

Fast forward 3 months. Well ten pounds crept back on, but no big deal. I knew I had the combination figured out on how to easily lose it again. I’d get right on that once we were settled into our new move to Florida.

IMG_7693
Not that noticeable, but ten-ish lbs heavier.

 

Fast forward 4 months. Well another ten pounds crept on, kinda starting to feel like a big deal, but all I needed to do was get back into my routine, follow the steps that made me successful before and I could drop the weight in no time. I’d get right on that once we were settled into our new move to Texas.

Houston
Black dress, hand on the hip does wonders to hide that I’m 20ish lbs heavier.

Fast forward 8 months. Sonofabitch. I’ve gained 30 pounds total since that super awesome, lowest weight ever circa summer ’16. It’s officially a big deal. Unfortunately, my half-assed attempts at working out a week here or there, and tracking my diet/nutrition on my ghetto-ass, generic, weightwatchers app isn’t cutting it.

IMG_2767
In case you didn’t know, the leaning pose is slimming. But alas, it doesn’t deceive the scale and I have some weight to lose.

While I fear of sounding like a broken record, shit just got real (I’ve said this before, and yet I continued to gain). Buuuuuuuuuuut, for real this time. Being more active and making good food choices are now my job. What does this look like for me? Allow me to break it down…. in a list!

  1. Weight watchers: my bootleg app isn’t going to cut it. I joined weight watchers again. I’ve peeked the new freestyle format, and I think I’m in looooooove! Even more than I was with the Smartpoints. Eggs are zero points. I could, for real, eat eggs for every meal.
  2. Water: Goal- 120 ounces a day. I’m going to be peeing so much, my coworkers will probably think I have an UTI.
  3. Morning Exercise: I’ve become a bit obsessed with Tone It Up. Each day there are daily moves to complete and I’ll throw in whatever videos pique my interest on their youtube channel. Katrina’s booty is serious booty goals.
  4. Evening Exercise: That’s right. I have two workouts scheduled. Why? Because instead of coming home from work and sitting on my NOT-Katrina-esque booty, why not do something more productive? So I’ll be going for a walk or jog/walk around my neighborhood. C25k is my app of choice.
  5. Rest Days/Cheat meals:
    • As far as rest days are concerned, I was given some great advice from a friend who doesn’t plan rest days. Instead she listens to her body, and if she’s exhausted, too sore or sick one day, she rests. Otherwise she rallies, gets her shit together and worksout. I like that idea. Maybe Wednesday is going to be a shit day and I’ll need to hold off on busting my rump to finish the Tone it Up Daily Moves. Or maybe I’ll have the energy and mindset to kick my own ass and take names everyday.
    • Cheat meals are my cryptonite. It never fails, if I even overindulge on one stinking meal, I can pretty much gurantee I won’t lose any weight that week. So I need to really be strategic with my nutrition and recognize that “cheat” meals are only cheating me and my health. If only brownies and pasta didn’t taste so good. I’ll figure it out. strategies for weightloss.png

I have my plan. I have my spreadsheets written out. And I look forward to dropping these pounds so I can post a super bitching before and after comparison again.

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Military

Flight School Survival for the Military Spouse

Lies about flight school:

  1. Flight school for Student Naval Aviators (SNAs) goes quick.
  2. SNAs will be entirely consumed by flight school, with little time for anything else.
  3. Every SNA wants to fly jets in advanced.
  4. SNAs will move quicker through the training pipeline in Corpus Christi vs. Milton.
  5. There is no crying in flight school.
  6. Mustaches look sexy.

Before my husband went away for Officer Candidate School (OCS) and ever since, I spend so much time trying to make timelines and predict when and where we will be going next. This may or may not be my first mistake. I’ve been warned numerous times, through various means, that you cannot make plans when you’re living life as a military family- but I try anyways. Apparently I’m a glutton for punishment. I cannot help it though. I’ve been a planner, a scheduler, a goal setter my entire life, and you know what they say about old dogs…

Thus far this has been my experience with the timeline of my husband being in flight school. (His branch is Navy btw)flight school timeline.png

OCS check in: May 2016; Graduation: September 2016. This was back when OCS was 12 weeks minimum. It took my husband 15 weeks thanks to an unfortunate timing of pink eye. You can read a bit about what OCS was like for me here. It’s my understanding that OCS is shorter now.

OHARP: September 2016- November 2016. Officer Hometown Area Recruiting Assistance Program (OHARP). Following OCS my husband returned home for about 3 months and would work at the closest officer recruiting office before he had to report to Pensacola, FL for flight school.

Flight School Check In: December 2016. He checked into the command for flight school, but it would be another couple months before actively beginning training. In the downtime he would have to muster for Physical Training (PT) 3x a week for about an hour and then he would return home for the day. Alternate days required a quick morning muster with the rest of the day to do as he pleased. Quite the tough life these aviators go through in the beginning (note the sarcasm).

IFS: Introductory Flight Screening. SNAs spend this time flying 14 hours in a small aircraft at surrounding airports with civilian flight instructors. They also must pass the FAA Private Pilot test. SNA’s that already hold a private pilot license (like my husband) do not need to do this portion of training. However, other students who reported about the same time as him completed their training in about 2 months. This will vary depending on weather, scheduling, and dumb luck.

API: March 2017. Aviation Preflight Indoctrination. API is 6 weeks long, 4 weeks of academics and 2 weeks of survival training. The academics portion includes aerodynamics, aircraft engines and systems, meteorology, air navigation, and flight rules and regulations. API is a very busy time for the SNA and will require ample time studying. My husband joined a study group with 4 other SNAs and said it made a big difference for him in a positive way.

4 weeks into API is Flight Suit Friday. This is for the SNAs who have passed all of their exams thus far and have earned the right to wear those super comfy flight suits. This includes a party at the Officer’s Club where families and friends are invited. Definitely take the time to celebrate this accomplishment and watch Top Gun that runs on a constant loop while you play pool and have a few drinks.

Then comes the survival training, or Disney week, as it is fondly called. The SNAs will be taught a crash course on- well….. survival.

Primary Check in: April 2017. 3 days after finishing API, we had to report to Corpus Christi, TX for Primary training. 3 days!!! Talk about stressful. If the SNA is going to NAS Whiting Field, they had to report the afternoon of completing API.

Primary Training: June 2017-January 2018(corrections: February 2018). I say this with great hesitation. I fear I will be jinxing it. If the stars align correctly (they didn’t), then my husband will complete primary later this month (January)- NOPE. It has been longer than original sources said due to a hurricane, and an unheard of snowstorm, and Thanksgiving and Christmas and New Years. The list goes on and on. My conclusion is: everyone is a liar and nothing ever goes according to plan.

When the SNA is actively training in primary-yes they are busy with studying and prepping for flights/simulators. The training includes more ground school, contact, basic instruments, precision aerobatics, formation, radio instrument navigation, night familiarization, and visual navigation. However, there is downtime to be had when the weather is crap or the schedule is backed up and training drags on and on and on. This allows for the SNA to spend unneccessary amounts of money on things because they’re bored and dreaming of greener pastures. Just my SNA? Didn’t think so.

Since Thanksgiving and Christmas occurred during this time in training, my husband was able to take leave for 5 days at Thanksgiving, Wednesday-Sunday, and then 6 days post Christmas, Thursday-Tuesday.

At the close of primary training (if it ever ends)-it did, just not as soon as anticipated, the SNA submits their dream sheet for what they would like to fly for advanced training, and many cases- the rest of their career.  Their dream sheet of their top 3 choices is submitted on the Tuesday after they complete all of their training events and then the selection results are shared on Thursdays.

Update: So you may have caught on, he finally completed primary in February. He received helicopters. The day of selection he received the date he would begin advanced training, however we still needed to wait to recieve hard orders and his report date.

Advanced Training: The options include jets at either NAS Kingsville or NAS Meridian, E2/C2s at NAS Corpus Christi following on to NAS Meridian after a few months, P3s/P8s at NAS Corpus Christi, or Rotary at NAS Whiting Field. Word on the street is, it will be at least April of this year (2018) before he would check in for Advanced training (word on the street was wrong). We shall see! (we did!)

Advanced Check in: March 2017. Roughly a month after his selection date is when he will be checking in. And his advanced training start date is currently set for May 2018. We shall see!

So why is the list at the beginning of this post a bunch of lies? Allow me to explain.

  1. Flight school for Student Naval Aviators (SNAs) goes quick.
    • We’re already over a year in, and it will be incredibly unlikely for him to be completed and winged in 11 months. But…. cue the motto: We shall see! 
  2. SNAs will be entirely consumed by flight school, with little time for anything else.
    • This is part truth, part lie. When they are actively training- Yes, they should be consumed with studying, if they want to keep their scores up and not kicked out of the program. However, there is a lot of downtime in between phases and when the weather sucks. Which isn’t necessarily a bad thing! It’s nice to be able to spend time with your SNA. Bonus points if you can go a whole evening without talking about an airplane or the Navy.
  3. Every SNA wants to fly jets in advanced.
    • My husband, and many other SNAs want to fly jets. They’re the fastest and I think Top Gun has a lot to do with it. But there are a lot of SNAs who want to fly other aircraft for their career. Allegedly P8s have the best schedule flexibility for a homelife. And rotary opens up a lot of options for where you could end up after getting winged. Regardless of what they may want, the needs of the Navy will ultimately prevail.
  4. SNAs will move quicker through the training pipeline in Corpus Christi vs. Milton.
    • lies. straight up lies. SNAs in Milton that classed up for primary after my husband have already selected.
  5. There is no crying in flight school.
    • I may not have cried, but I have become increasingly anxious the longer it takes and the uncertainty of when and where we will go next.
  6. Mustaches look sexy.
    • They don’t. Why are mustaches a thing in flight school?!?fullsizeoutput_11c2

I’ll come back and update this post as we continue to move through the pipeline. Assuming we ever make it through. Flight School Survival.png

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Military

Preparing for a Military Move

This was originally published on the Military Spouse Advocacy Network and I am honored to work with them. Preparing for a Military Move-3

Moving is one of the most stressful events in a person’s life. Add to that the seemingly complicated amount of paperwork, communicating with the right departments, moving companies and your spouse, and moving as a military family can feel downright overwhelming.

Fortunately, the military is aware that a knowledgeable and informed family makes your life and their lives much easier! If you are a Navy family, Navy Household Goods is holding a series of webinars to answer any and all of your moving questions. You can read all about what will be covered and how to access the the webinars on their flier.HHG Webinar schedule - Jan - Mar 2018-2HHG Webinar schedule - Jan - Mar 2018

Not a Navy family? No worries! Move.mil also has very informative tutorials on their website, which can be found by clicking here!

My advice is to not wait until you’re facing a move to be educated on the topic. You will go into the experience much more at ease if you take the time to learn all you can now. I’ve been through two permanent change of station (PCS) moves, and I still intend on attending the webinars. There may be something new or improved that I don’t know, the military does love switching things up on us! Am I right?

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Health · Military · Random Ramblings · Travel

Long Time No Blog

Guess who’s back… back again…. List Five Blog’s back… tell a friend…. If you didn’t rap that in your head, we can’t be friends.

Well it’s been 8 months since my last post, or 33 weeks and 6 days or 237 days to be exact! Oh how I have missed thee! It really doesn’t feel like it has been that long. So much has happened since my last post in May, job changes and A LOT of traveling. I will write more detailed posts about all of the exciting events, and try to leave out all the boring stuff, over the next few weeks.

Why haven’t I written? Have I been so busy? I’m tempted to say yes, but the fact that I’ve had time to binge watch ALL seasons of the Jersey Shore speaks a louder- NO. I guess it just got away from me. I had numerous instances where I would have thoughts about writing again, but it just never came to fruition.

I knew it was time to get to writing again though when 3 different people in the last week asked me what was going on with my blog, or lack thereof. My sincerest apologies if you enjoyed my ramblings in 2017 and felt completely lost without them (highly doubtful).

So here is a quick highlights reel of the last 8 months:

  1. May 2017- When we left off, my mother in law was visiting us in Texas from Maryland. Later in the month, the bestie came for a visit. We went to San Antonio, Texas for a long weekend.
  2. June 2017- The husband and I went for a trip to visit his brother and boyfriend in Seattle, Washington- I fell in love with the Pacific Northwest.
  3. July 2017- I rejoined the workforce as a Subject Matter Expert in Mathematics. We also explored a bit more of Texas with rivertubing in New Braunfels. MayJuneJuly
  4. August 2017- Since I have a history of working too much, I took on a second job at a local elementary school as a special education paraeducator. I also took a vacation to the Outer Banks, NC with my bestie’s family. The husband stayed in Texas to continue his flight training. Oh and we faced a bit of crazy weather. Hurricane Harvey- you might’ve heard of it.
  5. September 2017- Lots of working and dreaming of future trips.
  6. October 2017- I flew back to Delaware for my grandfather’s funeral. My sister and nieces came to visit us in Texas from Delaware!AugSeptOct
  7. November 2017- Because I can’t stop traveling, I took a roadtrip of New England with my bestie, followed by staying in Maryland to help my mother in law recover from a surgery. It was my birthday and Thanksgiving!
  8. December 2017- Traveling is wonderful, but it’s nice to be back into a routine and working again. At least until we took a little camping trip to Big Bend National Park in west Texas after Christmas. Spending New Years on the Rio Grande is a fantastic way to bring in the New Year!
  9. January 2018- I deactivated my facebook *gasp*! What will I do with all my free time?! Stay tuned my friends. Stay tuned.  NovDecJan

More about my plans for 2018 and everything that happened in 2017 in future posts. I hope all of my readers have been well and I look forward to catching up with you all soon!

Don’t forget to subscribe to http://www.listfiveblog.com on the right if you’re using a desktop computer or below if you’re on a mobile device. Thanks!!