Things That Add Up: Benefits for Veterans and Active Duty

We’ve been a military family twice over. When Sam and I were married at 20 and 19, he was in the Marines. After 4 years, multiple deployments that totaled nearly 2 1/2 years, and a deployment mid-war to Iraq, he decided not to reenlist, and we spent 5 years as civilians.

We learned after he left just a few of the opportunities that were available for veterans and active duty. Companies like Direct Energy offer discounts and rewards plans for military members on their electricity and/or natural gas, telephone companies offer discounts, many appliance stores have a standing percentage off. With no kids at the time and both of us working full time, we didn’t think much about that. Then we had a baby, one income, and horrible insurance to deal with.

After Bella was about 10 months old, he told me he wanted to go back. This time the Army – more family friendly which was better for us. He spent 4 months away in training and came home to move us to El Paso.

Army Life [Read more…]

Work, Travel, Army Life, and Dinosaurs


Working From Home

This was my view yesterday morning as I worked from home. Bella and Charlie “getting their wiggles out” as she calls it.

In the middle of emails and writing and phone calls, we booked a trip to northern California in 3 weeks for my grandma’s 90th birthday. I’m so excited to head out there and have her meet Bella. The last time I was there, I was 16 weeks pregnant with her.

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5 Ideas for the Military Spouse Job Search {iPad Mini Giveaway Winner Announced!}

If you’re a military wife looking for a job, sometimes it can be overwhelming to think about how to find one that works with your schedule. What will you do if your spouse is deployed? Runs late at work? What if you have orders to move? What if you have kids at home?

Here are some ideas to help make this process a little smoother:

  1. Find a military friendly company: If you’re on a base in the US, most businesses in the area will know at least a little about your spouse’s job. Be upfront so you can weed out any that aren’t and not waste time.
  2. Work from home: These (legitimate) jobs can be few and far between. However, they are becoming more popular. One company that offers telecommuting positions is AT&T. They also offer options for veterans looking for employment.
  3. Ask other spouses: As you ask around, people will remember the next time there is an opening at their job. You’ll make connections along the way that could lead to other job offers.
  4. Be creative: Offer to watch a child or two in your home (check your state rules for how many you can have before you need a daycare license), become a substitute teacher at the school, become a virtual assistant for someone who does business online.
  5. Check out your local base: Ours offers job fairs, military spouse resources, all kinds of things on a regular basis to anyone looking for work.

Now it’s your turn! Tell me some ideas that might make a job search on a military spouse a little easier. Have you been in this situation looking for a job? How did you find something that worked for your family and the hours your spouse has that are always changing?

And now for the winner of the iPad Mini Giveaway and AT&T gift bundle:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Congrats Liz! And Liz happens to be a military spouse as well, which made this even more awesome.

Thank you to all who entered and shared about this. It was fun to host!


I received the AT&T bundle featured in the giveaway in return for these posts. All opinions are my own. A HUGE thank you to them for recognizing the military in all aspects. 

5 Ideas for Military Spouse Appreciation Day {and an iPad Mini Giveaway!}

5 Ideas for Military Spouse Appreciation Day {and an iPad Mini Giveaway!}

As a military spouse with a husband who’s been in war, I know that my job is not nearly as difficult as his is. Even now, Sam is in the desert for 5-6 weeks living in tents and eating out of packages (MRE’s) while I’m at home.

However, it warms my heart to know that other people think of us spouses as well. I remember getting a gift basket when Sam was in Iraq filled with treats and cards. It made me feel a little less lonely and isolated, as can happen so often when our other half is gone.

I forgotten all about Military Spouse Appreciation day until AT&T reached out to ask if I’d be willing to write on it (and host the giveaway below!). I know many of us aren’t sure what a military spouse might want/need either on this day or a time of deployment/hardship, so I’m giving you 5 ideas for Military Spouse Appreciation Day based on my own experience and other spouses I’ve met through the years.

  1. Post a “thinking of you!” on their Facebook wall. It’s simple but meaningful – and if you’re up to it, throw in one of those Starbucks or Barnes and Noble cards that Facebook offers.
  2. Offer to watch the kids for the afternoon. In a time when most parents without their spouse home don’t get a break, it’s great to have those few hours to get things done or simply lay on the couch and revel in the silence.
  3. Ask how you can pray for their family and spouse. It means so much to know friends are praying for my husband and family’s well being when we are all apart.
  4. Head to lunch. Some times getting out of the house is a welcome break in the monotony of the days when no one comes home in the evening to change up the routine.
  5. Help sort and pack. Many times after the spouse returns home, the family is scheduled to leave soon after. Having some of the basic stuff done and house cleaned is a tremendous help.

Don’t forget that many men are military spouses too! Often their wives leave for extended periods of time and they’re home holding down the fort as well.

Now for the giveaway! Ready to win an AT&T gift basket with an iPad Mini? They are the best of both worlds – like a bigger iPhone and a not so clunky iPad.

Easy entry with Rafflecopter and open worldwide! Additional rules and conditions are below the entries.

Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

When He’s Gone

When He's Gone

Sam left at 2:30 this morning, waking me up with a kiss and a hug. He’s off to the field for 5-6 weeks, and one weekend he’ll be able to come home.

It’s not so much the timespan anymore of him being gone. 6 weeks is long but it’s not 18 months. He’s not in harm’s way. We’ll actually get to talk this time, unlike the last two trips when he’s had no internet/cell service at all.

What I miss the most is his presence. Right now, I kind of cling to anything that makes me happy. Which is probably why I can’t lose weight but that’s another story… I love having our evenings together, to set the table before he comes home and have dinner ready. I look forward to our weekends with each other. He’s such a good daddy, it makes our life so lovely to know he wants to be with us as much as we do him.

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