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…]

Little Changes

Lately I’ve been in a real funk. Besides all the horrible anniversaries next month, there has also been massive guilt about Bella. To put it bluntly – she’s been really hard to deal with lately. On top of that, I’ve been hard to deal with too, and Sam’s been working either the longest days or gone for a week at a time. We’ve all been stressed out and on edge.

Yesterday I was at my wits end. I just could not figure out whether I should continue with my desire to homeschool Bella, or if I was being selfish and it would be better if she was in a school this year.

On top of that, with our friends having moved, we don’t know any families with kids here, and it’s so hot out that meeting people at a park or something is out of the question.

I laid on my bed yesterday and bawled. I felt like on top of everything else, I’d pretty much failed as a mom this past year. I didn’t want to keep Bella away from peers, but with our story it was like facing a shooting squad to “join a mom’s group!” or “go to a Bible study!”

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These Days.

I haven’t written on here because all I want to write about is


but we don’t “officially” have the orders yet. Hai slow military life. And I’m nervous I’ll jinx it or have to come back and say, “Never mind, we got El Paso again.”


It’s so monumental in life to move that it’s kind of all consuming. Oh, and I’m alone with a preschooler all day so there’s also that. I tend to think about things that are coming to pull me through the looooong days without Sam.

12 more days by the way. He’s been gone 5 weeks.

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Around the Interwebs – Adoption, Cleaning, and Military Friendships

So this week and last I’ve been writing other places, and because it’s often hard to keep up I try to do a post over here every week or so linking to them all. Especially with the adoption updates as those are on Babble.

Over at Military Family I wrote about having military mom friends – is it a must? Do you just have them and no others since our lives are kinda hard for civilians to understand? Or do you go the opposite way and avoid other military spouses altogether?

I’m excited to be writing over on Oreck’s new blog Getting Fresh with Oreck once a month as well. I blogged in August about teaching your children responsibility from an early age. And yesterday was a post on how to clean without taking time to clean.

Then at Babble, there was the post about what we decided with the waiting child we’ve been talking about – to pursue his adoption or not? We pondered all kinds of worries and fears and ideas before we made a decision.

I also wrote on the side of adoption that I’m not a huge fan of – why some children cost more than others to bring home and why wait times are much longer or shorter depending on the child. Then there are some great reasons you might want to consider adopting.

Well, there I am. Little bits of life and thoughts all over the internet for everyone to read. This morning was play therapy, right now is nap for Bella and work for me, and this afternoon is preschool. Have a wonderful Tuesday all.

Military Family Great Outdoor Giveaway

Military Family Outdoor Giveaway

I’m not a real “outdoorsy” kinda gal, but I do love things like camping, picnics, etc. Living in El Paso, we can be outside nearly year round. As our weather cools off, it means we spend even more time outdoors without the fear of bursting into flames from 100+ degree heat. Sam and I have been looking into what we can get that would make our summer nights a little more fun, and think we might have the answer.

Military Family is giving away hundreds of dollars in prizes for anyone who loves the outdoors; from camping to hiking to simply sitting on your back porch. Fire pits, hammocks, bikes, outdoor pans to cook, Camelbak water bottles – the list is endless. 5 winners will be chosen – but it ends September 7th so hurry!

Easy Rafflecopter entry, you don’t need to be a military family.