Monday, March 20, 2017

7 years married, and the makeup equivalent.

2010 was 7 years ago y'all.  Please raise your hand if you also find that hard to believe.

Why is this significant?

It means Rob and I have been married for 7 years.  On March 17, 2010 we went to the cutest courthouse in Annapolis, Maryland and said our vows.  It was us and the Justice, jeans and rings.

Now every year on St. Patrick's Day we celebrate.

Obligatory cute picture of my kids on St. Patrick's Day.
LipSense color // Bravo

This year Rob took the day off of work and we made a day of it.  Our first adventure was the parade here in our little town.  We happen to live in a college town... and apparently no one had school or work.  So that was chaos.  As I expected, my husband however did not expect such chaos.  As a result there was no way for us to get close enough for the girls to really see.  So we ducked into a pizza place and grabbed some lunch.  Grace was able to see some horses through a break in the crowd and she was perfectly content.  Now we know what to do different next year.  After that we headed for KC.  A 30-45 minute drive depending on where you are headed.  Rob rented a corvette for the day so after picking that up and a swing by the golf store on that side of town we were headed to my parents to drop the minions off with gaga.

Let's take a break here because it is IMPORTANT to note that this is our first date in over 3 years.  Except for a military ball shortly after we had Grace... this was the first time we were out without our kids for fun.

LipSense color // Pumpkin Spice

Our evening without kids included TopGolf (kind of like bowling, except with golf), tons of great food and a stop by the jewelry store, where my husband let me pick out a new pair of diamond stud earrings.  We cruised town in the corvette and took lots of pictures of just the two of us.  It is possible my husband may be a believer again in leaving the kids for an evening of just us time.

That's how you celebrate 7 years.

7 years...


I felt impossibly good all evening.. and thanks to THIS new found makeup lip obsession... I made it through the entire day with color in one place.

Maybe you've heard of it?  LipSense.

Y'all.  You MUST try this.  The color lasts all day.  You only have to apply once.  The gloss layer has completely replaced my chapstick regime and my lips have never felt better.  Plus I get to support one of my closest friends from high school and her sweet little family (we both have 2 girls and we were both pregnant at the same time with both... our youngest even share a birthday!).

Anyway... Chelsea is offering a special 10% off discount to Somewhere Over the Camo readers.  Just go here and tell her Amanda sent you and she will hook you up.

If a redhead can pull it off... you can too!

Here's to 70 more years with my love and another day of long lasting lip color.

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Thursday, March 16, 2017

Transitioning out of the military - what YOU need to know.

So your spouse came home with news you may or may not have been prepared to hear... your adventure as a military spouse is coming to an end.

My husband came home with that news less than a year ago.  He was being medically discharged from the Army.  Officially he has now been separated from the Army for almost two months.  But he signed out on terminal leave at the end of October.

Here's my best advice for you, the spouse, on how to handle the transitioning period that comes with leaving one world and entering another.

---DON'T PANIC.  Easier said than done, I know.  But if you can keep your panic instincts under lock and key the whole situation will go a lot smoother.  I confess, I panicked at one point.  I didn't feel we were getting the answers we needed in a timely manner and one day I just lost it.  It's natural, but it also doesn't help.  You are still at the mercies of the military.  Their timeline will always satisfy their needs, not yours.

--BE PATIENT.  Also easier said than done.  The answers will come.  One week you may be waiting on word and the next week you may be out.  The last two weeks went absurdly fast but up until then we were playing the waiting game.  Patience is not always an easy thing to come by, especially when it comes to your life... I get it.  So find whatever solace you can and stick to it.  For me, God has a plan worked wonders in talking myself off of the ledge.

--DON'T FIXATE ON ESTIMATES AND DATES PROVIDED.  The Army may say terminal leave will not start until February.  Suddenly it's the end of October and your husband just signed out 4 months early.  They have no idea.  Which leads me to...

--HAVE A PLAN A, B AND C.  If you only make a plan for the initial time period given... you'll be super stressed when you have two weeks notice of your last day in.  Try and keep an open mind and an open end game going.  If plan A doesn't work out, have a plan B  and C... just in case.  The last thing you want is to be done with no idea of what is next.

--NETWORK.  This helped my husband immensely.  He was able to land a job months before his official end date with the Army.  He had a great network of people sending him job suggestions and advice for the next steps.  Also, LinkedIn worked WONDERS.  Use it.  It's free!

--GO SOMEWHERE YOU KNOW.  It's tempting to just start over somewhere fresh... but I definitely think the best thing we did was come back to Kansas.  We have a built in support system already and it was easy to figure out Rob's job situation and our living situation since we were familiar with the area.  We've even decided to make our current town our forever home.  Who would have thought?!

--BE THANKFUL.  It's easy to be mad when the military decides to unexpectedly give you the boot. But if you can be thankful, it will help with the moving on part.  The Army provided my husband years of experience in his field and gave him an amazing starting point for his career.  I am and forever will be thankful for that.

I spent 6 and a half years living the military life alongside my husband.  I left Kansas and my eyes were opened to all that the rest of the country has to offer.  I loved most of our adventures and hated some too.  Now that we are in the civilian world, I am grateful for the tough times that we went through, because it made us appreciate all that we have now even more.

As always, if you face this unexpected road, don't hesitate to shoot me an e-mail!  I can give you an idea of what to expect and help prop you up in times of uncertainty.  Just remember, you got this.

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