Wednesday, February 29, 2012

And now a word from Jenn...

I am super excited to bring you this post today while I'm on temporary leave from the blogosphere. One of my absolute favorite blogs to read is Jenn's.  At Life With The Lietenant she talks about everything including life in the Army, being a mother, expecting another little one and everything in between.  I'm usually laughing by the time the first paragraph is done because of her amazing ability to say it how it is with no sugarcoating.  I asked Jenn if she would guest post for me.. she said yes, and here is what she has to say...


Hello Somewhere Over The Camo readers! (Does anyone else sing Amanda's blog title every time they click over, or is that just me?) My name is Jenn from Life With The Lieutenant and Amanda graciously asked me to write a little something for her blog so that it does not gather dust while she's enjoying her husband on R&R. If only she could see my house, she would know that keeping dust at bay is not really my forte, but I'm going to give it the ol' college try!


I honestly had no clue what to write about since I've never guest posted anywhere before, and while Amanda suggested I write about my experiences with the Army so far, I just couldn't come up with anything particularly USEFUL or even slightly interesting to write about. So as I was darting in and out of sleep last night (am seriously pregnant! Sleep does not come easily anymore!), I started thinking about what Amanda and I have in common, how we are different, and how that could somehow form a blog post. So without further ado... Ahem.

Amanda has gorgeous red hair.
Ain't she cute?

I do not.
Ain't he cute?

My son and husband have red hair, and so help me God, if this next baby comes out with red hair too, I am probably going to have to start scheduling appointments at the salon to make myself a redhead as well so that I look like I somewhat belong in this family. (Side note: I will not be a very attractive redhead.)

Amanda's husband is in the Army.
Mine is too! Similarity number one!
Amanda does not live near a military installation.

I live ON a military installation. I can see the pros and cons to this ("this" being living on or off-post). Everyone comes at it differently. Some people say that they want a separation between their work life and home life. Some people want the convenience of a five-minute drive to work. Some people think they can make money off of their BAH by living off-post. Some people can get a better house for "cheaper" on-post. We have tried both. On-post wins by a landslide for us. In our area, we get a much bigger house on-post and don't have to pay utilities. We have easy access to the commissary and PX. And having my husband home for breakfast, lunch and (sometimes) dinner beats out the "cost" of sharing a wall with our crazy neighbors. Our neighbors often provide some good dinnertime chatter for us and where else can I get a free, live performance of the latest Rhianna songs while sitting on my couch? (My attached neighbor has no idea that we can hear him singing through the wall. Yes. HIM. HE sings Rhianna songs. Quite talented too, I might add. Bravo.)
Amanda has a very large dog that is like a child to her.
I have a very small dog that is like a child to me. 
That is just a wee tennis ball, made specially for wee doggies. It is in no way close to the size of Piston's mighty tennis ball.

Unfortunately, this little doggy-person has had to take a backseat in the attention department once my son arrived, and she has made no bones about letting us know that she does not appreciate this demotion. I'm assuming these are her moody teenage years (she's four years old now) and we will get over this little hump soon enough.
Amanda appears to have the type of husband that will bowl her over with an unexpected kiss or twenty.
I do too. I believe this is a very nice quality to have in a husband.
Amanda likes to sleep in until noon when she can.
I would like to also! I really would! Evidence:
I present to you- the most flattering picture ever taken of me.



But other little people (and big people) have different plans for me. Those plans usually revolve around the hours of 6-7am. This is ok with me (for now) since morning time is when the rest of this household of mine is in their best of moods. I have no qualms with making their breakfasts, washing their clothes, doing their dishes, and cleaning up messes that aren't mine because I know that ONE DAY (in a galaxy far, far away) I will be able to sleep in again. Probably in 20ish years or so. I can do it. One day at a time...


Amanda is working and going to school to complete her degree.


About a hundred years ago (or maybe it was only three years ago...) I was doing the same. Not always easy (can I get an Amen?), but totally worth it in the end. Fortunately, it seems that Amanda is going to school for a degree that is useful in attaining a real, let's-make-some-actual-money job. Unfortunately, I did not have my wits about me in college and I settled for an Exercise Science degree. This has proved to be utterly useless so far, except for the fact that I know what I need to do to get back in shape after having these babies. (However, "knowing" and "doing" are two totally different things altogether....)


Amanda's husband has deployed.


Mine has not. So I can't imagine what she's going through and the emotions and feelings that surround her husband's R&R homecoming. But I do sincerely THANK YOU, Amanda, for your commitment to your husband and country and hope that you truly enjoy every second of having him home. You so deserve it. Thanks for letting me guest post for ya and I hope this didn't just drive away half of your readers.


Always,
Amanda

Monday, February 27, 2012

The Education Center at The Wall

I am super excited to bring you this post today while I'm on temporary leave from the blogosphere.  Earlier this month I got an e-mail about this new museum planned for the National Mall in DC that goes hand in hand with the Vietnam Veterans Memorial.  Now I don't know about y'all but when you see that long wall of names, it makes your heart temporarily stop.  After living in MD for a year, it is one of the places on the National Mall that we frequented whenever we made a tourist trip into the heart of Washington, DC and it never fails to make my heart ache for the lost lives.  The Founder and President of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, Mr. Jan C. Scruggs is in the process of putting a face to those names.  How cool is that?  Here is more information from Mr. Scruggs himself...



My name is Jan C. Scruggs, Founder and President of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial. 30 years ago, I helped build the Vietnam Veterans Memorial. This monument healed millions with the engravings on a black granite wall. Now, I am taking those names and putting a story and picture behind it in a new museum on the National Mall in Washington, DC; the Education Center at The Wall.

The Education Center at The Wall will change the people who visit it. For the nearly 40 percent of visitors who weren’t even born when The Wall was completed, it will transform the long list of names cut in the smooth black granite. Instead of simply names, visitors will see the faces and know the stories of the 58,000 heroes who made the ultimate sacrifice during the Vietnam War.

Through interactive exhibits and primary source materials, visitors will be able to better understand the profound impact the Vietnam War had on their family members, their home towns, their communities and the nation. Visitors will understand the importance of The Wall and the role it continues to play in healing the deep physical, emotional and societal wounds left by the war.

One of those interactive exhibits is called the Call for Photos. VVMF is trying to collect every single photograph of each person on The Wall. People are sending us photographs daily, along with personal remembrances. Here is one we received yesterday. It was written for Eric P. Muller, from Jan Finn.


“This black and white photo does not capture your carrot red hair, your freckled face nor your vivid green eyes. As my big brother you stood out in so many ways. I think of you everyday and miss you very much. I was only 15 when you died but your memory is still very vivid and fresh. Always in my heart. I love you.”

It’s my goal to share Jan Finn’s submission in the Education Center, so generations to come can know the legacy of this great patriot,. It’s also my goal to break ground on the Education Center this Veterans Day.

In order to raise the rest of the needed funds so we can break ground, from now until Veterans Day, the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund (VVMF) is issuing a Service Branch Challenge. The challenge is for each of us to support the Education Center and show pride in one of the branches of the service.

General Barry McCaffrey, USA (Ret) has agreed to lead the charge for the US Army, in their efforts. “The Education Center at The Wall will be a place where our fallen comrades and their stories will live on forever,” said McCaffrey. “I’m proud to lend my support and encourage those who love the US Army to get involved. Supporters of the Army are already leading the way, and have donated more than $21,000. I challenge leaders of the other branches to step up to try and catch us.”

Join Gen. McCaffrey and me in some good natured competiveness and help us remember the legacy of service made by all 9,000,000 men and women who served with the Army, Navy, Marines, Air Force, and Coast Guard during the Vietnam War Era.

Jan C. Scruggs,
President and Founder of VVMF
www.vvmf.org


Always,
Amanda

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Happy birthday husband!

Happy birthday love!

You are getting so old... and growing up so fast!  ;)  I can't wait to spend 153416854 more birthdays together. Today is going to be a blast, and I can't wait to spend every minute with you.  You mean the world to me and I am so glad that you are here celebrating under the same roof, in the same country as me.  I couldn't ask for more.

(birthday weekend in Atlantic City last year..)

(Yes, I'm 3 days older than my hubs..)

Always,
Amanda

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

It's my birthday!

I'm 22 today!

I can't believe it's been a year since I last celebrated already.  So this is what my mom talked about when she said as you get older the years FLY by...

(last year)

Always,
Amanda

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

He has arrived.

Well y'all Piston and I have been busy little bee's for the past week.. hence my lack of a significant post.  I worked a full week of work.. finished my finals for this session.. cleaned the apartment, car, dog.. groomed myself.. wrapped a ton of presents.. wedding planned with my best friend.. emptied the DVR so it can fill back up.. finished my laundry and prepared a whole two weeks worth of posts.. all because ROB IS HOME!
For the next two weeks I won't be around much.  I do have some fabulous guest posts coming your way though so check back in periodically.  I hope everyone has a safe couple of weeks.

Always,
Amanda

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Happy Valentine's Day!

This is really not my holiday, ESPECIALLY this year.   But I figured I'd do this fun little link-up and then add a few words at the bottom and wallah a "lovey dovey" Valentine's Day post.  :)

Today I am linking up with From Mrs. to Mama...

1. How long have you and your significant other been together?
We have been together for 3 years!

2. How did you meet? {What's your "love" story?}
We met the first day of senior year.. we had College Algebra together.  I was determined to meet new people and thus I introduced myself. :)  [[READ.MORE]]



3. If married, how long have you been married? If not, is this the guy you hope to marry? {do tell}
Next month we will have been married for two years.

4. If you are married, where did you get married at? Big or small wedding?  If not, where would you like to get married? And will it be big or small?
Small. Just us and the officiant, or whatever at the courthouse in Annapolis, MD.  Someday I hope to have a big vow renewal with the fairy-tale wedding.

5. Do you have any nick-names that you call one another? Do share!
Oh all of them.. bahaha.  I enjoy making them up as we go too.

6. Name 3 things you love most about your honey.
  • He is determined to be the best man, husband, father he can be for our little family and has major goals for us and our future.
[[sidenote--Piston WAS so tinyyyy...]]

  • He is my best friend, ever.  And always knows what to say to either push my buttons or make me smile.
  • He is smart.  VERY smart.. and good looking to go with it. ;)

7. Tell us how he proposed? Or your ideal proposal?
He picked me up from the airport one day.. and when we got to the parking garage he got down on one knee in his ACU's and pulled a set of dogtags out that said "Will you  marry me, Amanda Dawn?" and my ring was on the chain.. :)

8. Is he a flowers and teddy bear kind of guy for v-day, or strawberries, champagne, and rose petals?
Flowers and a card.  He knows me so well.. cards are the way to my heart. :)

9. Are you a sunset dinner on the beach kind of girl, or pop a movie in and relax on the couch?
Depends on the occasion.  Just an everyday date I'm good with dinner and then a movie at home.  Or our all time favorite of taking a cruise for no reason.

10. Tell us one thing you'd like to do with your significant one day. If you could do anything? Go anywhere?
Have a family.  Travel more.  Do the whole vow renewal business.

11. Tell us what you plan on doing on this Valentine's Day.
One of my friends from high school invited me out to dinner with her, her daughter and one of her friends who also happens to be a military wife.  Olive Garden here we come!!! (maybe, as long as the wait isn't killer..)

12. Are you asking for anything this Valentine's day?
Nope.. My valentine will be here soon enough. ;)

13. Give us one piece of advice of keeping a relationship strong and full of love.
Don't hold grudges.  Sometimes silly stupid things are said, but the quicker you can drop it and move on, the better you will be.  With that comes listening I suppose.

14.  Show us a picture of what love means to you.




My dearest Rob,


I love you and I can't wait to see you soon!  Thanks for being who you are, always, no matter here nor there.  You do it well.  I'm honored to be apart of your life as your wife.. and never forget how proud I am of you.


Love you always and forever.



Hope you all have a swell Valentine's Day and you are surrounded by love [and all that jazz...]

Always,
Amanda

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Have you heard???

About the awesome Super Tintin giveaway going on right now?

You haven't?
If you have a loved one missing from your life then you must check this giveaway out.  Super Tintin is this awesome company that has partnered with Skype to make it possible for people with a PC to get a free Skype Recording License.  They are giving away 100 copies to deserving military families just in time for Valentines Day!

What exactly is a Skype Recording License?
Just what it sounds like!  This Valentine's Day when you Skype with your loved one how awesome would it be to record your conversation and play it back over and over again?  Great for your young kiddos to see Daddy or Mommy whenever they want.  Great for showing family members that aren't in the house when the conversation happened.  Great for a pick me up when that bad day just doesn't seem to be getting better.  If you win one of these license copies being given away, then you can do JUST THAT.

Cool, right?

Now how do you enter?
Head on over to one of these blogs that gets to host this awesome giveaway and enter!  Make sure to head on over soon as most of them end today, February 12th at midnight PST!


Good luck ladies.. I know I am hoping for a copy. ;)




A Touch of Class

Sabers, Spurs & a Pink Stetson

The Crow Family

Dandelions & Daffodils

Troop Petrie

Nuts In A Nutshell

The Adventures of Mr. Superman & Mrs. S

Skipper Clan


Always,
Amanda

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Not Your Typical Military Wife.

So y'all wrote me in response to my last post and my belief that 11:30 is not late enough to sleep in.  It got me thinking about how different I am than the majority of military wives.  Not in a bad way either but.. well, let me explain...

(Disclaimer: Nobody take offense to anything I am going to say about my opinion of the average military wife.. deal?)

I am not under any circumstances a morning person.  I frequently sleep till noon or later when I can.  Unless I have something to get up for, like work (7:45 really isn't my friend.)  98% of the military wives I have come across thus far in my lifetime get up... early... send their husband off, tend to their kids if they have them, and get all their errands ran and chores done before I even think of hitting snooze the first time.  That just isn't me.. yes, I get envious that they are put together by 7 in the morning, but I will NEVER be that person.  Anytime before 9 is never going to be my friend frankly.

I'm also not a fan of cooking.  At all.  I can do it (well most of it..), I'd just rather not.  My husband cooks in our family (yeah I've been up a tree without him around!) and I'm supposed to be the one that cleans up after his rather messy self.  I see Facebook status' from my mil spouse friends all the time about their plans for dinner and how they hope their man gets off on time so that dinner is still warm when he arrives.  Even when I didn't have a job and frankly did not do anything during the day except take the dog out 150,000 times, dinner was never on the table (except maybe twice) when he walked through the door.  Sorry Rob!  Maybe someday when we have little people running around.. until then.. probably not going to change.

I'm probably one of the few military spouses that will not jump at the opportunity to live overseas.  I just love America way too much.  I love my sense of normal and it's just not something I have this crazy desire to mix up.  At the end of the day though, I go where he goes and if that means we are on assignment to Korea then I suck it up and deal with it.  But you will not find me telling my husband to beg and plead for that overseas spot.

If you follow me on Pinterest you'll see tons of cute things pinned to my Get Yo' Craft On board.  I have great intentions to be a craft everyday kind of person.  But at the end of the day I'd rather go home and lay on the couch and watch some good (no-good) TV while drinking a glass of wine.  I follow all these lovely military spouses and their blogs and they are some of the craftiest women I know.. someday my friends.  But today, I shall warm the couch and pin for the future... that also probably isn't going to change anytime soon.

Rob and I talk about having little people frequently.  I am absolutely in no rush though.  At Ft. Meade we were part of the kid-less crowd.  Since we've left Ft. Meade two of our friend-less couple friends have re-created.  In a way I feel like it's the "thing" to do.  Have babies, be a mother, stay at home with your kids and all that.  Don't get me wrong, I want to be a mother, but not now.  Not yet.  Not while there is still a chance my husband could deploy again.  Call me selfish, but I don't want to find out if I can be as strong as all the woman that do it everyday taking care of their children alone without their husband.  I give mad props to you women, but nine times out of ten I am perfectly okay with just having a dog to handle... and I feel like that puts me in the minority among military wives.

The last thing that make me not so typical is my knack for not blaming the Army whenever something goes awry.  I have a tendency to complain to my hubs because some days I log online and everyone is complaining about some curve ball the Army threw their way.  It sucks.  I am in no way shape or form saying that it doesn't.  But at the end of the day... the Army puts a roof over my head, food in the fridge (for hubby to cook!) and a job to entertain my husband.  Yes, it often makes him a cranky pants and he usually doesn't get home when he says he will.  But you will never find me saying I hate the Army for that... (I recognize that everybody handles their frustrations differently.  I am not judging any of you that do..)

Some of you are probably thinking.. you aren't that special Amanda.  And you are right.. maybe we are all "un-typical" and my sense of the norm when it comes to military wives is all sorts of messed up.  I've always called it as I see it though.  We all have that special part that makes us a unique individual, I have no doubt about that.

One thing I do know is that no matter how late we sleep, how good we cook, how we vent our frustrations, we are all proud wives.  Proud that each and everyday we wake up with the same last name as that one special person that defends the freedoms of every single American.  Proud to know that when someone says the word hero, your husband qualifies.  Proud of this country, the people in it and those who sacrifice so much.  I am proud to be a military wife.. each and everyday.

I'd love to hear what your thoughts on being "un-typical" are.. :)

Also if you'd be interested in guest posting for me while hubs is home on R&R can you please send me an e-mail at somewhereoverthecamo@hotmail.com?  Thanks y'all!

Always,
Amanda

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Today I...

Feel smart. :)

I FINALLY put two and two together and realized that those e-mails about comments I get in my inbox.. THAT is what you smart cookies respond to when you respond to my comments and I get an actual response in my inbox as well.. ...if that makes any sense at all.  So be expecting actual responses in YOUR inbox from me from here on out!

Well we are in countdown mode in our little world right here in Kansas.  The dog and I are anxiously awaiting the time we will get to spend with Rob soon.  Yesterday the world seemed to take a SERIOUS slow down though.  For the past 6 plus months time has just flown at work, and yesterday I could see each second stretch into 5 or more it seemed.  What is funny about all that is, the clock drags at work, but flies during the night.  Something wrong with THAT picture!

This past weekend was full on relaxation.. for the most part.  Nothing major that we had to rise and shine for.  Except a deep tissue massage on Friday which was to die for, I'd highly suggest you find a good one in your area and spend the extra cash on one.. ((p.s. the lady I got mine from is a national champion body builder.. she puts the fear in you just by looking!  But dang she knows JUST what to do.))  Saturday P and I went to sleep with NO alarm set to wake up for.  Which of course meant my Mom called about 11:30 (early for me!) to say that her and Dad were stopping by.  But Piston enjoyed it, as he always does when his grandparentals stop by.  Sunday was of course spent with some beer, football and.. you guessed it, homework.  Nothing to complain about there.. each Sunday spent doing homework means another week closer to so many things! :)


I also have good news to report, I have made almost a FULL recovery from the AWFUL fall down the stairs.  :)  Last night I did have some random pains in my ankle.  I hope this isn't one of those injuries where it comes back every once in awhile to make life annoying.  Those stink, bad.  But all in all, we be good y'all.

Always,
Amanda

Friday, February 3, 2012

MilSpouse Friday Fill-In


I'm linking up over at Wife of a Sailor today!

What is your favorite winter memory?
Oh goodness... so many.  Going sledding.. sleeping in on snow days.. the holidays with all of the extended family.. my least favorite I can tell ya without missing a beat is definitely ice storms.. which we got A LOT.

What is your current favorite TV show?
Hart of Dixie or 90210.

What was your favorite thing that happened in January?
Um... I got a raise at work! :)

What is the best sound in the world to you?
Waking up on a Saturday morning with the windows open, the birds chirping and the neighbor in the distance mowing the grass.  That or my husband telling me he loves me.. in person.

What is the biggest lesson you have learned as a MilSpouse (or significant other)?
Not to get too excited for anything as it all changes.. QUICK.  So you learn to just roll with the punches.

Always,
Amanda

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

What I'm LOVING Wednesday!

Today I am going to be linking up with Jamie at This Kind of Love for:


I'm LOVING that today is February 1st.  I love February.. ESPECIALLY this year as February holds SO many exciting things for my little family and I.

I'm LOVING that the weather is gorgeous outside and I happen to have the morning off!  So far I've hit up the eye doctor, Petsmart and scored a free lunch from Jason's Deli because they messed my order up!



I'm LOVING that I joined Pinterest just a bit ago.. Find me here. (I don't really know what I am doing yet!)



I'm LOVING my new shoes purchased specially for my birthday!  Only sneak peak y'all get of the fabulous-ness that is my birthday outfit.



I'm LOVING the text message I just got from my boss giving me an extra hour before I have to be at work!

And of course, I am LOVING my two favorite boys!


Always,
Amanda