Category Archives: Military Monday

Making it through a screen-free week

As part of NextGen MilSpouse’s Make 2016 Your Bitch Challenge week nine was having a week of no screen evenings. Full disclosure: I wrote the article and took it on as a personal challenge since I may have a problem with FOMO and screen addiction. So James and I started our no screen week and here’s what we did…

I participated in the NextGen MilSpouse weekly podcast to talk about going screen-free. Let's just say this: the struggle was real. Listen now: http://bit.ly/1LLY5Kr

I participated in the NextGen MilSpouse weekly podcast to talk about going screen-free. Let’s just say this: the struggle was real. Listen now: http://bit.ly/1LLY5Kr

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Tips and Tricks for Managing Your Tricare Benefits

So I have to say that one of my favorite benefits of this military life is the medical insurance aka Tricare. Care aside, because that varies by provider, it’s an absolutely amazing deal as an active duty family. Most companies charge far more for family members to be covered by insurance than we do as an Army family (we only pay for dental and that’s a very low price), so it’s a great benefit! But it can be tricky to manage aka what makes it not so great as the dependent. I have had some ups and downs with Tricare and I wanted to share what I’ve learned in these few years in hopes that it can help you!

Tricare logo

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Surviving 2 PCS moves in one year

Well last year was…fun. And again, sorry for the lack of posts, again life got crazy. Or maybe I love Netflix too much. I was doing some freelance work too though! And we moved…again. Yes, we moved twice in one year. I learned so much on these two moves that I really want to share with you some tips for success – and dealing with not-so-great outcomes (let’s just say move #2 did not go smoothly).

Us embarking on PCS #1 in 2015 with a packed car. Photo by J. Hall.

Us embarking on PCS #1 in 2015 with a packed car. Photo by J. Hall.

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The Emotional Rollercoaster of Field Training

Field training arrived again and man was I not excited. But it is what it is, it’s an necessary evil of Army life. So began what I thought would be 29 days apart, but it was more challenging than I expected. But there was fun thrown in!

More Than a Military Spouse

Pumpkin carving party with my friends resulted in these gorgeous creations (mine is the Boo! one in the middle). Photo by Jessica Hall.

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Maintaining that Work-Life Balance

At any given time I have a lot going on. Work, school, friends, family – and it takes it’s toll. It’s hard to tell you a weekend when we have no plans. One weekend I had evening plans without James on both Friday and Saturday. Add in my evening classes and my husband’s fairly regular late evenings at work + trainings that are days to weeks longs, and well, we rarely see each other, or so it feels like.

Maintaining work life balance | More than a military spouse

On a recent easy hiking trip. Photo courtesy Jessica Hall

So what’s a girl to do? I want to be able to do all of these things, but I must have time for my husband, and me. As a friend told me the other day “self-care is really important.” So I try to set times that are off-limits. This is easier said then done but here are my attempts:

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Oh Field Training

It is FTX (field training) season meaning that units are gone for days or weeks at a time. Our time came last week and honestly I took it harder than I thought I would. James was only gone for a week but the day before he left and the first day he was gone were hard for me. Who would have thought?

I wasn’t expecting to be upset because well, I got through 8 months of deployment. 8 months of being apart, of dealing with everything on my own, etc. So a week? No problem. Until I realized the morning before he left that I wouldn’t really see him – between work and my night class that day meant when I got home we’d go right to bed. And in the morning he’d wake up at the crack of dawn to go for the week.

I know, I sound a bit dramatic. And that’s not my favorite thing to do, but anytime apart can be hard. I missed the little things, like: watching Parks & Rec after dinner (we’re almost caught up with the current season), laughing together, cooking up something delicious, and just hanging out. I also realized that I needed to deal with the lawn. Aka learning to use our lawn mower.

But it’s work so what can I do? Nothing. Continue moving forward with life. Continue reading

Military Monday: Are spouses entitled to salutes, extra pay?

There have been some crazy articles in the Military Spouse world lately asking for benefits that I have NEVER EVER heard of. And they are sounding like crazy people so let’s break them down (and apologies in advance but I rant a bit):

An officer’s wife wrote into a Navy publication upset that she/her car were no longer being saluted at her duty station when she drove on post. Personally I’ve never experienced this when I’m in the car by myself. When my husband is driving us onto post he is saluted, but salute a wife? I didn’t even think this was a thing. Apparently it is…kinda.

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The Reorganization of the Army + End of DOMA

First off apologies for my lack of posts. It’s been a busy few weeks and now that we are in garrison life – life seems pretty normal with not a lot worthy of blogging about happening. Let me know if you’re interested in guest blogging or if you have something you’re dying to know!

Now onto the post. Last week a whole heck of a lot of excitement happened in the political and policy worlds. The biggest being that the Army announced a HUGE reorganization plan and the Supreme Court ruled that the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) was unconstitutional, and that a lower court ruling stood that California’s Prop 8 was done-zo. Let’s break down what this all means for us Army families: Continue reading

Living the Garrison Life

Apologies for the lack of military-esque posts lately. To be honest I’ve been a bit busy. But also, since James isn’t in school or deployed I have realized that we are living the garrison life. One that includes training at times but just feels like a “normal” life, since he is home around dinner time and on weekends. In some ways it just seems like what life would be like if we weren’t military, except his days start wayyyyy earlier than most work places thanks to PT. We’re each busy with work, me with school, and both of us with keeping up with our friends. But let’s see if I can explain what life is like stateside.

Living the Garrison Life More Than A Military Spouse

Us on a hike recently. Photo by Jessica Hall

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Returning to West Point, on the cheap

Recently the opportunity came up for my husband to speak at his alma mater, West Point, to cadets about his experience being deployed to Afghanistan. The panel, a part of a class that all seniors aka Firsties take, featured 4 other Officers who worked together while deployed. What was really cool about this trip was that I got to tag along. While he was on travel orders, we were able to extend his over the weekend so we could stay and see friends and family. And the best part? We paid for one plane trip! Mine. (And food/hotels for our extension obviously.)

The hubs speaking to cadets! Photo by Jessica Hall (via smartphone sorry for the not so awesome quality)

The hubs speaking to cadets! Photo by Jessica Hall (via smartphone sorry for the not so awesome quality)

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