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Tuesday Ramblings

IMG_8824 * How is it October yet?  Didn’t 2014 just start? 2015 seems like the future.

* I can’t wait for Halloween. I think two of my boys are going to wear costumes that we already have. That used to bother me. I used to want them to have new ones but this year I don’t care and it saves money.

* This is the time of year that some of my friends I went to school with start having birthdays. They are starting to turn 36 which means I will be there soon myself. Sometimes I feel 20, sometimes I feel 40 so I guess 36 works.

* We just finished our first two-day drill weekend. It went fine. We stayed busy and I fell right back into the SAHM role. Told Ben that would expire at midnight.

* I think I watch too much tv but I really only do so at night or on a random weekend when we have nothing planned and I don’t want to clean anything.

* I love to read but find myself watching tv at the end of the day instead. Wish I could break that habit.

* I am still playing Candy Crush even though I took a 6 month break. I do it when I watch tv. I can pay attention when I do this. I can’t when I read which is a shame because it would be nice to be able to do that.

* I keep meaning to go to the gym 3-4 times a week and somehow it only ends up being about twice a week.

* I am going to CO in less than two weeks to see my only cousin get married. I am excited.

* I really need to take more photos with my big camera. The iphone makes it too easy.

* Sometimes when I miss Germany I think I just miss the slowness of it all. We didn’t have a lot to do which in some ways was nice.

* I am excited for Laura at The Everyday Joys. She was my very first Scentsy recruit and her team is rocking this month!!!

* The rest of my Scentsy team is amazing too :) I love how they all love Scentsy and work hard every month!

* I love having a dog. She is easier than I thought she would be, then again, she was over a year when we got her. I heard puppies are really hard.IMG_8912

* I still want a cat but don’t want to add that to the mix right now, maybe someday. Everytime I got to the pet store I have to stop and look at them though.

* I still want to move back to California but I am not dwelling on it so much right now which is good. I know it will get harder when the holidays hit.

* Sometimes I think we should stay in Clarksville and just move to a different part of town. It isn’t that I don’t like where I live but it would be nice to live closer to Nashville since Ben doesn’t have to drive to post everyday anymore.

 

What’s going on with you? How is your Tuesday going?

The Yummification Winner

 

 

Last month I blogged about the Yummification contest by 5-hour ENERGY®!

I am excited to announce that they have picked the winners.

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First Place ($50,000 prize): “Pomelimelade” by Tim Merlau, Los Angeles, CA

o   This winning submission mixes a Pomegranate 5-hour ENERGY® shot with limeade, and then takes us on a musical journey through all that can be accomplished over several hours (spoiler alert:  it’s a lot).

o   “Pomelimelade

  • 1 glass Limeade
  • 1 shot of Pomegranate 5-hour ENERGY®

Second Place ($30,000 prize): “Ramalamadingdong” by Mark Golembeski, Los Angeles, CA

o   The second place video helps us turn that 2:30 feeling frown upside down by mixing a 5-hour ENERGY® shot with lemonade.  This video has it all: a clown, a puppy, a guy in a tutu, and much more.

o   “Ramalamadingdong

  • 1 glass Lemonade
  • 1 shot of Berry 5-hour ENERGY®

Third Place ($10,000 prize): “Arnold Power” by Zac Sheorn, Lugoff, SC

o   The third place winner reminds us that you don’t have to be good at sports, but mixing a Pink Lemonade 5-hour ENERGY® shot with decaffeinated iced tea helps keep you refreshed while practicing.  And practicing.

o   “Arnold Power

  • 1 glass Decaf Iced Tea
  • 1 shot of Pink Lemonade 5-hour ENERGY®

You can see all the winning videos and recipes here!  Hopefully they can give you some new ideas :)

 

 

Disclosure of Material Connection: The 5-hour ENERGY® samples, gift card, information, and additional gift pack have been provided by the makers of 5-hour ENERGY® I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

My Oldest Child Is 10 Today

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10!!! Today my oldest turns 10!!! So hard to believe! How am I old enough for this?
This is what happens when time passes, your babies grow up. We took him to get his Military ID this morning. Wow! This is the same kid that was 13 months old when Ben joined. Such a long journey for us. download (24)

 

As I think back to that day in 2004. I had Daniel at a birth center in Santa Rosa, CA before the Army. I wanted to give birth in water but ended up getting on the bed at the last-minute. He was born the morning of 38 weeks which I was thankful for. He was also born the same day, same room, same midwife as his older cousin who is turning 16 today :)

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The tradition at the birth center is to call in food for the new mom and spouse from a local restaurant. I ended up ordering a Mint chocolate chip shake. That is now Daniel’s favorite which is pretty funny.

We had him at 7:30 and we were home by 4:30pm. It was so nice to be in our own bed that soon after birth. I had trouble breastfeeding him at first. We tried hard to make it work by using a syringe. I was so determined and we ended up breastfeeding for 17 months!

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In some ways that day 10 years ago seems like a lifetime ago. So much has changed since that day. We have done so many different things. In other ways it doesn’t feel like that long ago. When I think about how he will be 20 in just another 10 years I kinda want to faint!

The first few days I camped out on our futon in our living room. I watched a lot of movies, blogged and just got used to having this little guy that I was responsible for. I had babysat so many times but it is nothing like having your own.

I had just become a stay at home mom and honestly I don’t remember too much about our days together back then. I do remember that Ben would get home from work and find us taking a nap together. Oh the joys of when your oldest is a baby. You can do things like that.

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When he was 6.5 months old we moved  from California to Kentucky in search for  lower cost of living. It felt like everything was split in half, from our rent to our insurance to our utilities. Ben got a full-time job and I worked a little from home. I made a few friends and then we decided Ben was going to join the Army. He left me and Daniel who was 13 months old at the time to head over to Germany. We joined him a few months later and started that adventure. download (30)

Daniel grew into a toddler and a very active two-year old. He was so hard to wear out and I was pregnant again with his brother. Ben left and I somehow go through that time. Ben came home when he was a little over three having missed his 2nd and 3rd birthdays. Those two were always so close and it was nice to see them bonded again right away.

We were in Germany until Daniel was 5.5 and we moved to Clarksville, TN to start our stateside version of the Army adventure. He started Kindergarten later that fall.

download (31)Now he is 10, in the 3rd grade, involved in Cub scouts, church activities and playing with friends. He loves Halo and Mindcraft and Skylanders like a lot of the little boys his age.

I look at him and I am starting to see the teenager he is going to become. It isn’t very far away, just a few more birthdays until we get there.

There is just something about your oldest that you don’t have with your other kids. They were the child that made you a mom and in some ways they are your parenting guinea pig. Sometimes you have no clue what you are doing so you try something and then realize you should have done it differently. I was the oldest in my family too and have that bond with Daniel.

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When he was three he was diagnosed as having a developmental delay, especially in speech. He has worked hard and these days you can’t quite tell all that he has been through with special education through the years. When he was 5.5 I remember crying my eyes out because I couldn’t have a real conversation with my little boy. These day he will talk to me about most things. It truly is amazing.

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He is my sweetheart. If I am crying, he will give me a hug and tell me everything will be okay. He is loving and caring to others. It warms my heart to see.

 

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So as he grows into a teenager and then a man, I hope to teach him how to handle all of that. It seems so scary as a parent. The next 10 years will really help shape who he is.

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Happy Birthday Daniel! I love you and I am so proud of the little boy that you have become.

How To Stick To OPSEC When You Are A Military Spouse

OPSECThere has been a lot of talk about Isis and blogging and PERSEC and OPSEC and what we military spouse bloggers need to do about it.

Some of us have decided to keep on blogging like normal. We are not too worried about it and although we are safe with our personal information, we don’t think that we need to stop blogging like we have been.

PERSEC and OPSEC are very important for all military spouses, not just us bloggers. If you have a spouse in the military, you have to be very aware of what you post on social media. There are certain things you can’t say like the return date of your loved one or how many days you have left and other information like that. You also can’t talk about the day they’re going to leave until after the fact.

Different bloggers have different comfort levels when it comes to what they share with the public.  Some don’t want anyone to know that they are a military spouse and that is totally fine.  Others have a blog that centers on the fact that they are a military spouse and Military life is a huge part of their lives.

It really just depends on your comfort level.  This is the decision to tell you that my husband is in the military. It is the decision to tell you where we live, although not the exact address of course. It is also the decision to tell you when my husband is deployed or if he deploys. I know for myself, since I blog about military issues, especially deployment, that there would be no way to carry on my blog the way that it is without letting you know that my husband was deployed. It’s kind of one of those things.

When I have spoken about deployments, I have tried to keep it more general. I am not going to tell you the day that he’s going to leave. I am not going to tell you the day that he gets home. I might say he is going to be deploying rather soon. I might say that he will be home rather soon and that we are at the end of the deployment. I really don’t even want to know about his mission or where he is until he is home with me so sometimes I don’t even know what he is doing or where he is exactly.

OPSEC comes into play when you’re talking about dates, locations and all of that. If you are a non-blogging military spouse, the most you have to really worry about is Facebook although it is not a good idea to talk about the dates openly in public either.

For the military spouse blogger, it is even more important since more people are reading what we are writing. If I were to write on my blog that my husband is getting home in 10 days that would not be good in that would be a big violation of OPSEC. There have been cases of groups of soldiers being delayed because of people breaking OPSEC.  Think about how frustrating that would be if you’re waiting for your husband and you find out that the only reason that they are getting delayed is because somebody talked about it on Facebook. It happens.

So, if you are a blogger, what are you supposed to do when you want to write about the deployment? When you want to share your feelings about the night before he leaves or the day before he gets home?

What I have done about this is I write about these things when they happen but I did not publish them until after-the-fact. This way, I can share with my readers my feelings on those days but I’m not breaking any OPSEC rules.  When you do get to read them, it is already happened and it is no longer an issue.

I don’t want to live in fear. I want to be safe but not fearful and that includes my blog. I don’t want to break any OPSEC rules.  I’m not going to tell you things that you don’t need to know. However, I am going to share that my husband is in the military as that has been a huge part of my life and a huge part of this blog.

I do encourage bloggers to only post what they feel they are comfortable with. If they don’t want to share that their spouse is deployed or even in the military, that is okay. Not everyone blogs the same way.

 

How do you decide what you’re going to share on your blog? If you are not a blogger how do you decide what to share on social media?

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