Helping Military

It’s not often that I’m asked to work on a campaign/sponsorship that is close to my heart.  It’s no secret that my dad was in the military and so is my fiance.  When I was contacted to do a campaign that was military related, I immediately jumped at it.

Plus I also know that several of my readers are in the branch of the service so could also benefit from this campaign and knowledge if they choose!

I was contacted to do a campaign promoting “Direct Energy” discounts for the military.  It’s a great opportunity for those serving (or retired) to receive a discount or their power heating, etc.

Growing up in a military family, my dad was gone a lot.  He was gone from traveling, deployment or working late.  He worked far above 40 hours a week and I could not be more proud of him.  I talked in my about me page (man I need to update that!) about how much we moved.  As children we moved once every two years due to my dad’s career.  As a kid I loved going to new places and seeing new things!  Even though we moved frequently, there were days, weeks and months that my dad spent away.  I never fully understood how much he sacrificed until I was older.  I knew he was gone a lot but I didn’t know how much of his own personal life he put on hold.

Graduation a while ago
Graduation a while ago

He missed birthdays, holidays, anniversary and months.  It was always hard for my mom and us as kids but it was obviously much harder for dad.  It wasn’t as if he wanted to leave us…As I grow older, I can continue to appreciate how hard he (and our military) works.  He loved his job and he loved us and I could not be more proud of the things he did.

Recently my younger brother has been accepted (post graduation) into the military as well.  It’s a career he has spent all of college working towards and something he is so excited for.  Honestly I could not be anymore proud and excited for him either.  I know he will make himself, us and our country proud.

This is what we look like when mom wants a nice photo...
This is what we look like when mom wants a nice photo…I cannot believe this was 4 years ago

Finally, most people also know that my fiance is currently in the military.  While we are still very new to the military community as a couple, we have learned so much about ourselves throughout the last few years.  T loves his job and truly enjoys everything he does.  I support that but I would be lying if I said it was always easy.  There have been many times the last thing I want him to do is leave but I know it’s the last thing he wants to do too.

timandiplane

I’ve had the honor to meet many people in the armed services and they are each so humble, modest and proud of what they do.  They sacrifice more than we will ever know to keep family, friends and this country safe.

To keep me safe!

To keep you safe!

That is why I am personally honored to take part in the campaign promoting discounted rates for direct energy and home power.

Direct Energy Military Portal has exclusive low rates for military personnel and their families.  These plans were created solely to help our veterans and military members save money on their home energy needs.   Honestly I think it’s great that companies provide discounts for the military and I truly believe they deserve it!  If you qualify or know anyone who qualifies, it’s a great program to get started with and thank you for sharing.

Questions for you:

Do you have any connection to the military?

How do you support your loved ones in a career they love?  

Time Away

This is a bit more of a personal post. I began thinking more when someone emailed about Tim and I’s relationship and how we dealt with deployments so far.  It’s not a secret he leaves often and once we get into a semi routine that routine is normally broken.  Without fail this has happened every single time but that is the nature of the military community. 

We are not relationship experts by any means.  We do what works for us and makes us happy.

Flight School Graduation
Flight School Graduation

Am I upset, hurt or defeated that routine and plans are often changed at the last moment?

No, of course not.

Am I constantly learning about myself and my relationship?

Of course, who isn’t?

When we graduated college, Tim also commissioned into the military. I knew this would happen.  This had been his plan all along (way before he met me).  I didn’t have the experience to deal with the deployments, long distance relationships or the stress that came with it.  We talked a lot and I was prepared as I could be for the scenarios. I have always found in running and life that I learn the best by experiencing something.

For example:

In running, experiencing the bonk of my first marathon.  I had read many articles about the last 10k, but the experience taught me the most.

In life, experiencing the transition from college to real life and my first job.  College prepared me for a lot but my first job prepared me even more.

In our relationship, experiencing the first deployment.  We had prepared the best we could but the first deployment taught us the most.

Experiencing the first big plans changing (when I moved 1700 miles from VA to TX only to be told we were moving 2000 miles, 6 weeks later.

It wasn’t a secret we deal with multiple deployments and quick changes to routines and schedules. We both knew if our relationship would work out, we (especially me) would need to learn to be flexible.  I’m not looking for sympathy because I honestly I love my life and am happy with it.  I could not imagine life any other way.

Throughout college I was more routine and organized than anyone.  I had planners to plan my planners.  I was a very strict scheduled person.  When I went to my first job (T and did long distance for a year), I stayed very organized, planned and routine.  Fast forward a year and it made sense for me to move to Texas.  Tim was essentially told that he would be living in Texas for 4 years.  He didn’t have the option to move, I did.  So I moved 1700 miles to Texas.

About a week later, I got my first dose of reality.  After driving 1700 miles down to Texas, we got word we were moving to New Jersey (2000 miles the same direction…or 300 miles from where I started).

This was not in my plan.  My plan was to move to Texas and find a job.  

My plan was not to move to Texas for 6 weeks and move to New Jersey.  

That was my first dose of reality that our relationship couldn’t be planned.  We could not plan every moment of life.  We had to take things as they came.  We had to “go with the flow”…a phrase VERY foreign to me.

Here are some things that have worked for us:

  • Making sure we take time for each other.  We aren’t always together and there is no guarantee that a date night that was planned will stay planned…we do make the time to share the moments we do have together.
  • Communication.  It’s important to us (even if we aren’t together) to make an attempt to communicate.  Does this mean texting each other every minute of the day?  Absolutely not…but attempting to talk when possible is important.
  • Trust each other.  This comes a lot with being apart…we trust each other.  Even if we don’t talk daily, we know our relationship is strong.  We know when we are back together, nothing will have changed.  It is an absolute great feeling to know that.  It’s a feeling I haven’t had with anyone else.
  • I have touched on this before but having separate hobbies and activities.  When plans and schedules change such as a sudden deployment. I have other things to fall back on.  I have a job I love, friends and family that care for me and hobbies that I get enjoyment from.  Tim also has the same and I think having a few separate hobbies keeps our relationship strong.  That being said also having hobbies we can do together keeps us very strong.

These are just personal thoughts about what works well for us.  I could not imagine life any other way anymore (and gosh I cannot imagine being a very strict and routine person anymore).

Questions for you:

Are you a very routine and scheduled person?

How do you and your significant other make time for each other? 

 

Wedding Planning Update

When I went back home last month, I was more than successful for wedding planning.  With the exception of save the dates, I’m on a roll.  Once the big stuff is done (catering, venue and dress) then the less fun, smaller things will be the focus.  I feel like I’ve been talking a lot about my wedding and it’s obnoxious but my parents reminding me this is a once in a lifetime thing.  You are supposed to talk a lot about it.

So what have I done wedding wise?

First Tim and I picked out the venue.

We took engagement photos.

engagement photo 2

We found a wedding planner who has been nothing but help.

I have also knocked a few more things off my big to do list…

My parents and I went and tasted food.  Food as well as alochol has been an important factor for me.  Not because we want everyone to get drunk and forget about our wedding ceramony, but we want people to enjoy themselves.  We also want to have good food.

In the majority of weddings I remember:

Did I have a good time (DJ)? (or did I take a lot of photos in a photobooth)

 

precious.
precious.

Was there food good (food)?

Was there coffee (or alcohol)?

 I told the caterer that I would walk down the aisle in runderwear if it meant good food for the guests #sacrifice.

Long story short we were able to put together a menu and find some good food.

We also found a great DJ that I’m quite excited for, especially now that the song Anaconda by Nicki Minaj is out (has anyone seen that music video?   I dressed as Nicki Minaj from the video Superbass for Halloween senior year of college…I’m glad she hadn’t released this song).

Last but not least, I got a dress!

Wow, I’ve gotten a lot done.  I would like to think I can relax but I still have these Save the Dates to get out.  Wedding planning has been really fun and I’m enjoying this chapter of my life.

I suppose the final two big things we have to get done are flowers and wedding cake.  If anyone knows any florists in VA Beach area let me know.  I’m not a big fancy flower person (sorry they die anyways, I would rather go on vacation) but I do want and need some flowers.

Then all the smaller stuff like decorating but that’s why I gave that a solid 6 months to actually do.

Questions for you:

What kind of decorations did you do for your wedding?  Do you like flowers?

What were your favorite and least favorite parts of wedding planning?

Engagement Photos

I’m not ignoring you blog world.  In fact yesterday I felt like crap then today I woke up rather sick.  I have done nothing productive the last two days except leave my couch, get an MRI and return to my couch.  Despite wanting to run…I can’t because now I feel sick.  (Nausea, headache…flu like symptoms).  I cannot seem to catch a break.  I can’t help but wonder if the stress of Tim leaving for a few months is setting in.  When I get really stressed out I tend to get sick.

I’m just stating a fact.  Not that I want anyone to feel sorry for me, etc but I am not feeling well.  I promise I’m not ignoring phone calls, messages, facebook statuses, posts and blogs…

Oh well at least I got sick on my days off from work so it makes it a little bit easier.  Instead of adding paragraphs of words that don’t make sense I’ll post some of my engagement photos.  We both love them and are really happy with how they came out.

engagement photo 6

 

engagement photo 5

 

engagement photo 4

 

engagement photo 3

 

engagement photo 2

 

engagement photo 1

 

These are just a few of my favorites.

Taking a Risk

It seems perfect to do a Throwback Thursday post today.  I admit I do participate on instagram several weeks and occasionally facebook

One year ago I left Oswego, NY.  I didn’t really have a plan.  I left my friends, my job, my comfort zone and my life.  I knew I wanted to follow my heart but past that I didn’t really know. 

Celebrating one last meal with Laura A.
Celebrating one last meal with Laura A.

 

I knew eventually I would want to live with Tim.  I knew I would want to work doing something I enjoyed and I knew I wanted to be independent.  I cannot say I haven’t had my ups and downs since leaving.  I can’t say that about any aspect of my life though.

Did I expect to be living in NJ, not doing anything related to the public health major?  No.  Of course not.

In a perfect world I would have left my job in Oswego, to have found a job several days later in VA Beach.  The plethora of jobs would come flocking to me.  People would want to hire me.  I had a college degree after all!  (isn’t that what they teach you in college?) I would blog about how well life went.  I wouldn’t have blogged about how lucky I was my parents took me in during a time I needed to really find myself.

But they did and for that I can never be more grateful.

Post graduation 2 years ago.  My parents are the best.
Post graduation 2 years ago. My parents are the best.

Then we Tim graduated flight school, we would live together in Texas and it would be fun! Beautiful sun, lots of fun Texas things to do and cheap steak.  I wouldn’t move to the middle of Texas, where it was 100 degrees and 150 miles to the nearest big town.  (jobs…lolz…).

All of this steak (1.1 lbs) for 4 dollars!
All of this steak (1.1 lbs) for 4 dollars!  I miss you Texas Steak. 

Anyways I wouldn’t move  in early September only to find out we would be moving to NJ, 6 weeks later.  I love driving 1800 miles…twice…right before my first marathon!

 

YAY marathon...
YAY marathon…

All of that being said I enjoyed everything.  It gave me an opportunity to see friends I normally wouldn’t. 

I miss you Stephanie!
I miss you Stephanie!
Like Laura S
Like Laura S

 

Over the past year I’ve been to 20 states, I’ve ran in 14 and I have been to dozens of new towns and cities.  I’ve learned more about myself this year then ever before.  It’s been a journey but a journey I’m proud of.  While I miss my friends in NY, I don’t regret leaving.  I love where I am in life now and I’m not as far away.

Out of all 23 years of my life, I’ve learned the most about myself this past year. Some of which I probably wouldn’t have learned if I had not taken a risk not knowing the outcome.

 

Questions for you:

What was the last risk you took?

Where were you this time last year?

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