Deployment Diaries: What to Send in a Care Package

After T deployed, care packaging got a little more serious. The things I was sending before were, in all honesty, more for my enjoyment than his. It was stuff that he could’ve easily went to Walmart and just got himself.  That’s not really the case anymore seeing that hes on a sub these days.

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Deployment Diaries: How to Go Weeks Without Speaking to Your SO

Every deployment and situation is different. You may go through a deployment and have decent communication the whole way through or there could be periods of time where you haven’t received any kind of communication for weeks or maybe months.

It would be an understatement to say that going with no emails or phone calls is hard. It’s hell. I had no idea if he was okay, I missed his voice, I missed telling him about my day and his advice, I missed hearing about his day and I hated that I couldn’t comfort him or celebrate his successes.

It’s a test of your patience and of your relationship but there are ways to make it through.

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Hawaii Travels and Deployment Goodbyes

It would be an understatement to tell you that Hawaii was beautiful. And the time that I spent with Taylor and his family was just as beautiful if not more.

I went to Hawaii to visit T and to say my last goodbyes before he goes under the sea for a long period of time, the longest period of time that we will be apart thus far in our relationship.

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The Three Things You Need To Be A Military Significant Other

For two years I have had more people than I can count ask me, “How do you do it?”

And I have never had an answer. I didn’t really know how, I just did.

But after two years of getting asked this question and then asking myself, “Yeah… how the hell do I do this?” on my car rides back home I have finally come up with the answer.

So, here it goes. The three things that you need to have in order to be a military girlfriend:

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An Open Letter to Those Trying to Talk My Boyfriend Out of Our Military Relationship

To Whom It May Concern,

“And everyone I talk to out here says to just end it now because these relationships never work.”

My heart, filled with anger and sadness, sank to the bottom of my gut after reading what my boyfriend had just texted me.

You told him that I wouldn’t be able to handle the 4,000 miles between us. I won’t be able to handle his busy schedule you said. It is a guarantee that I will cheat you said. Because I chose to not move in with him the relationship will surely fail you said.

I realize, that to the military, I am nothing. Not his family. Not his wife. I am just a girlfriend. I do not matter to the United States military.

Of this, I am fully aware.

But shame on you for assuming what kind of woman I am. Shame on you for filling my boyfriend’s head with worry and his heart with sadness.

And while I am filled with hurt, I also have gratitude towards you. Thank you for putting a fire in my heart and a determination in my soul to make this distance work.

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Watch me handle deployments with grace and love. Watch me have the patience and understanding to deal with our differing work schedules. I hope you get to witness the care packages he will get along with the constant flow of emails, letters and funny cards. I had the strength to stay back home so I could enhance my career and finish my schooling so that I wouldn’t have to rely on the military for money. So, watch me not cheat on him or use him for his military paycheck because I took the time to establish myself.

And, unfortunately, while what you keep driving into his head has an impact what I have to say to him has a greater one. Little do you know how strong my boy is and how much love he has for me.

You bringing our relationship down gave me the opportunity to relive with him all the beautiful memories that we have had, the ones that have made us laugh until we cried. And with those memories came the pictures: the happiest pictures of us on our anniversary, that one that I made a stupid face by the river, pictures from every single graduation he has had. All to remind him that even when we were thousands of miles apart we were never truly far from each other.

So, I thank you. For you made us stronger and you sparked a passion in me to be the best “girl back home” that I can be.

 

Love always,

A dedicated and strong military girlfriend

 

 

 

How I Became A Military Girlfriend

I was in a really shitty relationship. That’s how this story starts.

And when I say shitty, I mean really, really shitty. I met that guy through OK Cupid, a dating app, and it started out healthy. He was my age, worked for $10 an hour as a mechanic, had tan skin, dark hair and was covered head-to-toe in tattoos.

Our relationship was fine until I noticed he was getting snapchats from all these different girls. Then came the texts from other girls. He liked their half-naked Instagram photos too. He tried and tried to convince me I was absolutely crazy and told me that I was a bitch for accusing him of ever cheating.

I told my family and friends and made a million excuses for this boy. Then one night, I was venting to two of my friends, friends who have known me since I was maybe 3 feet tall, when one said, “Hey! I work with this kid that is the boy version of you. He even likes the same shitty music you do.”

Hm, a boy that listens to heavy metal? I had Austin, my friend, give me his name and I lounged across his bed scrolling through Facebook to look for this boy that likes metal music. Taylor. I thought it was a beautiful name.

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He looked normal enough to me and did like my kind of music but I wanted to stay loyal so I didn’t pursue it much.

 A few weeks later, Austin invited me over to one of his work friend’s house to play games one night and I met Taylor. I thought he was cute but I didn’t really see myself with him. He was painfully blunt and didn’t seem to give me much thought. He talked a lot about how he was leaving for bootcamp in a few weeks and that sealed the deal for me. Taylor was a definite no go. I never could see myself dating a military man. I introduced myself to him, played some games and then said goodbye as I walked to my car and he smoked outside. The story was supposed to end there I thought…

A couple weeks later, my relationship got even worse. My tatted, cheating boyfriend decided to invite me to a concert after I got off of work. So, I closed up at my job as quickly as I could, ran to Target to buy a cute shirt and drove half an hour to this concert. I paid for parking and then texted him to ask where he was and how much to get in.

He replied that it was probably best if I went home because he was talking to a few other girls there. Bitch was maybe the nicest name that he called me that night.

Needless to say, I left him and after that I was kind of just wandering through life working my job and hanging out with family and friends.

Then one night I got a text from Taylor. He reiterated that he was leaving for bootcamp in a week and just wanted to go on one last date with a girl. Nothing serious. Just going out for drinks and that would be that. Maybe we could be friends and write some letters to each other at best.

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Revisiting our first date spot over a year later!

I picked Taylor up in my car (the deal was if he paid for dinner, I’d drive) and we went to Friday’s. We drank mudslides, ate cheeseburgers and I met my best friend.

He had the most lovable laugh. He was ridiculously smart, adventurous, he loves his family, hard working and oh my god his eyes. I was absolutely sold.

On the drive home, I knew deep in my heart what I wanted…but I had doubts. You see, I am a very cautious person. I don’t jump without knowing exactly what I am jumping into. I didn’t know what Navy life was like. Could I handle the distance? How was I so sure about a boy that I had officially hungout with once?

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I saw him twice after our date. Once at a going away party at the bar that he and my friend worked at and once more the morning he left for bootcamp. He ran up to doorstep, gave me the Navy shirt they gave him when he enlisted, kissed me and left.

And from that kiss on there was not a doubt in my mind. I wanted all of this. I was writing him letters daily. I was texting him daily. I met his family. I made him care packages.

I was going where this kid was going.

 

Seven Hacks to Healthier, Homecoming-Ready Skin

When I was younger I had horrible skin. Look closely at the pictures above and you can see the splotches all over my chin, forehead and cheeks. We are talking acne, painful and red, and lots of dry, dead skin.  I remember one time I had a pimple on the edge of my lip that honestly looked like I had a Skittle embedded in my skin and it was so bad that it was uncomfortable to eat. I had no choice but to pop it because I was so hungry but I didn’t want to eat because it hurt…I had no idea my pores could hold all the crap that came out.
But enough with the gross stuff! I decided then that I wanted better skin. The last thing I wanted to worry about when my sailor came home was what shape my skin was in and how it was going to look in the millions of pictures we’d be taking. While my skin still isn’t 100% perfect and I am no dermatologist, I have tested multiple products, theories and Cosmopolitan magazine articles to find the best! The top list of things that gave me much better, healthier skin.

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