A Modern Day Fairy Tale: Life as a Marine Corps Wife {Circle of Moms Top 25 Military Blog Voting Open}

Monday, June 17, 2013

Life as a Marine Corps Wife {Circle of Moms Top 25 Military Blog Voting Open}

For those who hadn't yet seen, the voting for the 2013 Circle of Moms Top 25 Military Mom blogs in now going on, and I was once again nominated! I was lucky enough to be part of the 2011 list, but missed out on 2012...I would LOVE to make the list again this year, but need your help to do so...all you have to do is click the link, and simply click 'vote'. Nothing to sign up for, no forms to fill out...just two simple clicks! And it can be done DAILY!

I cannot offer you any incentives- giveaway entries, etc- but I would greatly appreciate any votes you could send my way! If you enjoy reading my blog, I'd certainly appreciate your support!



Now, here's a little bit more about my life as a Marine Corps wife!



I became a Marine Corps wife in January 2007, after meeting my husband in person just a few months earlier! You see, we were first introduced via Myspace through his sister while he was still deployed in Iraq! Never in a million years would I have ever dreamed of being a military wife- honestly, I didn't believe I could handle this life, but God had other plans for us and we very quickly fell head over heels. Though people thought we were crazy, we had already talked marriage before we ever even met. I truly believe that meeting online allowed us to skip the small talk and awkward first date moments (particularly for someone like myself with social anxiety) and truly get to know each other better than we could have had we first met in person. We met in October 2006 for the first time- my soon to be husband decked out in his blues, looking very princely carrying glass slippers and a rose. If I hadn't been in love before, I certainly would have been then. He whisked me off to the ball, and our Modern Day Fairy Tale began.

Throughout our 6.5 years of marriage, we have been through a lot! I moved away from all of my friends and family in Indiana to start our life as a family at Camp Pendleton, CA. We have together endured deployments, cross country moves, having a child diagnosed with Autism, hard goodbyes, amazing reunions...and most recently surviving recruiting duty (perhaps the absolute toughest jobs in the military!). Through it all, we have stuck together and made it through each day...one day at a time. But aside from the hardships that the military life can often bring, we have also been incredibly blessed! We have traveled and had experiences that we would not have had without the military, and have made some amazing friends along the way. Though it is not without its challenges, I would not trade this life we have been given for anything!


What do you love about being a military wife/mom?

As a wife, I first and foremost love my husband, and the Marine Corps is certainly a large part of who he is. He loves being a Marine, and works hard at his job- one that is not easy by any means, to provide the best life possible for our family. I would be proud regardless of what he chose to do, and have told him as much many times, but there is certainly a sense of pride that comes when I hear others thanking my husband for his service, and telling my son that his daddy is a hero. He is certainly a hero to us.

I grew up in a very small town. We didn't even have a post office...or any stores at all...just a few churches! While I love my hometown, there just wasn't a lot there to see or many opportunities available. Until I met my husband, I had never really traveled much, and had certainly never flown, etc. I'd never been to any major theme parks (aside from Holiday World), and just didn't have those experiences available. The Marine Corps opened up a whole new world for me- moving to California was a dream come true for me, but it also allowed us to see much more of the country as well. We have driven cross country several times, and my little man and I even took a cross country train ride from LA to Chicago! Given his love of trains, this was HIS dream come true and an experience that I will never forget, and I know this would never have been possible without the military. We were also able to visit fun places like Seaworld (free, thanks to the military!), the San Diego Zoo, Knott's Berry Farm, Hollywood...and of course my absolute favorite- Disneyland!! Since moving to Indiana, my husband was also given the chance to go to the Indy 500 (free) and our family went to it's first professional sports event- a Colts football game- again, free AND my husband was even on the field during the halftime show! These are experiences that I know we would not have been able to provide our little man without the military and for that we are truly grateful.

When my husband was actively recruiting, I also had the opportunity to talk with young wives/wives to be about our experiences, and share my love of the military with them, from the perspective of a wife who had been there...after all, their significant others' decision to join the Marine Corps affected them as well. I loved being able to share our side of things and ease some of their worries, something I never had when I married into it!

What advice would you give to moms on how to build a new support circle after a move?

To be honest, this is a tough one for me- again, I deal with social anxiety so making friends has always been a challenge for me. One thing I will say is, while it is important to have local support, never underestimate the power of social media to maintain your previous support circle. You may not be close, but they can still offer a lot of great support. For me personally, the biggest support came after my son started school and I connected with the moms there. Not only were they all military wives themselves, but they all also had children on the spectrum...their friendship has meant the world to me, and though we've all been separated by moves, I know I can still depend on them for advice and support!

What's a tip for helping kids cope with a parent's absence?

I think the biggest thing is just to *try* to prepare them ahead of time. For our family personally, we had the added challenge of our son's Autism to deal with. Changes and Autism just don't mix!! At the time before my husband's last deployment, though we tried to prepare him, he simply didn't have the understanding of what was going on- until it actually happened, so we just had to take each day at a time and try to keep things as routine as possible. We also took videos and had a Build A Bear made with Daddy's voice, and I think all of these things helped tremendously!

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