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simple moments stick

Happy Friday, friends! I swear this has been the longest and shortest week of my life. You know those weeks where you're insanely busy, accomplish a lot, and feel like you get nothing done? Yep, it's been one of those weeks around here. Remember that judgment call we made the other day about where we were going to live? We heard from housing at Fort Lewis on Wednesday that the current wait time after signing out of post is about 4-6 months. MONTHS. So, while we'd hoped to snag a house on post, we're back to plan A, and we're going to look for a rental off post instead. Wish us luck. Yikes. 

This has been a week of little moments; little victories, little giggles, little tragedies. But it's been one of those weeks of transition, too, as we move one step closer to our move. We're getting things done, and we're working to enjoy the process as we go. I'm linking up today with Momfessional for Friday Favorites and Smidge of This for Five on Friday. 

1 // Daddy/Son Days. I had to work on Monday while the rest of the world (aka the Army) had a day off. Daycare was also closed, so Ryan got to spend the day with his boys. It makes my heart so happy to see my little guys having fun with their Daddy, and it makes me love Ryan even more. He took them to the mall to blow off some steam, and this picture melted my heart. Love.

2 // Change of Command. This actually happened a couple weeks ago, but it's finally going into effect, and I'm free of my FRG duties as of today! It's been a long time coming, and I'm thankful that this chapter is closing, and we're going to be moving to a new place and a new unit. Change is good, friends - as scary as it may be.

3 // Getting Older. My birthday is tomorrow. 32. It's not even a big year. I'm over 30, under 40, and kind of that young middle-age, what the heck am I kind of place. I don't usually love my birthdays. There's no reason really, but I'm working to enjoy it, no matter what.

4 // Adulting Victories. We did some serious adulting this past week and had our windows replaced downstairs. Now, we bought this house because we loved the light from all the windows. We didn't think we'd have to replace eight of the nine downstairs. We did though since our house was bleeding heat, and it's amazing. It might have cost an arm and a leg ($4,000ish), and it will be well worth it. Oh yeah, and our house is warm. Finally. Now we need to re-paint :(

5 // The Home Search. Looking for houses is in full swing here. No, we're not planning to buy, but we do have some strict considerations on what we're looking for in Washington. We need four bedrooms, we need a fenced-in yard, and we absolutely need an open floorplan. I actually don't mind the search...it's fun. It's also nerve-wracking though, so here's hoping it goes well! Oh yeah, and moving boxes are the best...just ask Porter.

These days go by so quickly, and I'm working to remain intentional about everything. It's about enjoying the little things - the simple moments - and stop looking ahead to the future. Easier said than done though, right? Baby steps! Have a great weekend, friends!

be bold, take risks

One of the hardest things about being a military spouse is the realization that there are three entities in your marriage. You have your spouse, of course, but you have another ultra-needy and demanding player in the relationship, as well. Whether it be the Army, the Marines, the Navy, Air Force, Coast Guard, or beyond, the tough reality for military spouses is that we often come second.

Most military families know and understand that this means that their service member is, for all intents and purposes, married to the military. It defines their schedule, their hometown, their lifestyle, and so much more. Many people forget, however, that it also affects military spouses. We, too, are owned by the military.

When my husband and I first started dating, there was such a blissful allure to the prospect of moving around, seeing new places, and discovering new things. That remains the same five years later. I love that part. However, there’s an undertone of difficulty that many people overlook.

As many proud, hardworking military spouses can attest, too often our careers are put on hold. We’re overqualified or underpaid. We simply can’t find jobs.

In an already volatile job market, it’s a terrifying concept to be years into a career and suddenly forced into a holding pattern. We are lucky that more companies are learning to open their doors to the possibility of remote employees. We are even luckier when employers are willing to take a risk on the uncertain life and fluctuating career of a military spouse.

But, you need to remember this: luck should never have anything to do with it.

Risk goes hand in hand with reward. Every new hire is a risk. Every new duty station offers a risk of a deployment, or a hardship tour, or a new familial challenge, all of which we’ve come to accept over time. What shouldn’t be a risk is the fact that we are employable. We are a desirable pool of candidates from all walks of life whose experience should be viewed as an asset, rather than a liability.

Whether you are employed but seeking new employment, unemployed and desperate in your search, new to the area, or simply so defeated by the search that you don’t want to continue, there are options. There are a lot of companies and organizations today committed to banding together for the advancement and betterment of military spouse careers. Having done ample research, here are a few things to aid you on your search.

Hire Heroes USA – This nonprofit exists solely to empower veterans and their families secure proper employment in the civilian world. They’re not your traditional job board. They won’t find you a job. They will, however, help you get the one you want, and they do have partnered companies.

FlexJobs – This is a well-known job board for those seeking work-at-home options. There is a minimal sign-up fee that gives you access to hundreds of job calls. Some are freelance options, while others are contract roles. Sift through them, and you’re likely to find something that works.

Serving Talent – This is a relatively newer career matching organization designed to support military and foreign service spouses. You apply much like you would to a normal company. Submit a cover letter with their requested information, as well as your resume, and they’ll work with you to find great matches.

The biggest thing to which I think many military spouses can attest is that we don’t want to be boxed in anymore. There are so many sites out there that give us a list of 5-10 careers that will move wherever we go. That’s great…for those individuals in those career paths. We don’t represent those 5-10 careers though. We represent so much more. We’re doctors, nurses, educators, writers, designers, business professionals, engineers, and beyond. We are exemplary.

We’re also an entire group of untapped and relatively unexplored career potential.

Whether you’re days, weeks, months, or years into your job search, don’t lose faith. Don’t lose your drive to succeed. That’s how you became the asset you are. Be bold. Take risks. Contact company after company. Put those proverbial ducks in a row and send out every cover letter you can. Remember that every single rejection is one step closer to that “yes” that you want.

Whatever you do, don’t devalue yourself. You are worth the effort. You are worth the risk. You will reap the reward in your search.