five on friday – the best parts of army life

Happy Friday, friends! I don’t know about you, but I’ve never been so happy to see the end of a short week. The past couple weeks have been a doozy, and I really appreciate all your kind words on my last post. I think it’s super easy to gloss over the nitty-gritty, but I also think it’s important to embrace the real – as uncomfortable as that may be. Today though, I’m focusing on the happy, and for this Five on Friday, I’m talking about five things that make me happy about military life. I know – what?! But seriously, there are benefits to this crazy life we lead…I promise.

1 // Getting the gang back together again.

This is a no-brainer! I know I mentioned the other day that we have another deployment looming over our heads. While not ideal, I’m also coming to terms with the fact that that’s Army life, and it’s something we’ll need to get used to, at least for the time being. Without going into too much detail, Ryan is tentatively scheduled to deploy early 2019 in the February/March time frame. And yes, that’s before this baby is born. Deployments suck. I’m not going to lie. They do, however, make for some incredible family moments like Ryan’s homecoming from Iraq and Kuwait last year. I’ll never forget the look on Spencer’s face.

2 // Seeing the world – or the country.

I’ve always had wanderlust, and it is, in large part, why Ryan and I knew that I could hack this Army wife lifestyle. Before Ryan, I’d hopped around the country from New Jersey to Florida, Utah, and New Hampshire. Since we married, we made a home in Arizona, moved to New York, and now we’re out West in Washington. Is it easy? Nope. Big nope to that. It’s definitely an adventure though, and it’s one I wouldn’t trade for anything.

3 // Meeting new people & friends.

I’m sure I’ve shared it before, but I’m a bit of an introvert. I am perfectly comfortable being alone, and I never really feel the need to get out there and meet other women. This lifestyle, however, has given me ample opportunities to do so, and I’ve been blessed to make some wonderful lifelong friends in the process. During my time leading Ryan’s last unit’s FRG, my co-leader and I became amazing friends. Our dear friends from Arizona PCSed to New York before us, so we had over 4 years to become best friends and watch our families grow together. One of my dearest friends lives in Tennessee while her husband is a geo-bachelor in New York. It’s incredible how you can meet new people, make new friends, and continue those friendships long after you’ve last seen one another.

4 // All the adventures.

I often try to think what my life would have been like if I hadn’t married the Army. Ha – see what I did there? But seriously. This lifestyle has afforded me (and us) so many incredible adventures. We’ve eaten in the sketchiest Waffle Houses of Alabama, stayed in the seaside ports of Destin, Florida. Driven from the tip of Arizona to the California coast to cruise to Mexico and from New York through to Canada. We’ve had babies in not one, but two different states. I’ve run the desert, the mountains, at sea level, at altitude. I’ve swum in balmy lakes in northern New York and chilly Lake Washington. My boys have seen both the Atlantic and the Pacific before their 4th and 3rd birthdays. There’ve been countless plane flights – Spencer’s first was at just 13 days old. I wouldn’t trade any of these adventures for the world.

5 // This guy.

He works so hard. I whine…a lot more than I’d care to admit, and I hate being alone when he’s gone, but I’m never not proud of him. He serves his country, his soldiers, and his family diligently, and that’s a balancing act I certainly don’t envy because I can barely balance two preschoolers, a household, and a job! He does it with (minimal) whining though, and he works hard to better himself each and every day. Plus, he makes that uniform damn good, so it’s worth the effort to fold it properly…I guess 😉