Charming Military Story Contest

The company I am a consultant for, Nomades, recently had a share your story contest about your favorite charm. In case you are new to my blog, Nomades is a charm and jewelry company started by Military Wives that wanted to share their story in the form of charms. The charm companies really didn’t represent us, so they took matters into their own hands and started this amazing company.

Consultants and customers alike were encouraged to participate. I submitted my story, it was short and sweet, it didn’t get picked (insert sad face here), but I write a blog! I can share it anyway, woot woot.

Here is my bracelet so far.

IMG_0966Pretty awesome right? I love the We Also Serve charm, it’s the American flag with the crossed wedding rings. It shares the spotlight with the USMC and Army beaded spacers that represent my husband’s and my service. But Although I think of these three as one, they are three separate pieces, not meeting the criteria of the contest. So I stared and thought, and stared some more. Then I realized my favorite was the Family Ties spacer. It was a special for the Month of November, and I immediately ordered it for myself. It consists of four little paper doll cutouts, holding hands, with teeny heart spaces on each chest.

Why is this one my favorite? Each charm has a meaning, evokes a memory or emotion. These four little guys remind me of our children. We are a blended family, blending our families to become one. My kids can describe one another as full, half, or step siblings, but they simply call each other brother and sister. Since we married, the kids have fallen into step like a silent drill team, not missing a beat, as if they were always together. Our extended families have opened their hearts to us, referring to our children as Niece, Nephew, Grandchild, and Great Grandchild. They hold no difference between blood and step relation. Just like these little figures are bonded together with open hearts, so is our family.

In case you would like to browse the catalogue, click here.

Have a Crafty Day!

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Site seeing on the move.

With my husbands report date looming we don’t have a whole lot of time for site seeing. He did plan some awesome stops, but we can’t fit them all in. My kids are being great with the drive, but their patience thins after a few hours, as does mine, so stopping every 3-4 hours is a must! We spent a couple days between California and Nevada visiting family so our first “official” site seeing stop was the Hoover Dam.

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It was ridiculously hot and the kids just wanted to get back in car with air conditioning. On toward the Grand Canyon which was a specific request from my daughter. But first Historic Route 66. DSC00045

Now I know Route 66 spans all the way till St. Louis (about), but this was the only place we saw that was touristy. Boy was it touristy! Themed restaurants, shops, even a theatrical wild west shoot out in the street. If you’re going to the Grand Canyon definitely stop in Williams for the night! It’s only an hour from the Grand Canyon so we got an early start the next day.

DSC00080We took a wrong turn and ended up on the other side of the South Rim. That’s what we get for winging it. There are several view point areas. After the first two, the kids were bored with looking at the hole in the ground. We still saw a few more before continuing our journey.

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There wasn’t a whole lot else we wanted to see, so we made up some time and arrived at in North Carolina 5 days later, taking our time and only driving about 6 hours a day. I’ve discovered that a toddler can only sit in the car for 6 hours without crying when one tries to put him back in his car seat after a diaper change….good to know.

Military Move

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Being married to a military member can mean uprooting the family to follow their career path. Needs of the military and all. Being a former enlisted Marine, I was used to moving, but only moving myself. It has been almost 10 years since my enlistment ended, now 3 years into my marriage to an active duty Soldier, this is my first move with a van full of rambunctious kids.

I am deeply thankful to the inventor of the portable DVD player. As a child, my dad had a gigantic van with a t.v. inside, the kind of vans with the boomerang antenna on the top. The screen was super hard to see from the sofa backseat, so not very entertaining. My kids have been so quiet and cooperative, Mr. portable DVD inventor needs a medal.

Back to the military move process…

Contracted movers invade your house and box EVERYTHING!! When I say everything, I mean it. My neighbor left the knobs for the stove with her clean dishes…packed. I dismantled a smoke detector to change the battery…packed. All you need to do in preparation is separate anything not going with the movers, and clean. It is only inconvenient in the fact that, “I DON’T WANNA!” Yet here we are, car packed to a bursting point and 4 days in. We’ve visited family, did some site seeing and we’re part of the way there.

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One of the most annoying parts of this move is waiting for housing. Military installations have great housing. The downside is our quarters will not be available until July 1st. Ummm, we haven’t hit June yet! Options? Rent off Post (Yeah the Army calls them Posts, Marines call them Bases, go figure). I like on base…um…post living, so take the bad with the good I guess.

To help me through this I pack a bin, that’s right, a bin of yarn. Knitting has helped keep my mind occupied while my Soldier was in Afghanistan this past year, so yes a bin.  And being apart from him for so long, stressed, worried, knitting, I would move tens times over.