Anchors Aweigh : April 2014


You Know You're Married To A Student Naval Aviator When...

Parker has been a Student Naval Aviator for over 2 years. There are pros and cons of being in one of the longest training pipelines possible, so we have learned to take the good with the bad. Parker will receive his wings next month and finally be able to drop the "student" in "Student Naval Aviator". I have mixed feelings about this chapter coming to a close. It's been an awesome ride, but we are so excited for this next phase of Navy life. Throughout this training process, however, I have adopted new ways of thinking, habits, and concerns courtesy of being a Student Naval Aviator's wife.
You know you're married to a Student Naval Aviator when...

1. At some point in the training process, you have been challenged to make plain chicken and rice taste good day after day after day to curb airsickness. You have also bought anything with the least bit of peanut butter or ginger in it for the same reason. 

2. When you walk outside and see the sun shining, the first thing out of your mouth is "It's a beautiful day for flying!". If Jenny had a nickel for every time she heard that at the start of one of our walks...

3. You kind of want to hit the person who decided it was a good idea to have flight school in Pensacola and Corpus Christi, the rainiest and windiest cities, respectively. You want to propose a place like Nevada. I doubt you get cancelled for weather in the desert. That said, you also kind of want to buy said person chocolate because Pensacola and Corpus Christi are beautiful.

4. You are prepared to tell your husband what kind of plane is flying overhead because you know he will ask.

5. Even when your husband isn't around, you try to identify the different planes flying overhead. Then you get annoyed and try to remember the days where a plane was just a plane. 

6. You are constantly folding loads of laundry that are entirely black. Black undershirts, underwear, and socks fill up your laundry basket faster than the weather changes in Texas.

7. You check your computer every day at 4 PM like clock work to see when your husband is scheduled the next day.

8. You have mixed feelings when the schedule finally does come out. You want him to be scheduled so you aren't stuck in training forever, but you also don't want him to be scheduled so you can have a day off and eat cheese puffs on the couch together.

9. You plan his winging day more than you planned your wedding day. You know who is coming into town, where they are staying, what days they arrive/depart, and you have a schedule of events down to a tee. You also meticulously plan the meals in an attempt to show your family that you are somewhat domesticated.

10. You don't know how to have a conversation that doesn't at least mildly include planes. This is real life, people.

So there you have it. I promise I used to be normal. I have no idea what happened. All I know is I am married to a student Naval aviator. Hello, life. 

Bonus: you show your husband this blog post, and he decides it's a good idea for an airplane quiz. He pulls up a picture on the Internet of a plane he thinks you should know. You identify it correctly, and he goes back upstairs to study. Life.
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Fudgy Black Bean Brownies

Okay yall, don't hate it until you try it. I had seen a few things about this black bean brownie concept floating around Pinterest and the blogosphere, and I just had to give it a shot. These brownies are made with black beans instead of flour, so they are super fudgy and just a tad bit healthier. I know it sounds strange, but the black beans really do take on any flavor. I didn't tell Parker about the odd ingredient until he took a bite (Hello! That's half the fun!), and he had no idea these little babies were made with black beans. I also tried them on a girlfriend, and she couldn't believe it either. I really liked these brownies a lot. Parker was a little less keen on them because they had more of a dark chocolate taste thanks to the unsweetened cocoa powder. I encourage you to give these a try. It will probably be the fudgiest brownie you've ever had!

1 (15 oz) can of black beans, drained and rinsed well
3 eggs
3 Tbsp canola oil
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp baking powder
pinch of salt
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips, divided
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2.  Process the black beans in a food processor until smooth.
3. Add the rest of the ingredients, minus the chocolate chips, and process again until smooth.
4. Mix in 1/2 cup chocolate chips and pulse a few times until chocolate chips are incorporated.
5. Pour your batter into a greased 8x8 baking dish and spread around the pan until smooth.
6. Sprinkle the remaining 1/2 cup chocolate chips on top of the batter.
7. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until it passes the toothpick test. Let cool before cutting. 


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Heart Full

Coming off of this weekend, my heart is simply full. It was a weekend full of love every way you slice it. We spent the weekend with my family again, something you won't find me complaining about one bit! With our move to Virginia on the horizon, we both knew this was probably our last time to go to my parents' house before Christmas. We maxed out our opportunity and stuck in dinners and breakfasts with friends amidst good old-fashioned quality family time. 
I bugged everyone all weekend by pulling out my phone to take pictures every time a semi picture-worthy moment occurred. I would blame it on blogger problems, but I was avid about documenting my life in college and drove everyone nuts then too. I'm going to just chock it up to Chelsea problems. Anyway, I digress. The weekend. Parker has had the itch to get back in the shop and build something as of late, so he was oh so happy to help my dad with house projects Saturday. Jenny was reunited with her favorite cousins and couldn't contain her waggy tail, but she did manage to spend quality time with each person by acting as a couch pillow. 

I was also reunited with my favorite look-a-like after a couple of months of not seeing each other, and that's a great day for any twin. Can you tell who is who? Hint: I'm the one with the milkshake.

Hands down, my favorite part of the weekend was Saturday night. We had tickets to the Casting Crowns concert and were so excited for an evening of worship and community as a family. Casting Crowns is a contemporary Christian band and one of my very favorites. I have seen them three times, and they never disappoint. I've mentioned that this hasn't been the easiest year for my family, and it hasn't. I want to elaborate on this in a separate post later in the week, but for now, I will just say I was bursting with joy at the chance to worship together as a family of 8. Every day isn't promised. Health isn't promised. I am learning to take advantage of the moments we have. Moments like the ones that made up this weekend are what make my world go around. Sitting here at home on a Sunday afternoon, my heart is full. 

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Guest Post: Free Memberships for U.S. Military & Veterans to

Hello everyone! My name is Hallie and I am in charge of the Ticket Club™ website over here in South Windsor, Connecticut. has introduced a special savings for U.S. active military and veterans. As a special “thank you” for serving this country and protecting our freedom, the company is offering FREE Ticket Club™ Premier memberships, valued at $49.99 each. The membership provides access to great prices on a large selection of tickets to concerts, sports, and theater events, even when they are sold out elsewhere. Additionally, our service men and women can save money on ticket purchases through Ticket Club™, because they will never have to pay service fees as members.

U.S. military personnel and veterans can sign up directly on the Ticket Club™ Military Members page. Soldiers can also share something they have learned or accomplished that makes them proud of their service to be featured on the page. For those of you, who are interested in being featured on the page, please send the following information to
•    Name
•    Photo
•    Branch
•    Years of Service
•    Story: What did you learn or accomplish that you would like to share that makes you particularly proud of your service?

Ticket Club™ wants to give back to those who have served and we can’t say thank you enough! Feel free to pass this along to anyone you know who can benefit from this offer.
Enjoy your event & thank you so much for serving our country!

Hallie Faulkenberry
Ticket Club Specialist

Random Fact Thursday

I just think these questions are fun. I love reading random facts, so hopefully you do too. :)
My favorite make-up item is... a tie between mascara and Vasoline. Sometimes I only put on a little mascara and call it a day, and Vasoline is just the greatest thing since sliced bread. 90% of the time though, I am not wearing make-up. I like looking put together when I have to, but if we are just hanging out around the house, I'll be rocking the natural look.

The best book I've ever read was... gosh, I know I am supposed to say something more sophisticated than the Hunger Games. I am not an avid reader but have read my share of books, and the first book in the Hunger Games trilogy is up there on the list.

My favorite TV show is... Friends. If you've spent more than a day with me, you probably know this. Greatest show ever made, in my opinion. A close second is Survivor. My husband and I get so excited for this Wednesday night obsession. I also loved Alias when it was on and watch The Bachelor every season, without fail.

The most spontaneous thing I've ever done is... yeah, I've got nothing. I am really not a spontaneous person at all, as described in this post.

I prefer dogs because... dogs are just happy to have humans. I had cats growing up and loved them, but we will always be a dog family. Seeing Jenny's wagging tail every time we walk through the door never gets old.

I met my significant other... in a red suburban. That sounded terrible. Let's back up. My freshman year of college, a group of us were all going to a movie or dinner or something, and Parker happened to be there. That was the first time we ever met. The problem? I don't remember this! Parker teases me all the time because I don't remember the night we met. He was roommates with one of my friends from high school (now my brother-in-law), so I knew I met him in the first couple of weeks at college but have never been able to remember the exact moment. Apparently, it was in a friend's red suburban.

Linking up for Finish This series.
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The Real Military Wives of Blogland

You mean there is a link up for military wives across the blogosphere to talk about our experiences and the things we really wish people knew about being a military spouse? Naturally, I'm in." That was my reaction last week when I found out about said link-up. It's obvious from this blog that I am a military spouse, but there are definitely a few subjects I haven't really touched on that go hand in hand with this lifestyle. There are a ton of different stereotypes when it comes to military wives- some are good, some are not so flattering. It's something you can't truly understand until you've lived it, but allow me to give a little insight into the glamorous world of the military wife. 

Let's back up for a second. Parker and I started dating in college when we were 19. We were babies! Okay, we still are. He was a Navy contract, something that never deterred me nor encouraged me to date him. I fell in love with a man who happened to be contracted to serve in the Navy. When you're 19 and won't graduate for 3 years, the Navy really isn't something on the forefront of your mind. When Parker and I got more serious in our relationship and knew we wanted to spend the rest of our lives together, the Navy was still a non-factor. Don't get me wrong, I couldn't be prouder to be a military wife, but I would have married Parker regardless. Like I said, I fell in love with a man who happened to be going into the Navy.

 scenes from the early days

Everyone has different ideas about military life, but the one thing we can probably all agree on is that military life is an adventure. We have lived in Pensacola, FL, Kingsville, TX, Corpus Christi, TX, and will be heading to Norfolk, VA next month. Four moves in under three years of marriage is nothing short of an adventure, I'll tell you that much! Something a lot of people don't know though? Being a military wife is really fun! I may be in the 1% with this mindset, but I get excited about the moves. I get excited to meet new people and decorate a new house. I get excited to make new memories in new places. It's just plain fun.

I feel like a lot of people look at military wives and feel sorry for us, and that's my biggest pet peeve. Some people view it as the guy dragging you all across the country and away from your family and then leaving you for long periods of time while you have to hold down the home front. Um, no. I mean, yes, that's the negative way to state the reality, but I chose this life. I chose to move across the country. I chose to support Parker at home when he has to go away. I chose Parker. Therefore, I chose this lifestyle. It was my choice. I can't speak for all military wives, but I don't want people to ever pity me. I covet prayers and support during the hard times, but I never, ever want people to feel sorry for me. I love this life! But more importantly, I was fully aware of what I signed up for.

The second thing I wish people knew about being a military wife? You did not earn your husband's rank. I cannot tell you how much it frustrates me when people throw around their husband's rank like they somehow did something to earn it. We are women who fell in love with men who serve our country. Our husbands have ranks. We do not. We are all on an equal playing field, and I think it's our job to build each other up and support each other, not brag because our husband is this or feel inferior because our husband is that. There is no rank between the wives. If there is, there certainly shouldn't be. 

All in all, I love this life. I can't imagine being anything but a military wife. So bring on the short-notice moving and constant readjusting. Life's about the journey, not the destination.

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BBQ Chicken & Avocado Quesadillas

The other night, I found myself in a dinner rut. I just wanted to try a different combination of foods and mix things up. If you cook most nights a week, you have to change things up to keep it fun! That's the way I see it, anyway. I modified the recipe for these BBQ Chicken Avocado Quesadillas, and they were the perfect answer. They were super simple to prepare, they were quick, and they were delicious. Let's face it, avocado added to anything is amazing. They were a hit in my house!

Ingredients (serves 2):
2 large (burrito-size) flour tortillas
1/2 cup mozzarella cheese, divided
1/4 cup BBQ sauce, divided
1/2 cup cooked, shredded chicken, divided
1 avocado, chopped into chunks
Note: If you are starting with raw chicken like I did, throw it in the crockpot on high for about an hour with a little BBQ sauce drizzled over so it can be marinating while it cooks. Once it is cooked through, shred and add to the quesadillas in the directions below.

1. Place shredded chicken and BBQ sauce in a small bowl and stir together until combined.
2. Heat a large skillet on medium-high heat and lay one tortilla on the bottom. Sprinkle half of the tortilla with half the chicken/BBQ sauce mixture, half the cheese, and half the avocado chunks. 
3. Fold the tortilla over and heat for 1-2 minutes before flipping and heating an additional 1-2 minutes. 
4. Repeat with the remaining tortilla and ingredients. Cut both tortillas into 8 wedges and serve warm. 

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Mulching: It's Like Dying Easter Eggs, But Not

This weekend Parker and I went home to see my family for Easter. This is the last holiday where we will have the luxury to just drive home on a whim, so we knew we wanted to spend it with family. I would love to say we dyed Easter eggs, hunted for eggs, and the like, but that's not quite how this weekend went down. What did we do? We mulched. It's a lot like dying Easter eggs, but not.

In all seriousness, I was really excited when I found out we would be getting our hands dirty with a little old-fashioned manual labor. It was a beautiful day to be outside, and I was just happy to be spending time together as a family. I guess that's what happens when you become an adult. You just want to spend quality time with the people you love and don't care how you get it. So 160 bags of mulch later, I got my quality family time check in the box!

I don't have the best back so I am really just posing with the bag of mulch. In my three years of back problems, we've found the one perk: not having to lift 160 bags of mulch. Glass half full, people. I was on spread-the-mulch-around-and-other-miscellaneous-tasks duty. I also got awarded LVP (least valuable player) for taking a 2 minute phone call. Apparently there are no phone calls when mulching! My little sister, on the other hand, handled those bags like a haus.

The world's strongest man and the world's most cheerful helper, respectively pictured above. These two carried those 160 bags like champs!

And the award for simultaneously being the cutest and most worthless helpers goes to these two furballs. They were loving all that sun and brought a certain element of charisma to the group.

With everyone working together, we breezed through the task Saturday morning and were able to lay low and relax the rest of the weekend. It felt good to get outside and sweat a little with the family. Parker had a sore back and I probably needed 2 showers to wash off the stink, but we couldn't stop talking about how much fun it was on our way home! We also felt like we earned the giant Easter dinner we had, so there's that. Overall, the family was very pleased with the final product:

Of course Sunday was all about Easter and the real reason we were all together. We are getting back on our feet after a tough season in our lives, and man do we have a lot to be thankful for. With the exception of missing my twin sister and brother-in-law, the weekend was perfect. God has been so faithful to us, and getting to celebrate the resurrection of His son was a blessing and a gift. I hope you all had a wonderful Easter as well celebrating with the ones you love!

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No Greater Love

Today is Good Friday. Some of you may know this day marks the day Jesus died on the cross over 2000 years ago. On this day our debt was paid in full. Jesus was a perfect sacrifice made by a loving Creator to atone for our sins, but can our human minds even fathom how much He loves us?

I've used this analogy before, but I love Parker with all that I am. I would do anything for him, and he would do the same for me. But Jesus didn't die for millions of people that loved Him. Most of the people at the cross that night ridiculed, mocked, and hated Him. Yet He died for those people and everyone else. Can you imagine paying the greatest sacrifice so that people who absolutely detested you could be saved? Jesus performed the ultimate act of love the night He died on Calvary. No earthly love can hold a candle to how much our Heavenly Father loves every one of us. 

When I think of the sacrifice Jesus made for me over 2000 years ago, I honestly feel ashamed. I have been judgmental, I have lied, I have been impatient. I have sinned so many times in my life that I can't even count, yet He still died for me and still longs for a relationship with me. 

"For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Jesus Christ our Lord." -Romans 6:23

Today, we celebrate the greatest act of love the world has and will ever see. Living He loved us, dying He saved us. I am excited to spend time reflecting on what today means and remembering how much God loves us. He sent His son to die on a cross for you and me. There is no greater love. I pray that each of you remember how much you are truly loved by your Creator.

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The Boy Behind The Blog: April Edition

Well, my favorite day of the month is here. Parker is back for the boy behind the blog series to take over the blog and answer some more questions! He shares in the enthusiasm, obviously. This round was made up of questions submitted by other men, which I think is really fun. Sorry, Parker, it looks like the question you submitted (What kind of airplane do you fly?) was not selected. I know, I was shocked too! So here we go...

Questions and Answers (my responses to his answers are in grey):

1. Your significant other's blog: a blessing or a curse?
Blessing- we get to document our lives so we can look back on it in the future and inspire others through our experiences. 
Parker and I both look at this blog as a blessing. If he had an issue with it, I wouldn't do it. Marriage first!

2. Do you read your wife's blog?
Yes, usually. Sometimes I just look at the post and I already know what she wrote. I don't look at the recipe ones. 
Haha, the other boy behind the blog that reads my blog every day (my dad) likes to tell me how not excited he is for the recipe posts as well. I just like being able to share yummy food and store all my favorite recipes in one spot! I understand why those aren't as fun to read though :)

3. What is one thing you can do better than anyone that you know?
I don't know of anything I am better at than anyone I know. 
Honestly, I am interested to see what other people put for this, because I doubt many people can actually give a real answer to this question. Didn't love this one. 

4. What is your favorite TV sitcom from the 90s?
He would have incurred some major silent treatment had this not been his answer. We have been watching it in the evenings lately, and every time we watch it, I get a little less funny in his mind. He's slowly starting to realize all my good jokes are "Friends" quotes. Guilty. 
5. If you were opening a small business or shop, what would it be? What goods/services would you sell?
Computers, airplanes, or things made of wood, or maybe some sort of combination of all three. 
Sounds about right: computers, aviation, and building furniture. We've just covered his three main hobbies in a nutshell. 

That's all folks! Many thanks to Parker for, yet again, such willing participation.

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Finish This

Good morning, friends. Today I am finishing the sentence :)

My favorite vacation spot is... about 10 minutes away from where I am currently sitting. My family vacationed to North Padre Island every year when I was a little girl, which is the island bordering Corpus Christi (where we are currently stationed). I have so many fond memories here and would snap back to the age of long beach days, crafts, and family bonding time in a heartbeat.

Bonus points if you can tell us twins apart... even I think we look alike here!
If I won a million dollars, I would... be really boring about it. I would put about $300K in the bank and give the rest to our parents. Then I would be depressed that I only actually received about $650K of that million dollars thanks taxes.

If I could go on a date with one celebrity, it would be... I am pretty sure I am supposed to say a hot guy for this, but I would totally go to lunch with Jennifer Lawrence. Homegirl just seems like a fun person to hang out with. 

If I found a genie in a bottle, my three wishes would be... hmm, that's a toughie. I think I would wish for a million dollars, all the dogs to be adopted into loving homes, and 3 more wishes. Greedy Gert alert!

My favorite clothing item is... shorts. They are just comfortable and not the least bit constricting like most pairs of jeans. I am the person wearing shorts when it's cold outside because I really dislike wearing jeans. I'm going to love chilly Virginia, obviously.

Linking up for Finish This series.

I always love hearing answers to the wishes question, so how about it? If you were granted 3 wishes, what would they be?
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Buffalo Turkey Joes

Sometimes I feel the need to make a "make Parker happy" meal. I mean let's face it. He's a man which means all food makes him happy, but I knew this recipe would be one he would love. That husband loves anything buffalo, so he loved this dinner. And so did my waistline! This meal was super healthy without sacrificing on taste. The best part though? It was ready in mere minutes. Hello, dream dinner. It will be on the menu again and again!

Ingredients (serves 4):
1 lb extra lean ground turkey
8 oz can tomato sauce
1 cup buffalo sauce (however spicy you like it!)
Burger buns
Chopped red onion/green onion/celery/blue cheese/etc to garnish (I used blue cheese and green onion
salt and pepper, to taste

1. In a large skillet sprayed with cooking spray, brown turkey over medium-high heat. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
2. Once your turkey is browned and crumbly, reduce the heat to low and stir in tomato sauce and buffalo sauce. Let the sauce simmer for a few minutes. 
3. Take a burger bun and load it with your turkey filling. Garnish with your favorite toppings and serve!


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How We Moved To A New City For Under $200

Moving is kind of really expensive. Parker and I have lived in 4 different cities in under 3 years, so that's a lot of moving. Fortunately for us, moving doesn't cost us a cent since we are relocating on military orders. When Parker and I get the news that we are packing up and moving to a new city, we get really excited. The Navy packs us, loads up all our stuff, transports it, and unloads it in our new house. We are just responsible for getting ourselves to our new location, hardly anything worth complaining about.

Well, since this last move was from Kingsville, TX to Corpus Christi, TX (just under an hour away), we had to move ourselves. Cue the complaining and whining about having to pack up our entire house and move it. I mean seriously, we have been so spoiled by the Navy that moving ourselves seemed less than enticing. However, if we were going to be forced to move ourselves, we were going to do it on the cheap. We have a house full of stuff and had to get it all from point A to point B, but we found some cost cutting solutions that kept our entire move under $200.

1. Boxes can be free. One of the most expensive parts of moving, if not the most expensive, is buying all the boxes. Those pieces of cardboard are not cheap! We could have easily spent several hundred dollars on new boxes, but we found a way around that. First, ask people who just moved for boxes. They are eager to get rid of them, so it's a win-win. If you don't know anyone who recently moved, then take a trip to your local Lowes and ask them for boxes. Huge shipments of merchandise come into these stores multiple times a week, and the boxes just get thrown away once the merchandise is unloaded. Parker went to Lowes one evening about an hour before they closed and came home with 20-30 boxes. The disadvantage of this route is that your boxes are all different sizes and harder to stack. The advantage? They are free. If you are moving far away and it's important to stack your boxes compactly, Lowes has the cheapest boxes to purchase as well.

2. Renting a moving truck is like buying a car. It's negotiable. I found the very best deal online and then called the local Penske company in town. I told them the deal I found, and they matched it. We knocked $100 off of our moving truck because of this.

3. Blankets and towels can double as bubble wrap. You have to move all of those blankets and towels anyway, so why not use them to wrap some of the more fragile kitchen items? The trick to this is to pack the fragile items in smaller boxes, very compactly. I wrapped all of our drinking glasses in towels and packed them tightly together, and it kept them safe during the bumpy truck ride.

4. Pay your friends with pizza to help you load/unload. Loading and unloading is a pain, and we honestly couldn't have done it by ourselves if we wanted to. I am just not strong enough to help Parker lift the heavy furniture, so we needed man power, literally. We had a few friends help us pack up the truck in the morning in exchange for free breakfast burritos, and we paid people to help us unload that same afternoon with pizza. Much cheaper than paying movers, and who doesn't love a little free pizza?

5. Ask for help, and don't forget to have fun. Moving is fun. Yes, it's a pain in the rear end, but it's exciting to pack up and move to a new place. Don't focus so much on the work and stress that you forget to enjoy the process. This tip won't actually save you any money, but it could save your sanity. Ask your girlfriends to help you pack and have a girls night. If you're married, reminisce about all of the memories in your old home and talk about all the new ones you want to make in the next place. It's so easy to get frustrated and annoyed with each other when you're moving, but believe it or not, you'll actually realize packing up and moving was an enjoyable experience. Note: You won't realize this until it's been a few weeks, you're all unpacked, and the move isn't such a recent memory.   

I hope these tips are helpful to anyone with a move on the horizon. What could have cost us over $1000 cost us less than $200, and all it took was a little creative thinking.

Have you ever moved yourself? Pleasant memory or horrible nightmare?
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"I Understand"... Do You? Do You Really?

Let me preface this by saying I absolutely love my life. I can't imagine it any other way, and I am so happy and content with the path God has laid out for Parker and me. That said, it's not always easy. I know you're thinking "Well, duh, life's never always sunshine and rainbows". Of course you're right, but the part of our lives that tests us the most is something that isn't a factor for everyone. You've probably guessed it by now. It's the military. 

I have said this six ways to Sunday: being a Navy wife is never something I planned on or even wanted. None of my immediate family, or close extended family for that matter, served in the military, and I was just clueless on the subject. To be frank, all I knew about the military is they all leave at some point, and not all of them come back. Sitting here having just typed that sentence, all I want to do is delete it, but that's the harsh reality of the military life. These men and women put it all on the line. All give some, and some give all. So why the heck would I grow up dreaming to be a military spouse? Like I said, I didn't. God has been so faithful to me and given me a husband more perfect for me than I could have even dreamed up. We truly are best friends, and I mean that. Amidst all the romance and the married stuff, we are simply besties for the resties (okay I had to laugh at that phrase). In allowing me to meet and fall in love with Parker, God showed me that his plans for me were soooo much bigger than the plans I had laid out for myself. Thank you Jesus for always knowing what's up, because man is this life fun and exciting and perfect and... you get the gist. 

It's an exciting life, but it comes with its share of hardships. I still feel like we are "babies". We haven't done the big thing yet- Parker has never had to deploy. That day will come quicker than I care to think about. He's already started flying a little longer, being gone for a week at a time, etc. And that stuff's just not fun. Parker is in the longest training pipeline possible (literally, the longest), so a lot of our friends are going to deploy before he will. Selfishly, I wish that weren't the case. I wish I was going through a deployment at the same time as my friends. Why? Because military spouses are the only ones who truly get what it's like to know your husband is overseas protecting our freedom.

The love and support of our family and non military friends really does mean the world. In fact, Parker and I would not be where we are today without them. That said, they can't fully understand what this lifestyle is like because they haven't lived it. They can empathize with us, but they will never truly understand, and that's okay. One of the biggest blessings through military life, if not the very biggest, has been the new friendships that have formed. I have met military spouses who have truly become some of my very best friends. They get it. They get it because they are living it too. Geography may have separated me from a lot of them, but they are a quick phone call, text, or email away if I ever need to vent. And sometimes, you just have to vent to someone who gets it. 

I am thankful for a community and close friends who will always understand. The reality is being a military wife demands a certain degree of independence, strength, and determination. I'm not tooting my own horn and saying I have mastered any of those things, but one day I hope to. With each duty station we come and go to- Pensacola, Kingsville, and now Corpus Christi, I have met women who make the rainy days of military life a little sunnier.

To my military spouse friends (you know who you are), I love you all so much and cannot imagine going through this journey without you. There have been way too many girls who have gotten me through the last two years to name, but know that you are appreciated and cherished. 
And now, a photo dump of pictures of people that, if the Navy would oh so kindly station us near, I wouldn't hate it. So basically I'd like to go to California, please.

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