Bridal Showers: Brides, Booze, and Gifts OH MY!

Now I’ve been to a few showers in my day- bridal, baby, co-ed. I used to just look at the registry, find the cheapest gift that didn’t look cheap and go with that. But as time went on the showers became to be about people I cared about and loved so I started making gifts that were a little more personalized.

Disclaimer: This is going to sound super snooty.

My bridal shower and baby shower were not big parties. I had maybe 15 people at each of them and for the most part they were my mom’s friends from work (who I had known a long time because I went to elementary school and middle school there). I just don’t have a lot of friends from high school and college anymore, and all my current milspouse friends were on the west coast while my showers were on the east coast. But I didn’t care about that. It was just nice to have some sort of celebration and my mom and sister-in-laws did a great job setting up both showers.

One thing that did annoy me though was when people didn’t buy off my registry. I mean, hours are invested into these things and I was frustrated when I had a bunch of stuff I already had or didn’t need. I understand that people find stuff they think is cute or perfect for the occasion because I buy that stuff too. But dudes, I don’t need 27 aprons and 4 tea kettles.

I told you. Snooty.

So I vowed to always buy at least one thing off the registry, even if the rest of my gift was stuff that *I* thought was awesome. I’ve gone to two bridal showers in the past few months and I had a great time not only shopping for these girls who are family (one like family, the other actually family!), but also putting together a creative gift that I thought they would love and that came from my heart.

The first shower was for a friend of mine from high school. Although we don’t talk all that often anymore, every time we see each other it’s like we picked up from where we left off. We spent virtually every weekend with each other in high school along with cheering together from 5th grade through 12th grade. Like me, she had to travel to her bridal shower so I knew I couldn’t get her something that she would have trouble packing. I bought her a giftcard to a homestore that she suggested on her website, and then I made her this basket:

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Ok so it doesn’t look like a basket from the photo but she was traveling so I couldn’t do some huge ellaborate thing that she could never pack. But inside the basket was filled with all sorts of candies and different objects related to the home. As she went through the basket she read this poem with each highlighted word corresponding with an object in the basket (I put the objects I put in the basket in parenthesis below):

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Here are the words to the poem:

Marriage is a Basket Full of Surprises

Sometimes marriage can be difficult…

Some days you might feel like you want to whoop him. (Whoopers candy)

Other days you might feel like you don’t measure up. (tape measure)

There will be days when you feel like you need someone to throw you a lifesaver or two. (Lifesaver candy)

But, when those days happen just dust yourself off. (mini feather duster)

Because there are plenty of good times to be had. (Good and Plenty candy)

And let’s face it- when a couple of nerds get together, there are bound to be a few little runts running around eventually! (Nerds and Runts candy)

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She loved it! It was so fun to watch her open it and know it was something a little special and a little different than the traditional registry gift.

The second shower was for my cousin. Again, we don’t talk all that often but she has come to every single one of our family’s special events- graduations, weddings, showers, etc. She was also traveling for her shower so again, nothing could be too big to pack. My mom and I went in on this one together, so we got her a few things off her registry and sent them to her house. We also made this basket. The theme was “perfect pairs.”

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We put things in there like a mini spatula and frying pan, a candle and a flame, paper and pens, and other things that “go together.” My mom also added an apron with an FBI badge and a picture of her,  her brother, and my brother’s playing FBI agents when they were younger. She also added an order pad because since my cousin was the girl so she had to be the FBI waitress…awful, right?! Anyways, I loved that something personal like the picture was added into the basket.  I wasn’t able to watch her open the gift though, and if you follow me on Facebook you know why-  because the shower was FOUR FLUCKING hours long and I had E, so we were sitting in the car with her sleeping since she was a hot mess of exhaustion.

I love going to showers for all the obvious reasons- free food and alcoholic beverages.

I kid.

No, but seriously. Food and drinks. And dessert.

Even without the food, drinks, and dessert I love going to showers and hosting them. Hopefully in the next couple months I will be able to host a fun baby shower. I’m sure I’ll have some pictures and tidbits when that time comes too, but probably on my new site. So stick around and maybe we have some more fun in this place.

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I’ve been Boo’d

Not the kind of boo that Miley Cyrus would receive at a Republican National Committee meeting. More like a ghost-type boo.

The other night J and I were enjoying our nightly tv of New Girl, Modern Family, and Bones when all of a sudden our doorbell rang. You bet your ass I was as pissed as a witch in the rain. Who the fluck was ringing our doorbell at 9pm during the week? Our 2 year-old jet lagged daughter had just fallen asleep. J and I ran to that door faster than if our house was on fire. I was about to lay someone OUT.

But all that was at the door was this bucket:
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And then I felt like an a-hole for being mad in the first place.

We were so confused by what this was. I didn’t get it. There was a bucket with candy and some other stuff, but I didn’t know why we were given it or what we were supposed to do with it. After reading the enclosed paper (I’m seriously like a guy when it comes to directions…I never read them and if I do, I never read them through first) I figured out that it was a chain game in the neighborhood.

If you’ve never heard of this game, its called “You’ve been Boo’d.” Basically what happens is that someone in your neighborhood decides to make a Boo basket filled with treats. They drop it off at your house at night (ding and ditch style), and then you are instructed to make two baskets and drop them off at other neighbor’s houses. You are given a little sign that says “I’ve been boo’d” on your door so others know you already got a basket.

I thought this was a great idea. It seems so cute and a great way to get our little neighborhood of under 30 houses to come together as a community, especially with all the HOA crap we’ve been dealing with/fighting about for the past couple of months.

You are supposed to get the basket done in one day but since we live 20-30 minutes from the closest store, I decided to go with what I had. Here is what I included in our boo basket:

If I had more time I would have added more homemade stuff and maybe some seasonal beer. But they put me in a crunch with the time limit. Suckers.

I thought this was a fun game, and I can see it being used for other holidays too or in the workplace. Have you ever done a Boo basket before? What did you include?

I’m working hard on my new blog so hopefully that will be up with the new year. I know, it seems far away but its really not. This next weekend we have a beer festival, a bridal shower, and our first race. Then we have a Halloween party and the Ball. I’m busy people, SO LAY OFF.

Kidding. Please stay with me.

I never thought I’d say this: I miss the commissary

Today was my first day grocery shopping some place other than the commissary. For the past FOUR YEARS I have made a list, searched online for coupons, and planned out my meals according to what was sold/not sold at the commissary. But with the commissaries closed right now, I had to find another place to shop.

Wal-Mart.

J loves Wal-Mart. I’m not kidding you when I say it is by far his favorite store. I, on the other hand, hate it. And love it. Basically I have a high school relationship with this store.

Obviously I love the pricing. Besides the Dollar Store, which I also frequent, it has the best prices on things out side of groceries. They are cheaper than Target *gasp* and they usually have a McDonald’s inside. Winning.

Obviously I hate it because its always crowded, its gigantic, and they don’t have a million cute things to look at like Target. And no Starbucks. Losing.

But, with the commissaries being closed it was my only choice for grocery shopping. I could have gone to a “regular” grocery store but no matter how many coupons I clip I always spend way too much there. It just wasn’t an option for us. I’m cheap, remember?

I knew I had to brace myself.  I stopped at Starbucks (not inside a Target because then I’d be sucked into the web of I NEED ALL THINGS and never leave) and got a nice iced beverage to hold me over. Snacks for the kid were full of sugar and deliciousness. I was armed with my list, coupons, and general attitude of “this is going to blow.”

Guess what?  I was right.

Duh.

It was so stressful. I didn’t know where anything was, everything was so much more expensive, and I was shaking (mostly because of the coffee, but let’s just say it was stress). I ended up walking out of there with $120 less in my *husband’s* pocket. AND THAT WAS ONLY FOR 4 MEALS. For comparison, I usually spend about $80-$90/week at the commissary so I literally felt like someone stabbed me with a shiv made out of a credit card.

I’ll be honest with you here- a few days ago I was thinking, “Eh, no big deal.” For the past 4 years I have been married to my husband, I’ve thought it was kind of silly that state-side military had “special” grocery stores. I thought that with budget cuts, that should be one of the first things to go. Yes, I shopped there every week but mostly because I’m cheap and I’ll shop anywhere if it will save me a few dolla dolla bills ya’ll.

I guess at the end of the day I still don’t think commissaries are totally necessary. I think we’d all survive shopping at Wal-Mart or other grocery stores. But I do understand for those young couples how beneficial they can be, and now I can see with new perspective how drastic the difference in cost can be if you had to shop out in town.

But I miss it. I miss you, commissary. I miss you so damn much.

 

I’m moving.

No, Mom, we didn’t get orders. Stop freaking out on me man.

I’m just moving this blog over to a new blog that I’m in the middle of developing. Its going to be like this but with more…stuff. I’m planning on calling it Mommy Needs a Shot. Catchy, right?

This new blog of mine will have all this awesome stuff like home DIY projects, recipes, baby crap, toddler screams, and preschool chaos. All with a little bit of funny and a hint of military life.

So, basically this is my way of saying I may not be around for awhile. But you should follow me on Facebook because I will be continuing to link other milbloggers as well as share some news from some of my favorite sites. Once my new blog/site is up and running I will jump over here, pack you all up in a box, and drop you like its hot on my new page.

I will be adding some ad space on the new site as well. I’m cheap like Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman so contact me if you’re interested.

I’ll see you all on the flipside!

 

Army Wife Network: Beginning from the Middle

Guise, I’m like totally famous. On Saturday an article of mine went LIVE on an awesome site called Army Wife Network. If you haven’t heard of them you should totally go visit, and like them on Facebook of course.

Army Wife Network - Bartonville, Texas

Click the image above to check them out on Facebook. 

And go take a look at my article- it’s about my journey and my decision to go back to school for nursing. Let me know what you think either here or on the article!

Click here to take a look at my article. 

Remember to check me out on Facebook, too. Each Monday and Friday I will be posting a Milblogger Spotlight so you can read more fantastically awesome stuff from other milbloggers like myself!

Peace out, homies.

Dependasaurus

So the other day I was perusing through Facebook and I came across this article on Military Spouse Magazine. At first I was like, “Heck yea! Way to stomp on those milspouse stereotypes!” But as she continued though the article, a few things struck me: 1. That the author, Erin Whitehead, didn’t think those stereotypes should exist at all; 2. That a spouse’s general character and appearance doesn’t affect the service member; and 3. The term “dependasaurus.”

Now, I may be the minority here but I think stereotypes exist for a reason: enough people in a given population exhibit particular characteristics that allow others to generalize certain things about that group. In fact, Military Spouse Magazine posted this article today in response to the original article saying that “rip the Band-Aid of [those] stereotypes the hell off.” I don’t actually agree with this. There are certain milspouses, both men and women, who do exhibit these stereotypes. THAT’S WHY THEY EXIST. So I don’t think the problem is the stereotype itself. Obviously enough people have exhibited these traits that those outside (and inside) the milspouse community are able to say, “ALL military spouses are: fat, lazy, unmotivated, marry for the money, pop out a million kids….you fill in the blank. I think the problem is that we, as a milspouse community, are giving people reason to stereotype us in the first place.

Now, I’m not saying that we need to wake up with our hair done, makeup perfect, and in a dress and heels. I’m not saying we should have 2.5 kids each, work outside the home, workout every day, and handle everything perfectly when our husband steps on that plane or ship to leave us for months at a time. I’m not saying that every milspouse everywhere has to change her life to be the perfect image of a “wife,” whatever that may be, to battle those outsiders (or insiders) who think we are a bunch of freeloaders throwing Thirty-One parties and drinking wine on our husband’s dime while our kids are at the base CDC. No, no, and no.

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Image courtesy of sodahead.com

I do, however, believe that as a milspouse, you do incur certain responsibilities that spouses of accountants or marketing project managers or whatever don’t have to deal with. Yes, you are a representation of your service member spouse. Maybe it’s because we do so many “regular” things on base, like grocery shopping and LIVING that our spouses are always “at work.” And/or maybe it’s because so much of the military career is focused on the family in that each command is asked to take a personal interest in their service member’s family issues. I mean, seriously, what other job out there does the boss “counsel” you if you are having issues in your home? In what other career does your spouse’s boss get a report on his desk if the police are called to your home? So no, I don’t agree with Ms. Whitehead that our appearance doesn’t reflect on our husbands.

But before you go all Nancy Kerrigan on me, understand this- I’m not talking about physical appearance like weight as in the article. I’m talking about showing up to a unit function in sweatpants looking like you just rolled out of bed. Hey, we all have bad days, I get it. Ive gone to the commissary looking like sh*t because my daughter didn’t sleep and my husband is deployed. Or just because I didn’t feel like getting myself together. But when you show up to something like a family day or pre-deployment brief looking like you don’t care and cussing a storm at your kids, the command is going to look at that as a reflection of your husband. Again, I’m not saying you need to dress to the damn nines, but put on some jeans for goodness sake.

Now, I’ve been a milspouse for about 5 years. My SIL has been a milspouse for ten years. I have met countless other milspouses over this time. Some have kids, some don’t. Some work outside the home, some work from home (I count stay-at-home parents in this category!), some don’t work. Some are officer spouses, some are enlisted. Some workout every day, some don’t work out ever. Some eat all organic, some eat out all the time. Some become extra motivated when their husbands are deployed, some just want to sit and do nothing until he comes home. Every.single.spouse I have met is different than the next one. Her life (I’ve never met a male milspouse) is complicated, fun, scary, and amazing. But I know every single one of them like they are my sisters because I am one of them.

But this…this boiled my nerves.

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Image courtesy (I don’t think that’s quite the right word) of Marine Wife Burn Book Guide: How Not to Be a Dependasaurus. There is seriously a Facebook page for this crap?

I heard the term “Dependasaurus” for the first time in Ms. Whitehead’s article. According to urbandictionary.com, a dependasaurus is defined as:

A gossipy, loud mouthed, jobless woman who is a dependent of her unhappily married husband. They often target unsuspecting military members to be their paycheck, I mean husband. Once they have married them, they immediatly take credit for all things that their spouse has accomplished. “We’ve been in the military for blank years..”, “We’ll be promoted next month”, “We’ve been to Iraq twice.” They enjoy driving their minivans or company car around with their husband’s position title on the windshield because they command the same respect that their husbands get. You can find them congregrated at Pampered Chef parties, where they feed off the hostess, I mean food that the hostess prepares.. The Dependasaurus is much like a cackling hen, always sitting on their ever growing ass, talking about anyone and everyones business, while their husband stays late at work so he doesn’t have to come home to another McDinner nite, cuz the wife he bought 5 years earlier has morphed into a waste of carbon who’s let herself go, doesn’t do anything but spend his money, neglect his kids, sit on her ass all day and uses the common excuse of not knowing how to cook to avoid making some kind of nutritious meal for the family. Dependasauruses come in all shapes, colors, and sizes, the majority of them are large beasts, however a growing number of them are starting out smaller. No matter how small they are before they get married, this is just a clever ploy to attract dumb shallow men, and Dependasauruses always quickly return to their natural form of unattractiveness and selfishness. Key identification features of the Dependasaurus include: gold necklace with their name in Arabic with a cotton t-shirts paired with jean shorts a Coach purse and a blue tooth or cell phone attached to their ear, 5 starving children clothed in rags from Ross or any other thrift store trailing behind her, they have an inability of controlling the volume of their voice when talking about money or medical issues so that Us little people can hear them. Dependasauruses usually travel in large packs, I mean clicks of other Dependasauruses.

Seriously? We, military spouses, came up with a term like this FOR EACH OTHER? Excuse my language (or don’t) but what the hell is that bullshit? Dudes, I get it- there are women out there that marry for the benefits, that go all limp when their husbands leave, that wear their husband’s rank, or that commit adultery. But I wouldn’t call that person a “dependasaurus” or as one of my readers recently heard it “a dependaho.” No, I’d just call that A SHITTY PERSON.

I know that these types spouses exist, because they exist everywhere and not just in the military. But contrary to (apparently) popular belief, most milspouses are highly motivated and driven women who not only love their husbands and children (all 5 of them hanging off the cart, obvi) but they also love their country enough to have a polygamist marriage with *enter branch here.*

But like I said, I know stereotypes exist for a reason. But as a community, why are we pointing fingers at those few, and yes I mean few, spouses that make us all look bad? Why are we giving a name to that group? All it does is bring attention to those bad apples in our classic American apple pie and promotes the stereotypes that we all loathe. Seriously, cover that crap up with whipped cream and get over it. Those dependasauruses aren’t worth the name you give to them.

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Image courtesy of Google Images

And let’s try to remember that maybe, justttt maybe, that chick you see walking though the PX in her husband’s pt gear with her screaming toddler in the cart and crying baby on her hip isn’t a dependasuarus. Maybe her kids are crying because she won’t give them that toy and she’s actually sticking to her guns instead if giving in. Maybe she was on the phone all night with her husband’s command because he is being transported to Germany, then Walter Reed “if all goes ok.” Maybe she’s just had a flipping bad day. So instead of judging her, be a REAL milspouse and buy her a damn coffee. Or tell her you’ve been there. Or just give her a smile of encouragement. Because every person has a life you know nothing about, but as a fellow milspouse, you’ve probably been in her shoes a time or two. So be kind, and knock it off with this dependasuarus crap.

Hanes, stop showing me vaginas. Also, a revamp.

I don’t know if the commercial is THAT popular because the only commercials I ever see are for cleaning products and ABCmouse.com in between Dora episodes, but during J and mine’s “date weekend” I saw it like 15 times.

Take a looksie:

Seriously, all I could think about is, “Wow, they are getting really close to those girl’s vaginas.” And also, “How do they keep their bikini lines so smooth?” I really didn’t need to see all that in between Varsity Blues and Real Housewives of Orange County.

On another entirely different note, I’m revamping this bloggity-blog. Since I have started my home-based business, which is a homeschool preschool, I will be focusing on some of the activities we are doing here at “school.” I will be posting my ideas, lesson plans, and the healthy snack I will be making here for the kids.

I will still be talking about all things military related though. And fertility stuff. Or lack of fertility. And I’ll still be funny. Hopefully.

Here are some of the other things we will be talking about in the near future:

  • Every Friday and Monday I will be sharing the fan pages of some of my other favorite military bloggers. Check them out and “like” them on Facebook. If I like them, that means they are pretty cool. Obvi.
  • I have some feature articles coming up from other sites on current military issues. So stay tuned for those.
  • I will be adding some space for advertising as well as redoing the look of my blog. So if you’re interested in advertising (I’m cheap like Lindsey Lohan), contact me!

Sorry this is so short and jumbled but we’ve got alot going on lately and I feel like I barely have 10 minutes to sit down and write a comprehensive thought.

Anyways, stick around and tell your friends to come check me out. We have fun here.

Rule #1 of Homeownership: Don’t let the toddler near the paint.

In case you weren’t aware, trying to paint a room with a toddler around is not a good idea. But little old me thought, “Psh, no big deal. I’m just spot painting. I’ll be done in two seconds. Here, I’ll put the paint on top of her dresser and she’ll never reach it.”

Then I hear, “AHHHHH, MOMMMMMMYYYYY! PAINT!”

Sure enough, half a pint of purple paint was all over E and our carpet. Thankfully, most of it landed on the carpet and not all over her face. Poor thing was so upset that she made a mess, and for three days after the “Paint Incident of 2013,” she was still saying, “Paint. Messy.” Yes, E, very messy.

So I bet you’re wondering what we did to clean it up. Well, first we had to soak up all the paint. That was fun. If you’ve ever washed a paint roller you know how much paint can soak into fabric like that. Then we used hot water and blue Dawn soap (that sh*t cleans everything) to get up the majority of the paint. THEN we used hot water and Oxi-Clean. The stain was still visible. Oxi-Clean is supposed to get the tough stains out! WTH.

Paint 2After all the paint was initially cleaned up. This picture is blurry so its alot worse than it looks!

Then we decided we needed to try something else, so off to Wal-Mart J went. He came back with this product called Krud Kutter, and guess what? IT WORKED. Case in point below:

Paint 1At least its more…pink now. Now that its totally dry you barely see it. I hope.

Or maybe my eyes are just shielding me from what I don’t want to see. 

Ok, so its still not perfect but it’s a hell of a lot better than when we started. I’m still going to be putting some sort of accent rug in front of her dresser to cover it, and one day we will have to replace the carpet but as the saying goes- fake it ‘til you make it.

We have been slowly getting more and more of the house done. Most of the major projects are done (like the driveway…finally!!!) and now we are just getting some odds and ends to help make the house more “ours.” I have some great ideas for our laundry room and guest bathroom, but some of those things will have to wait for a little bit.

063This white edging is all along the entire driveway. J dug every centimeter and placed every piece of black edging along the sides, along with all the white decor rocks. It was a pain in the a** (so he says) but it look amazing. Great job babe!

One of my favorite rooms in the house so far is our mudroom. When we moved in, the space was just one giant walk-in closet. It had a bunch of open shelves and it was super messy looking. I hated it and I knew we had to change it somehow.

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 Before. Total chaos and mess. Like I need more of that in my life.

I wanted the mudroom to be functional yet really cute to look at when you walked in. It sits right outside our kitchen and goes into the garage, so it’s used a lot since we park in the garage for the most part. Or I do because J’s truck is ginormous.

First I had J take down all the shelves on one wall, and then all the shelves but the top two on the other wall. I decided on a light blue color for the walls because to me it gives a happy, clean feeling when you first walk in. We kept the white lining from the shelves along the entire room for two reasons: 1. We thought it give it a unique, nautical look and 2. We wanted to give new homeowners (if we ever sell) the option to put the shelves back up- they are stored in our basement right now.

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Shelves gone!

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Let the painting begin! We first had to sand and touch up with putty any

damage done when taking down the shelves. Blah.

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Painting complete!

Once the painting was all done I had to decide how I wanted to organize it. I knew I needed a place to keep my vacuums and cleaning supplies but I didn’t want them just sitting out, so we got a organization cabinet from Lowe’s to keep everything in the room but hidden. I also wanted a place for E’s diapers so I got a two-tier wicker laundry basket from World Market. Obviously, the mudroom also needed a shoe bench, so I got one from Target that had a matching tan pad on the top. E is eventually going to go to school, so I added some hooks to the wall at “kid height” for her backpack and coats.

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Lowe’s cabinet and World Market wicker basket

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Mudroom complete!

All in all, the project cost about $335. Here is the price breakdown:

  • Lowe’s cabinet: $200
  • World Market laundry basket: $40
  • Target three-tier organization: $15
  • Target shoe bench: $60
  • Paint (Wal-Mart): $20

I seriously love this room. J does too because it was our first “together” project in the house. It took a few days to do the gutting and painting, and then a few more to figure out how I wanted to decorate it and get everything built and organized, but now I’m really happy with it!

In the next couple of weeks we should have our office, dining room, and family room complete. Once all rooms are totally done I will post before and after pictures. Stay tuned for next week’s post about the best places to buy furniture online while getting CASH BACK for each purchase. Seriously. We’ve made almost $200 back!

Also, check out this week’s meal plan. There is a new pasta I tried from a friend that is delish!

PCS = Piece of Cake…and Stuff

Its been about a month and a half since we left our last duty station. THAT’S IT. I feel like it was forever ago, so mayhaps that’s why I feel like packing, moving, organizing, driving across country, and unpacking was so easy. Its like having a baby- after a while you forget how much the pregnancy and the beginning stages of that new little life SUCKED, so then you have another baby and then you’re like, “Oh yea, THIS SUCKS.” So right now I’m thinking PCSing was easy, but I know the next time we PCS I’m going to be cursing like a sailor on the USS PCS Blows.

Given this was my first “real” PCS- where they come and pack up your stuff, move your stuff, and then put it all in the new place- I learned some things. Maybe to those more “seasoned” spouses you’re like, “What a newb…” but that’s ok because maybe the things I learned will help some of the other spouses out there getting ready to move.  Below are listed some things that I found useful as I look back on our PCS experience. These aren’t your typical “watch your movers and record what they damage/lose” but rather things that you kind of find out just from experience.

  • Get to know your movers-  I don’t mean take them out on a date first, but learn their names and talk to them for a few minutes. They will be more careful with your stuff and more likely to help you out when you need it.
  • FEED THEM- I think this is one of the biggest things for anyone who comes to do a long-term (a whole 8 hours or days/weeks project at your house). People get cranky when they’re hungry so offer to get the guys some lunch and have some drinks and snacks ready. It doesn’t have to be anything big or expensive- Walmart sells 2 liters for a $1 each, and a pack of cookies for $2 from their bakery. Get some pizzas for lunch and you’re all set for both the movers and yourself to eat something during the long day.
  • Organize before they arrive- Get things placed together that you want to go in the same boxes. Talk to the movers and let them know that you piled things specifically to go together. They will be really grateful for any extra help they can get if you’ve already done some of the “packing” for them. And if you’ve talked to them and fed them, chances are they will help you out.
  • Color code for the unpackers- I actually learned this tip from a friend who is getting ready to PCS, and she found it on USMClife.com. Color code your boxes  according to room after the packers have packed but before they load everything onto the truck. Colored tape seems like the best option because its bright and easy to spot. When you and your stuff get to your location, you can let the unpackers know which room is which color. You can even add a little piece of tape to the entryway of each room so they can easily find it. Be sure whoever organizes the house (usually the wife- let’s be honest here) does this because there is nothing more annoying than to find out that your husband told the unpackers to put any “linen” boxes in the downstairs living room and then you have to move everything upstairs after they leave….just sayin’
  • Set apart a room for non-packed items- You usually hear this through the grapevine, but whatever items you are taking with you- whether it be paper work (TAKE YOUR IMPORTANT DOCUMENTS INCLUDING BIRTH CERTIFICATES, PASSPORTS, AND ORDERS WITH YOU!!!!!!!!!) or luggage, set it in a closet or emptied room before the movers get there and let them know the room is not to be packed. Even put a little sign up on the door if you can.
  • Pre-package and soaps or liquids- Now, most moving companies will tell you they won’t take any soaps, liquids, etc. BUT I pre-packaged everything I had that was liquid, whether it be cooking oils or shampoo by taping the top shut, wrapping it in bubble wrap, and then putting them in plastic bags, and the movers actually took them that way, probably because they didn’t have to do as much work to pack it. This might not work for you, but its worth a try if its important enough.
  • Hanging clothes don’t travel well- Anything that is hung up in a closet goes into a wardrobe box where it is literally just hung back up on a metal rod in a standing box. What usually happens is that through the travel, all those clothes fall off the hangers and end up on the bottom of the box. So then you have dirty clothes that you have to not only rehang, but also wash first on top of unpacking everything else in the house. To prevent this from happening, place your hanging items in trash bags like the picture below, and when you unpack you will have clean clothes still on the hangers! I did this and it WORKS. All I had to do was grab the bagged clothes, hang them up, and take the bags off. It literally took me 15 minutes to do our whole closet.

Image courtesy of The Wicker House

  • Wrap it up- The worst part of unpacking “loose items” is just that- they end up everywhere inside the box and it takes forever to reorganize. So anything that is loose- like silverware, cooking utensils, and your junk drawer items- pack into Ziploc bags. It will save you a ton of headache on the otherside.
  • Don’t leave a screw lose- If you have particular wall fasteners (like for curtains), screws, picture hangers, etc that belong with certain items, put them in a baggie and tape them to the item they go with. Otherwise you will never EVER find them.

Of course, make sure you do the typical things like video tape or take pictures of all your items to be sure that if anything gets damaged you have proof that they weren’t like that when they were packed. Watch your movers closely and don’t be shy to ask them to do things a certain way- ITS YOUR STUFF.

I have pinned quite a few blog articles on Pinterest that have some other moving and PCS tips, so click on the Pinterest button on the right to follow me and look under the board  titled “MilSpouse” for more moving tricks.

Do you have any PCS/moving tips? If so, leave a comment below! All of us military spouses stick together so help a sista out and give me some more inside scoop.

If you need some tips about traveling with kids in the car, or just in general, check out my board on Pinterest labeled “Traveling. With Kids.” Most of the tips/games are for toddlers because, well, that’s what I have. Plus, the older ones just watch movies so they’re easy and if you have a baby….well, good luck because you are at the mercy of your offspring. If you need some tips on flying with a toddler, click here. Baby? Click here.

Be sure to check out my meal plans from last week and this coming week (it will be up Wednesday!). If you have any recipes you’d like to share, leave a comment on the page or email me at barefootandboots at gmail dot com.

Peace out homeslice.

WE BOUGHT A ZOO!

Ok no, we didn’t buy a zoo. But I think of that movie every time I tell someone we just bought a house. And sometimes it feels like a zoo here. Things are crazy and chaotic, and out of the ONE MONTH we have been here we have spent exactly ONE WHOLE DAY in the house without leaving once to go to some store or run some errand. Oh, and there are animals. Lots of animals. Deer, turtles, beavers, rabbits, snakes, spiders, squirrels, and CICADAS. Those freaking things are so loud that there is a constant humming all day. But you don’t really notice it after awhile so its ok.

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TURTLE!

In all serious honesty, that’s why I haven’t been here to post at, like, all. I have barely had time to check Facebook. I have missed writing though, so while my husband is busting his tail making a cabinet for me, I am sitting here on my new recliner typing away. Plus, I want to brag about our new house.

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Here’s a little backstory to get you started: We are now living on the East Coast. We live in what some might call “the boonies.” It’s six miles to the closest gas station and/or grocery store, we have a constant buzz of cicadas outside our door, and we have well water, a septic system, and NO INTERNET. That’s right people. Even Verizon was like, “Uh, we can’t get a line out that way so you have to get a mobile hotspot.” Thank God on high for technology because this house may have gone right back up on the market if there was no internet here. Just kidding. No, but seriously.

Anyways, we sit atop 4.4 acres of land, some woods and lots to mow. So we now have a riding lawn mower. And so does everyone else in our neighborhood. In fact, its so country out here that the other day while J and I were refinishing our rocking chairs (kind of country), our neighbor drove by on her John Deere pulling her daughter in a trailer behind it (super country). Yep, boonies. And we love it.

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Of course with a new house comes a learning process for all things inside of it and outside of it. We had to figure out phones and internet because nothing works out here (5+ hours at Verizon and we finally got it worked out). We had to learn how our water system worked and how to get that gross egg smell out of our well-water. We had to learn where the best place to put things was going to be and what our new routine was going to be. But most importantly, we had to decorate.

Ok, so maybe that is what is most important to me. And perhaps you’re sitting there thinking, “Oh wow, decorating a new house must be so much fun! Lucky her!” WRONG. Wrong wrong wrong. If you’re a MilSpouse and you’re thinking that then you’ve been at your current duty station way too long, so pull out your moving boxes sister. Heck, on the drive across country I was thinking about how much fun it would be shopping and picking out new stuff. But its not. Its stressful and frustrating and flipping expensive. Those first days after our stuff was all unpacked I was so worked up about where to put what, what colors to use in each room, and how much it would all cost that it was keeping me up at night. Its all I thought about and I wanted to get it done NOW. 

All in all, the first few weeks sucked. More for J than for me because the grass was about waist high and he had to cut it all. It literally took him a week straight just to get the yard somewhat maintained. He got bitten by so many bugs his whole body looked swollen. It was hot, sticky, humid, and gross out. He did this all while having deck builders at our house for two weeks and with us running around from every store in the state trying to find the items we needed whether it be for the yard or for the inside of the house.

We are finally getting to the point in our house-setting-up process where its starting to slow down. We have completed most of our big outdoor projects (see pics below! Yay!) and we have decided on how we are going to decorate the inside of the house. We are just about done with our first major indoor project- the mudroom- and we have started planning out the ones which are the laundry room and the office.

I have put some pictures below of our before and after of the projects we have done so far. I will be posting pictures as the projects come along. For now, here are some pictures from our road-trip as promised.

Road-Trip Across Country. Sans Baby = Awesome

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Moving day. So sad.

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This is really how E got across country. 

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First stop- Utah! Maybe. I don’t remember.

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Colorado was flipping cold. Good thing I was prepared with the proper footwear. P looks pretty regal though.

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Visiting family in Oklahoma!

That’s the last of the roadtrip pictures because after Oklahoma we just booked it back to my parents house to get back to E. Not that it mattered to her; she didn’t even know we were gone!

HOUSE PROJECTS

Deck Project

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Before. No deck. Boo.

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New deck! YAY!

Front Yard Maintanence

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Notice the overgrown grass, huge leaning trees, and unkempt bushes. Gross!

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Trees gone, grass cut, hedges trimmed!

Soon to come- our new driveway and indoor projects! That is if my child ever takes a decent nap. I will also be talking about tips for moving out, moving in, and getting DIY projects done with kid(s) in tow.

PS- Be sure to check out my weekly meal plans….they’re back! WITH NOTES. You’re welcome.