Friday, June 28, 2013

Dentist Office Shenanigans

Some of you may have seen a few pictures posted to Instagram yesterday by my wonderful child. I had a cavity filled at the dentist and took my youngest along because I felt he would benefit most from adult supervision. I had given him my phone to play games with. And you can see how that worked out! This is what he posted...

I apologize for not posting a picture of my new water bottle sooner.
I really didn't think it was very important you all saw it.
Thanks for posting, Derrick!

Not really sure what show we are watching.
Gotta love the hygienists and assistants who hook your kid up.

My favorite. 
It reminds me that I need a password on my phone
or start signing off Instagram.
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Thursday, June 27, 2013

Tips for Seeking Post-Military Employment {Guest Post}

Today I am opening up the blog to Emma, from Smile As It Happens, to share her expertise in career matters. This topic hits close to home as I have been more actively seeking employment in recent weeks and hitting a few roadblocks along the way. The challenges of being a separated military member or military spouse are very real when it comes to job searching. I hope you will find Emma's answers to some frequently asked questions helpful. For more career and life coaching tips, visit
or follow along on Twitter: @theEmmaBanks 


Veteran Preference & How to Get a Great Job After the Military

You might think that because you've been in the military, you won't be able to make an easy transition from a very structured lifestyle into the civilian way of life. Finding a job can be stressful for anyone, let alone someone who has spent significant time engaged in military operations. The thing to remember is that all of the skills you learned in the military can be applied to civilian jobs. You'll be able to find your dream job if you ignore the myths that get perpetuated. I'm here to identify four of these myths and the truths that combat them. By knowing the truth, you can find a great job more easily than you think.

Myth #1: Businesses don't really care about job applicants.
Truth: Companies know that in order to be successful, they need good employees. You get good employees by offering attractive incentives, paying decent wages and providing for their well-being. Many employers now offer daycare, telecommute opportunities and bonuses. To make applying easier, some companies have partnered with platforms like JIBE, a mobile recruiting company that allows you to upload applications and supporting documents directly from your mobile device. Most major employers have jumped on board the bandwagon to ensure that their employees stay happy.

Myth #2: I will be on my own when I try to make the transition from the military to a civilian job.
Truth: In reality, there are many options and resources available to you as a veteran, and some programs even help spouses of veterans find civilian employment. Organizations like Hire Heroes USA provide networking training, marketing advice and job assistance to thousands of veterans. They also host job fairs and workshops designed to enhance your skills. Managed by former veterans, this organization knows what it's like to make this transition and can help you and your family to get the most out of the process.

Myth #3: I will have to settle for a lower salary because of the bad economy.
Truth: The economy is actually improving in many areas, but even if it remained poor you can still expect competitive wages from many top employers. One closely related myth is that you should always low-ball your salary expectations to attract employers. This actually has the opposite effect: Employers won't take you seriously if you give them a ridiculously low salary expectation. Respect yourself enough to hold out for a decent salary. You'll be glad you did in the long run.

Myth #4: Employers only want people with consistent records, and my active duty status will prevent me from getting a good job.
Truth: There are actually federal regulations in place to prevent employers from discriminating against active duty status, and an employer is not allowed to hold past active duty status against you. In fact, some companies actually give preference to veterans, particularly those who served during certain conflicts and time periods. Rest assured that while employers do value consistent employees, your military service will actually help you rather than hurt you in this respect.
 Emma is a mid 20-something year old with a passion for life, love, fitness, and helping others. She loves to be active and get involved in as many sport and community activities as possible. Emma is currently studying to become a Career & Life Coach, and loves to network with people from around the world! Check out Emma’s blog at

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Wednesday, June 26, 2013

I've Got A Teenager!

Today my oldest is celebrating her first day as a teenager.
I know this is an exciting day for her. She is officially not a kid anymore.
Birthdays always make me a little nostalgic and I can't write a birthday post 
without getting a little weepy.

Just a couple days ago she was washing dishes with a big ol' smile on her face.
I, this teenager thing won't be so bad.
The next night she walked out of the restaurant because I was going to post 
an "unacceptable" photo of her on Instagram.
That is when I saw the teenager.

Despite the anticipated roller coaster teenage-dom often brings, 
I can't help but feel excited for her. 
The next 6 years as a teenager are going to be full of fun and adventures.
She is going to gain her independence. She is going to become an adult.
As much as I love that for her, it also makes me sad.
Slowly I am going to have to start handing over the reins and 
trust the story she is writing is the right one for her. 

I know there will be days when she is a little too much to handle
and I probably want to lock the front door...when she isn't home.
I'm guessing there is going to be a heartbreak thrown in there.
Some BFF drama. Maybe a trip to the principal's office or God-forbid police station.
There will probably be a speeding ticket, a lot of requests for money, 
and heated debates about clothing or lack there of.
And with all my might there will be a day we pull away from that college campus and 
pray to God every thing we tried to teach her sunk in.

Yep, tears are coming down now.

I am anticipating the cool things too.
I look forward to the day she wants to go clothes shopping.
When she goes through my closet and tells me what clothes to ditch
because they make me look "old".
I can't wait for Spa Days, Prom dress shopping, and filling out college applications.
I can't wait until she freaks me out with some crazy thing she wants to do--
like white water rafting or bungee jumping or piercing her nose.

Cause secretly I'm going to be like "You Go Girl!"


Kyli- I know you don't read this blog. But one day, somehow you will read this post. I just want you to know today is the first day of a pretty sweet ride. I have a few bits of advice--you know, speaking from experience-- Hey hey don't roll your eyes! The number one must do: Enjoy ItDon't ever take these next 6 years too seriously. Make some really great girlfriends who like to have good old fashion fun. Date boys but don't marry one. Use your God-given gift of intelligence. He gave it to you for a reason. Use it, baby. And don't ever stop working toward your goal until you reach it! What ever it may be. 

Happy Birthday!
I love you!

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Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Summer Eats

My favorite excuse during summer is, "It's too hot to cook". Most days the heat makes it hard to turn on the stovetop or oven. I've compiled some great Pinterest finds to minimize the heat in the kitchen and still give you some great dinners!

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More Pinterest Posts...
Home Adventures
5 Awesome Bake Sale Goodies

Linking Up: Oh How Pinteresting

Monday, June 24, 2013

His Promotion

Do you know what they call a Gunnery Sergeant Select?

A Staff Sergeant.
Apparently, it is a funny joke among Marines, especially Staff Sergeants who just found out they will be promoted in the next month or two. Which just happens to be the case for my husband.

Woohoo! The husband finally got promoted to Gunnery Sergeant. It's a long time coming for him. I know 8 years of waiting has created a lot of frustration. The most frustrating thing is he hasn't even been considered for promotion until this year. The first 6 years of his military career he went from Private to Staff Sergeant. Then everything halted in his MOS (military occupation speciality) and started moving at a snail's pace. A lot is happening in the military and some of us old timers are seeing some new policies played out. Some are negatively impacting our peers and it's hard to stomach. At this point, re-enlistment and promotion are worthy of celebration! And celebrate we will. There are traditions to uphold and every Staff NCO promotion means a "wet down". Otherwise known as a party. But we have to wait until he is a Gunny for that. And you better believe it will be blog worthy!

I want to take a minute to explain more of this promotion stuff for my readers without military affiliation. Military promotion is done a little differently than in the civilian workforce. Generally speaking, military members are promoted based on time in rank than personal merit. Therefore, a great staff sergeant who has only been a staff sergeant for a a year will not be considered for promotion against a mediocre staff sergeant with three years in the rank. The new stellar staff sergeant has to be meritoriously promoted or wait until he is "in the zone". I am not a military person and I don't claim to know if this system is a good one. But compared to a civilian job, I believe it is dysfunctional and promotes complacency. The military system doesn't encourage anyone to be amazing because most of the time amazing won't be rewarded.
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Sunday, June 23, 2013

Ride Our Bikes To The Store

One of my favorite memories from childhood was riding my bike to the store. A dollar or two in my pocket and a plethora of choices in the candy aisle. Nothing could be better. These are the memories our kids will never have. We have found ourselves kind of stuck in city life. Not that Camp Pendleton is the city but it is a very big military base. It's almost two miles to the store. Lots of busy roads and traffic. The only way to give my kids the experience was to ride along with them. I added Ride Our Bikes To The Store on our Summer Bucket List. This week we managed to cross it off. Our first thing we crossed off the summer list.

This picture is much like the victory pose. We made it! 
It's a long uphill road to the store.

I gave all the kids a certain dollar amount to spend.
Not sure why but they all chose Icees.

Whatever makes them happy.
It's all about letting them be the decision makers.
I just sat back and dreaded the bike ride home. 
I can guarantee there will not be another bike ride to the store.
I'm getting too old for this!

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Thursday, June 20, 2013

The 'Not Happening' Home Model

This is my last home model I'm sharing with you. I promise!!! I hope you've enjoyed taking these tours together. All of your comments have made these post more entertaining. I love to go back and take notice of the things you've pointed out. I truly believe I have the best readers. You all make it so much fun to blog!

The "What's-This-Room-For-Mom" room.

You know the space at the top of your stairs.
The one you don't know whether to make a lounge area or a 5th bedroom?
Yeah, me neither.

Master closet.
Literally...the size of my child's bedroom.


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Wednesday, June 19, 2013

I Know That Was You


Do you ever have these moments? I've had quite a few the past two weeks.
My latest was yesterday when the realtor called.
The appraisal came back. And get this...the house appraised for more than the listing price.

Remember how I said that never happens with VA loan? 
Honestly, my neighbor was here on Monday and their VA home appraisal came in almost $20000 under asking price. Which had us even more worried ours would come back low.

Thankfully, it wasn't our story and when the realtor said 'more than the asking price' 
I just looked up and smiled. 
What a cool cool God!


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Home Adventures

I haven't mentioned much about the offer on the house. I might be a little superstitious thinking I could jinx us. We are in escrow and everything has been going along quite smoothly. I'm rather impressed with how on top of things people are. I would not change any person in this equation yet. Ok, maybe the appraiser. He is kind of slow. Otherwise, everyone is great.

The appraiser is key for us because we are going VA. We have heard VA appraisals can be lower than others which means we would be at the mercy of the seller. Given this is a seller's market, he could walk away and sell above value to an investor. It's in the back of my mind that he might consider it. He would be a fool not too. However, the rumor is the seller wants the house to go to a family not an investor. I really hope it is true.

Going through this process has really brought out the decorator in me. I can't help but get caught up in the daydreaming of paint colors and wall decor and new furniture arrangements. I've never really been one to be concerned with home decor so it's a big change. I've gone a little crazy with my Pinterest board 'Home Adventures' this week.  Here are some of my recent pins.

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Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Summer Break Shenanigans

Gotta love a husband who reminds you at 10:30pm the blog needs a new post.  
My reply, " I don't really have anything to say." 
But then again, do most bloggers really have anything to say? 
In all honesty, I do have lots to say. 
I just don't know how to organize it in a way that won't be rambling.

Maybe we can just start with phone pics. I'm really good at taking photos. Ok, not the photo itself but actually taking photos. I take lots and lots.
Sometimes, I will find a picture or two the kids have taken. 
Mom's phone = fair game in this house. Which I will never understand but whatever. 
It's kind of fun to find their random pictures.  

What do you think?
Pile of toys or great hiding place?!?
Yep, there's a kid in there.

On Saturday we went to a 1st Birthday party. 
Oh how times have changed in the world of birthdays!
Thank you Pinterest.
Check out this cake! I'm still in awe. Momma did good.

We have this thing in our house where the person we are celebrating gets to choose the day's activities.
Father's Day was Sunday which means husband gets to pick.
And everybody in this house knows we stay home when he picks.
Apparently, it's called relaxing.

Although, he did take the kids to the Mud Run course and they ran a small part of the obstacle.
Shh...don't tell. I'm sure someone would have a fit.
The small part entailed a big muddy pit (of course).
My wash machine loved it!

Now we start our first week of summer break.
Which typically means appointments in our house. We have a week of dentist, doctor, and hair appointments to get through before the fun starts. 
Yes, its safe to say I've been putting some things off. 


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