Friday, March 27, 2015

Military 'Entitlement'

Yay! I found something non-baby related that inspired me! I started this blog to remind myself that 'Perception Is Everything' no matter what we go through during our military life, and this is the perfect example of just how important that is. This post may be geared towards the military, but I think you may find that it can translate based on the entitled society that seems to be taking over these days. Unfortunately, entitlement is a problem much larger than this particular article, but that's a topic for a different day.

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Someone posted this article on Facebook knowing that it would incite a wildfire among military families, but it did the opposite for me and I think I'm the only one that agrees with it. As the title states, I do think that {some} military families need to reevaluate their sense of entitlement, and this Carl fella made some good points. As I discuss these points, remember that none of you lovely bloggers fall into the entitled category. You are all the most amazing military spouses that I have come across, and I think you can agree that there is a difference between appreciating community support and demanding it.

Point #1: Civilians don't 'owe' service members anything. Sure, a 'Thank you for your service' goes a long way with the soldiers, but Will would never even expect that and half the time we forget to ask for the discounts available to us. He receives a paycheck and some pretty okay benefits, and that covers what we are 'owed' by this country. On top of that, I don't know many jobs that foot the bill for things like career training and flight school. The flight school alone would cost us beaucoup bucks out of our own pockets if he trained in the civilian world, and he's also had countless other training and schools in the last five years. That adds up to a lot of extra compensation the way I see it, and for that we are thankful.

Point # 2: 'Toughest job in the Army/Navy/Air Force/Marine' stickers aren't cool. I would NEVER think that my military...er...situation is harder than Will deploying, training, or going through flight school, so the thought of displaying one of those stickers makes me cringe. Plus, as Carl stated: Are there sacrifices involved in a military lifestyle? "Yes. But especially when that military family chooses to re-up for another tour, they are like the hunter going after the bear the second time. They have voluntarily chosen that life with full knowledge of what they are getting into and decided that the pros outweigh the cons." I hadn't ever thought of it that way, but it's funny how many families you see that have re-enlisted, and yet still have the same complaints. The only reason I can think that people would do that is if they are the type to complain about any situation they are in.

Point #3: Military families complaining about not making ends meet are causing their own financial hardship. It's public knowledge that the soldiers receive a decent wage when you include BAH, BAS, Benefits, etc., and that wage even goes up during deployments. You can't put a price on being separated and the soldiers being in harm's way, but the military isn't the only career field that has a dangerous environment. Barring that, if a family, any family, can't live off one salary then I suggest the spouse goes and gets a job. I managed to find jobs each time we moved, worked until we could save up enough money to have a decent savings and investment money, and we also learned to live within our means. WE control our financial situation instead of complaining about what the military pays or demanding support from others. "The hard, unpleasant truth is that many of the problems some military families have are at least somewhat self-induced- by having kids too young."

I think the main point that is lost in the article while he brings up such hot button issues, is that we shouldn't be looking to civilians or communities for our 'entitlements'. The government signs up soldiers at such a young age that they need to be mentoring and preparing these soldiers for the deployments and hardships to come. Getting married and starting a family right before you deploy is romantic in the movies, but in real life love {and/or lust} is not enough to carry a family through without proper strategy.


I'm a firm believer that it's not what you say, but how you say it. Should this Carl character have had a better, more compassionate approach to this topic? Of course. But he wanted a reaction and he got it. With my opinions, I hope to show that if you want more, go out and get it. If you don't have enough 'support', go out and find it. There are jobs out there, and there is more support within the military community than any other community I've ever seen. Be grateful for what you have, and if it's not enough...what are you going to do about it?


Wednesday, March 25, 2015

New Me Is We

I finally got around to entering my volunteer hours from the last ten months, and hot damn...now I realize why I was getting volunteer awards. I logged 278 HOURS, and that was me underestimating. Yeesh. No wonder I have been driving myself bonkers trying to get everything done. It has been an amazing learning experience, but I'm happy I will have a sweet little itty bitty excuse to NOT take a position next year. I actually made Will pinky promise me that he wouldn't let me join the board again because I don't trust myself. I will be happy to attend luncheons and volunteer for NORMAL volunteer shifts, but I know it's time to take a break.

Now I'm sitting here trying to think about something to write non-baby related, and it's next to impossible. Sure I have 100+ drafts saved up from my pre-pregnancy era, but my heart's just not in it. Said heart, has been completely taken over by CQB, and that's on top of the love that I already hold for Will. I can break into tears just at the thought of how much I love those too, and I'm not one bit ashamed by it. Not even ashamed by this picture that moves me to no end.



PS. I'm not pretending to sleep. I ain't no faker ;)

I'm sure I will find the motivation to talk about other stuff  along the way, but please bare with me while I try to find myself in this transition. I know I want to share the home buying advice that saved us THOUSANDS, I have tons of recipes, I hope to make lots of memories with Will and our friends during the short period we have left of Flight school, and if you can think of anything you want to know about me or us, feel free to ask questions about anything. I have never done a Q&A in almost five years, so it's possible you have questions...or plausible that I just overs hare as it is. Either way I'm open, and appreciative of all of your support!

Two Months until FRCSC is done, and Three months until CQB is here!


Monday, March 23, 2015

I Need Your Input

When I told my mom I was pregnant, she started asking me a million questions about all things baby, and it was one of the few times in my life I had to say "I don't know." Those of you that know me, know that's just not a phrase in my vocabulary, and she was particularly taken aback. I guess I've always been a bit of a know it all, but when it comes to this...it's a whole new territory. For the first time in my life, I'm pretty stumped. Perhaps the first picture we took together the day we found out is illustrative of how unprepared we feel...


Obviously, I'm devouring every pregnancy book, turning to any friend or family member that has a kid, and scouring the internet for articles, but I kind of trust you guys more than most. Whether you are a parent, sibling, or just have experience with kids, feel free to answer. I reserve the right to make my own choices, but ALL advice is helpful one way or another.

As a couple, what should we do before baby comes that we "won't be able to do?" I don't plan on changing our life completely and just plan on incorporating her into plans the way our families have always done with us, but I still realize that things will change. Plus, it just seems like a fun thing to share during this time. I'm thinking a baby bucket list should have stuff like run a 5k, visit a B&B, romantic dates, and whatnot, but we've already done these things while knocked up so please help me come up with some more ideas.

What are your must haves for baby? Everyone has a different opinion as to what the 'must haves' should be, so I want to know what all your must haves are.

Your best advice? I've gotten everything from use a boppy to avoiding peanut butter in the third trimester. {Did you stop eating peanut butter?} I know some people don't want everyone's two cents, but I think every experience can teach you something.

Non- baby related:
  Can you see the buttons/widgets on my sidebar bouncing? I click onto my blog, and they are bouncing like some Mexican jumping beans. It could just be a glitch on my end, but it's annoying the shizz out of me and when I google it all I get is information about bounce rates.

I know we will be fine. I mean, I knew nothing about buying a home or renting it out and we learned all that in six months. This is just the next life adventure, and the most meaningful one we will ever get to have. I may have a few small mental breakdowns along the way, but I think that's quite normal. Right? Please tell me that's normal...


Friday, March 20, 2015

A 5K At Six Months Pregger

Traveling with a group of people is usually more of a hassle than it's worth when everyone has their own agenda, but we have the BEST travel group ever. Well...mainly because they let me plan the whole weekend and trust me to make decisions based on everyone's needs. I try to find the most efficient accommodations, I take into consideration dietary needs/wants {vegetarians and picky eaters}, I plan for the night owls and us ol' fogies, and I even schedule nap time, because no matter what age...we ALL need nap time.

Blue La Rua did not disappoint:


I knew this weekend was going to be extra great because Pensacola is fabulous in a shabby chic kind of way, and the McGuire's run is one of the most fun runs you could ever partake in. Even B-Ray who HATES physical activity said he loved it and wants to do more stuff like this, and that was before they started passing out the free booze too!


We all ran with amazing times ranging from Will at 22 minutes, me 27:36, and the slowest still in the low 30's. Yep, that's right- I ran under 28 minutes at six months pregnant. {Insert self high five} But to be honest, the after party is when the real fun starts, so we switched into our #Inappropes hats and shirts and commenced the party. I think I recognized a lot more people this year, because I was sober enough to recognize them. Always a plus side.




But as you can imagine...the highlight of a pregnant gal's vacation would most definitely be the all-you-can-eat BRUNCH buffet. We went to our fave Brunch spot on the beach, H20 Grill, and I got my moneys worth off that buffet for the first time ever. You can see pure joy in my face:


What can I say...We keep it classy ;) Everyone else drank their moneys worth, so it's win/win really. Did I mention we all piled in one vehicle for the trip in spite of the tight squeeze just so I could drive these fools back to Enterprise? Safety first.


I just hope we get lots of beach time this season. Who knows where we will be next and we most certainly won't have our gang anymore, so we are ready to live at the beach. I even bought a few new {much larger} tops to accommodate my bodily changes, and I plan to slather on lots of sunscreen to protect le baby. Bring it on, summer. Bring it on.


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