Category Archives: Family

Aside

 **Hey, everyone! I am super excited to have a guest blogger share some great information about the job search after the military. Her name is Emma and she has some very useful pointer and tips. You can also find out more about her and her blog at the bottom of her article.   -Aubree

4 Tips for a Successful Job Search After Leaving the Military

At some point in every military personnel’s life, there will come a time for transitioning back into the civilian world. This can be an exciting and intimidating process, especially when it comes to seeking employment. Fortunately, there are great opportunities for veterans and their families to find work that not only meets their financial needs, but fulfills them on a personal level. Here is the truth about four common job myths.

Myth #1: Veterans don’t find good jobs outside of the military.

Truth: The fact is, the military provides you with skills that are highly marketable in the civilian workforce. According to Recruit Military, a firm that prepares and places veterans and their spouses in jobs, traits such as leadership, teamwork, assertiveness, and dedication are what employers are looking for.

Myth #2: Applying for jobs is costly, difficult, and time-consuming.

Truth: Gone are the days when job applicants had to run to the post office to mail resumes. Most companies today advertise jobs online and have either online application forms or an option to email your resume. In an effort to streamline the process even further, many companies have started to partner with mobile recruiting companies, like JIBE. These services let you upload a resume or other job-related documents right from your phone or tablet.

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Myth #3: Once you leave the military, you’re on your own when it comes to job searches.

Truth: There are many career services that cater to veterans and their families. It just takes a few minutes of time at the computer or the library’s reference section to find them. Hire Heroes USA, the U.S. Dept. of Veterans, and the Military Spouse Employment Partnership -just to name a few- are adept at assisting military personnel and their families in their job search.

Myth #4: You have to know somebody who knows somebody to get a job.

Truth: Thanks to social media, you’re never out of the loop. Websites like LinkedIn allow you to highlight your job skills and network with others in your field. You’d be surprised at how many connections you can develop within minutes of uploading your profile. The same goes for Facebook. Simply “like”ing a company’s page can ensure you get regular updates about their next hiring schedule.

Your future is what you make it. Keep goals in sight, stay positive, and use the resources available to you. Your new job is out there waiting.

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 http://smileasithappens.blogspot.com/

Military Career Finished. Now What?

The Life We Live

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Lots of moving…
Moving…
Moving…
Moving far from home…
Moving two cars, three kids and one dog…all riding with HER of course.
Moving sofas to basements because they won’t go in THIS house;
Moving curtains that won’t fit;
Moving jobs and certifications and professional development hours.
Moving away from friends;
Moving toward new friends;
Moving her most important luggage: her trunk full of memories.

Often waiting…
Waiting…
Waiting…
Waiting for housing.
Waiting for orders.
Waiting for deployments.
Waiting for phone calls.
Waiting for reunions.
Waiting for the new curtains to arrive.
Waiting for him to come home, For dinner…AGAIN!

They call her ‘Military Dependent’, but she knows better:   She is fiercely In-Dependent.

She can balance a check book;
Handle the yard work;
Fix a noisy toilet;
Bury the family pet…
She is intimately familiar with drywall anchors and toggle bolts.
She can file the taxes;
Sell a house;
Buy a car;
Or set up a move…all with ONE Power of Attorney.

She welcomes neighbors that don’t welcome her.
She reinvents her career with every PCS;
Locates a house in the desert,
The Arctic,
Or the deep south.
And learns to call them all ‘home’.
She MAKES them all home.
jess
Military Wives are somewhat hasty…They leap into:
Decorating,
Leadership,
Volunteering,
Career alternatives,
Churches,
And friendships.

They don’t have 15 years to get to know people.
Their roots are short but flexible.
They plant annuals for themselves and perennials for those who come after them.

Military Wives quickly learn to value each other:
They connect over coffee,
Rely on the spouse network,
Accept offers of friendship and favors.
Record addresses in pencil…

Military Wives have a common bond: The Military Wife has a husband unlike other husbands; his commitment is unique.
He doesn’t have a ‘JOB’
He has a ‘MISSION’ that he can’t just decide to quit…
He’s on-call for his country 24/7.
But for her, he’s the most unreliable guy in town!
His language is foreign
TDY
PCS
OPR
SOS
ACC
BDU
ACU
BAR
CIB
TAD
And so, a Military Wife is a translator for her family and his. She is the long- distance link to keep them informed;   the glue that holds them together.

A Military Wife has her moments:
She wants to wring his neck;
Dye his uniform pink;
Refuse to move to Siberia;
But she pulls herself together.

Give her a few days,
A travel brochure,
A long hot bath,
A pledge to the flag,
A wedding picture,
And she goes.

She packs.
She moves.
She follows.

Why?
What for?
How come?

You may think it is because she has lost her mind.
But actually it is because she has lost her heart.
It was stolen from her by a man,
Who puts duty first,
Who longs to deploy,
Who salutes the flag,
And whose boots in the doorway remind her that as long as he is her Military Husband,
She will remain his military wife.
And would have it no other way.

–Author Unknown

I’ll Be Home for Christmas…

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Not going to lie every time I hear that song come on I almost bust into tears, especially Josh Groban’s version. One, it’s just a stinking sad song. Two, I think about all the military members who will not be able to make it home because they are keeping us safe. I had seen a couple of posts going out today about charities and organizations that are asking for our help to show our troops support this Christmas season. I was curious to find out who out there was doing something and these are my top Google search picks. Now, of course if you have something you already do for holidays then by all means….for the rest of us here is a starting point.


This program is set up through the Red Cross. Their focus is providing handwritten holiday cards to active duty, veterans and military families who are at military hospitals around the world. This past deployment effected a lot of families who could benefit from some holiday cheer. The deadline to participate in this program is December 7th. So head to the dollar store and pick up some cards!

Click here for all the guidelines to participate in the Holiday Mail for Heroes.

 


When I first came to Ft. Bragg I drove by the Fisher House all the time never really knowing what is was. The Fisher House is basically the military version of the Ronald McDonald house. The Fisher House offers families with hospitalized service members no cost lodging near where the service member is located. Unfortunately, not every installation has a Fisher House. To compensate for that, they setup a program where you can go and donate your frequent flyers and hotel points to help family members in a stressful time of need. Help a family get to their loved one this holiday season.

Click here to find out how you can be apart of this awesome program.

 


Every chance I have to stop into the Charlotte USO between flights I do. I absolutely love this organization and try to support them as much as possible. For every major holiday they offer you the opportunity to purchases boxes that will be given to soldiers. The boxes will contain many items to make it feel a little more festive during a time when they are not able to be home.

Click here to see what can be in the boxes and how to donate.

 

Operation Gratitude has been sending morale support to our troops since 2003. They offer programs ranging from Halloween Candy Buy Backs, Battalion Buddies (for children of deployed parents) and of course care packages for our deployed troops. I sent them a tweet yesterday asking if they were doing a holiday program, and they responded and confirmed they were. How cool is that?! I love when organizations take time to reach out to those who are trying to reach out to others!

Click here to be linked to their donation page. Be sure to check out all the programs they offer!

 

I hope everyone find some way to give back to those who will be giving up so much this Christmas season!

What a slacker!

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In the last couple of a days I have been combing through my blog for old recipes and realized it has been over 5 1/2 months since my last post. I genuinely wish I could say I have just been soooooooooo busy that I couldn’t possibly get online and write, and in some ways I have been (more on that later). Pat started a new job in May and that has definitely kept him busy and gone a lot. Currently, he is in Oklahoma for 2 months and not too thrilled about it. According to him Ft. Sill makes Fayetteville look like New York City. Just before heading there he spent 10 days in Alaska working and loved that (being the outdoor personality he is). Unfortunately, we will be spending Thanksgiving apart, but will be celebrating Christmas together here in North Carolina. It will be the first time I haven’t gone home for the holidays, but we have a lot going on this year and we just can’t leave. With that being said, I am bound and determined to decorate the house as much as possible for Christmas.

66° 33′ 39″ N

In August, Pat and I ventured out to the great state of California to visit Pat’s sister who lived just outside of San Fransisco (my favorite city EVER). The land of avocados and feelings (as well as Priuses and 12 artichokes for $1). It was wonderful to meet more of his family out there and spend 5 glorious days doing whatever we wanted. Our excursions ranged from hiking, wandering around San Fran, eating at some interesting restaurants (Francis Ford Coppola’s and one of the singers of Green Day), sight-seeing Monterey and visiting the Monterey Bay Aquarium. At one point during the trip Pat and Madeleine witnessed me singing karaoke at Clint Eastwood’s restaurant in Carmel (which if you knew me you know this is SO out of character for me). One of the best parts of the trip was taking advantage of the on post lodging at Presidio in Monterey. Since California can be a costly trip it was nice to have the Army lodging available to cut costs a bit. We decided from now on trying to visit interesting places with on post lodging near by and take advantage of it.

View from Presidio’s lodging.

Since Pat moved to a new job in May, it helped us start making some decisions on more “permanent” arrangements here in North Carolina. Now, of course, this is the Army we are talking about and nothing is permanent. Currently, we are renting a home from a good friend of Pat’s and while it has been a great home for us, it is not somewhere we feel is truly ours to grow in. Simple things like decorating are such a deterrent in a rental home that I haven’t been able to make the house feel like a home. With that all being said Pat and I decided to start house hunting. I understand that typically this is a long searching process, but we have the house we wanted in the first neighborhood we looked at. If you are interested in what the inside will look like (obviously somethings will be slightly different) you can click here and check it out. After what felt like forever, they have finally started the building process and we are hoping to be in sometime around the New Year. Pat and I are so very excited to have the space to host family and friends and plenty of bedrooms to accommodate everyone.

The frame going up 10/12/12.

My “new” job (been there since the end of March) has been keeping me nice and busy while Pat has been gone. It has been wonderful working for a doctor who not only care about his continuing education but the education for the staff as well. I had the privilege to attend a conference in Orlando last month and really enjoyed it. It was nice to be back in Florida for a bit (saw a few friends and family after the conference was over). I am always interested in hearing what other offices are doing to attract business to their practice. Along with the implant treatment coordinating, I have taken over a lot of the marketing aspects for the office. Never a dull moment in my little corner of the office that is for sure.

Well that is really it for now. I will try to keep you all in the loop a bit more. Keep your eye out for a new blog starting up also! More details coming soon!

Did you see that?! It’s Time and it’s flying by…

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Well, it has been awhile since I have been able to get on here and post about anything. This last month has been absolutely nuts. March was filled with birthdays (mainly mine), baby showers and so many other random events. My birthday came and went pretty quiet. Pat was out in the field, so it was just me and the dogs. After that I headed to Florida for a baby shower. I did have a blast being able to go home for a few days and catch up with my friends and family. Meredith is super special and I am excited to meet Ellee (who it due to arrive any day now). That would make 11 friends of mine who have/are delivering over the next few months. Last weekend there were 3 born on all the same day. There is something going on with the water down in Florida 🙂

I had the chance to visit my old roommate and their newest addition to the family. Hunter has been in NICU since January. Here he is with the stuffed giraffe I gave him while I was there. Hunter has done remarkably well and his parents have been incredible through this entire ordeal. It’s nice to know that Hunter is now home and able to start having a “normal” baby life.

Since the Florida trip I have also been on a diet. After hopping on a scale while I was down there I decided enough was enough and it was time to do something. So far I have dropped 12lbs and I am sticking this out till I drop at least 15 more. Not doing it for any particular reason other then just wanting to feel better all around. It has been pretty easy to stick with it since Pat has been gone out in the field pretty much since I got back from Florida. Always makes it a little easier when you are only having to worry about cooking for only one person. Instead of having to make two separate meals.

The other day I did also notice that we have three weddings in the next couple of months that we will be attending. Thankfully, Solomon reminded me that his wedding was THIS June and not next year. We would have really been up a creek. Their wedding is in Charleston and the guys have a four day weekend, so we will hang around there and scope things out. I attended a bridal shower this past Saturday for our friends John and Crystal. They will be getting married towards the end of June. The following weekend two very close friends of ours will be getting married in Wilmington. So exited for Matty and Danielle. Especially since Matty is one of the first people I met here, and I always love being at that very beginning of relationships and seeing them get all the way to being married. So basically as I type this out I am now realizing there is a wedding every weekend once we get into mid-June. Get out you running shoes, Patrick. It’s going to be a busy few weeks.

March was also the start of a new career path for me. I have been very excited to be back in the medical setting and getting back into the groove of everything. One perk to working for dental and oral surgeons…half-day Fridays!!! BONUS!!! It is amazing how just a few extra hours one day a week can make such a huge difference. There is more time for me to enjoy the weekends with Pat then trying to get the house straitened up. Thought Pat has been gone so much over the last few weeks the house hasn’t gotten all that untidy. Talk about cutting down your laundry load…whew! He did come home for a day last weekend and also brought home the new MultiCam uniforms that deployed Army units are currently wearing. It looks like a bomb went off in the office and upstairs. I seriously have got to get some sewing lessons and figure out what to do with all the retired uniform patterns we now have in the house. Of course it always happens that while Pat is out in the field I get bit with the decorating bug. Mostly I do it to just stay busy and not get too “depressed” he is gone. My latest project took a little bit of time to complete just because I had to find the corks to complete the project. It took some doing but here is my finished product. Basically what you are looking at is a tray from Hobby Lobby, corks (that I split in half which I would NOT recommend doing), and hot glue to attach. Next time I will just make sure to have enough whole corks for whatever project I am doing. I about took off a finger in the process of splitting the corks.

Along with the projects I have also been baking a little here and there. I made some oatmeal raisin chocolate chip cookies last weekend that came out really good! I ended up substituting the butter for Kelapo coconut oil. YUM! It helped keep the cookies so moist. I highly recommend checking them out. One of my close girlfriends works with them and it’s awesome to support a smaller company. I also mastered the art of using pyhllo. Yikes, what a learning experience. I made 100 phyllo cups using this spinach dip recipe for the bridal shower I attended last weekend. The only reason I keep making them it they turn out great, but if you don’t have the patience of Job then I recommend buying the premade cups instead of making them on your own.

Raise you hand if…

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You are just plain worn out from the holidays and they haven’t even arrived yet.
You are getting sick. You always get sick this time of year. (Going to raise both my hands to count Pat and myself.)
You waited till the last minute to do shopping.
You had some issues trying to have gifts arrive. “Oh sorry that tracking number is not working…”
You didn’t decorate the house at all cause you knew you would be leaving town.
Part of you just wants to leave the gifts in the original shipping boxes…no?
You still aren’t sick of Christmas music even though you are sure you have annoyed coworkers by now with it.
You didn’t send Christmas cards.
You made a few gifts from scratch. (Mine came out really good and looking forward to gifting them.)
You are starting to notice the “tacky” sweaters are coming into fashion.
You can’t get in any seasonal mood when the weather is hot, cold, hot and then cold.
You find yourself parking in Timbuktu to just avoid finding a parking place at the mall.
You don’t even bother asking for a box when you are buying clothes.
You know to pack clothes with elastic waistbands because by the end of the trip it will be all you can wear.
You wonder when Valentines merchandise will start appearing.
You have been tempted to put the “Ditto” lights up cause your neighbors went overboard again this year.
You either think the Elf of the Shelf is the cutest thing ever (NOT) or think it’s the creepiest thing ever (ABSOLUTELY).
You still give to the Salvation Army people even though you gave to the last 3 buckets at the previous stores.
You are a bit shocked this year that there is no “must have” Christmas item.
You will argue to the death that your favorite Christmas movie is the best. (White Christmas IS the best. Get over it.)