Military Life: Month of the Military Child

Happy Monday, y’all!

Did you know that April is the official Month of the Military Child? This is the month we recognize and celebrate the strength, bravery, flexibility, resiliency, and sacrifice that the littlest members of military families make everyday.

When my husband and I decided we wanted to try to expand our family, we knew that our little one would have a wildly different life than either of us did growing up.

In Baby K’s first year of life, his daddy will have been gone more than he’s been home. Heck, my husband was even gone for training over my due date!

While he doesn’t know life any other way, my husband and I do. We often wonder if this path we’ve picked is the right one or not.

We may not regret a second of this life we live and how far we’ve come, but that little bit of guilt is always there.

For our sweet baby it means a lot of confusion as to why we sometimes only talk to and see daddy through a screen. It means crying out for him in the middle of the night and him never coming. It means seeing a whole lot of mama and always looking for daddy.

As he gets older, it will mean having to say goodbye to friends more often than if we weren’t part of the military world. It will mean his daddy will have missed being there in person for major milestones like crawling, first words, and maybe even walking and first days of schools.

We are not the first family to face a deployment, and we certainly are not the last. There will be many more times where duty will take daddy away.

Our little boy is so kind and loving. He is made of tough stuff. He is resilient and flexible beyond belief. He is sacrificing more than he even knows while his daddy is away.

Today and every day, I am in awe of this military child of mine!

XOXO,
Leah

Military Life: Real Talk About Deployment

Happy Monday, y’all!

I had another post written and all scheduled to go up today, but in wanting this to be where I share about real life and not just the pretty things, this post felt more real for right now.

If you’re part of a military family, chances are that you’ll face a deployment sooner or later. It’s just part of the job. Now that our sweet baby boy is in the world, I was hoping it would come later, but the Army had other plans for my husband.

Where before we would go about our days and wait for my husband to get home, now we wait for FaceTime calls or text messages. Somedays we’re blessed to get a nice long call in and other times we hear nothing at all. Sometimes, no news is good news!

With this being our first deployment, it’s taken me some time to get used to single parenting and finding a new normal for Baby K, Ailey, and myself. If I’m being honest, I’m still trying to figure it out.

Even what seems like the easiest of deployments for the soldier can be freaking hard for the ones left back home.

Don’t get me wrong, I am so thankful for this life we live and everything we are able to do and the amazing people we get to meet, but there are definitely days where I count down the minutes until I can start getting Baby K ready for bed so I can have a moment to breathe.

So while for the most part, this little family of mine is doing really well, even thriving, there is nothing I wouldn’t give to have our number one guy back home with us!

XOXO,
Leah

 

 

 

 

Our Military Family

Being married to someone in the military was never anything I planned to do, but when I married my now husband, I married him for all that he is despite what he had signed up to do.

Now, over two years later, a puppy, new house, countless trainings, and a sweet baby boy later; here we are. If I’ve learned anything these last few years, it’s that even though this lifestyle is hard for me, it’s just as hard for him:

He wakes up and leaves before our baby has even started stirring each morning. He sometimes comes home with only a few hours before bedtime.

He packs his bags to leave and gives us both one last kiss and hug. He puts on a brave face to try and make it a little easier on me.

He ignores the calendar as time flies by. He knows that we’re running out of days, out of time before the inevitable “I’ll see you soon” comes around again.

He promises to call and text. He hopes our baby boy will remember him despite all of the time apart.

Before we know it, he’s gone again, and we’re wishing time would hurry up.

I know his heart breaks a little when he thinks of all the things he’ll miss out on; playing together, first steps, and all of those sweet snuggles.

I know how much he wishes our time together could just slow down a little. I wish it would too.

I know he’s conflicted between wanting to stay home with us and his sense of duty.

So for now, we’ll pack up the bags and hold on just a second longer. We’ll remind him how proud we are now and always.

We remember now and everyday that it will never be, “Goodbye”. It will always be, “I’ll see you soon”.

XOXO,
Leah

Love the Mama Too

As I sit here looking at him while he naps, I can’t help but be so thankful for him and all of the people that have poured into our little family!

Babies are such a wonderful gift. Most people you know want to come love on your little addition, but sometimes the mamas can get lost in it all.

Ask her how she’s doing and really listen. God knows she’d probably appreciate someone asking about her before the baby!

Bring or send her a favorite meal or snacks. When the decision comes down to eating or trying to get some sleep, I can almost guarantee that sleep will win out.

Take the baby for an hour or two without asking. Help is always appreciated, but if the new mama in your life is anything like me, asking for it is hard!

When you bring something for the new little one, bring something for her too; a candle she loves, a nice lotion and body wash, coffee (I’m mostly made up of coffee these days). Just a little something that says you were thinking of her too!

I know it can be easy to be sucked in by the cuteness of a new baby, but it’s just as easy for a new mama to lose herself in it all too.

Next time you go visit a new baby, don’t forget to love on the mama too!

XOXO,
Leah

7 Unconventional Ways to Practice Self-Care

It goes without saying that self-care and taking care of your mental health are so important! Between work, school, family, health and various other responsibilities life can get pretty tough sometimes.

I used to be so guilty of pushing things to the side until they would all blow up at once before addressing my mental health. It was an awful way to handle things, but at the time, that’s what I had going.

Now that I’m a little older and have some more life under my belt, I really do try to make taking care of myself a main priority!

It seems like everyone shares the self-care options like taking a bath, reading a book, going for a walk… While those are all great, they don’t always work for everyone. That’s why I’m sharing 10 of my favorite ways to get some self-care in that are a little different than what you see and hear about every day:

1. Baking or cooking. There’s something so therapeutic about measuring and mixing ingredients. Not to mention, there’s the amazing smells that fill your whole kitchen and you get something yummy to eat at the end of it all!

2. Taking a break from everything and everyone. It’s okay to say “no” to doing things, and it’s definitely okay to need space and time away when you’re in the middle of something too. If you need to go be by yourself somewhere away from everything, then that’s what you need to do! This is something that I still struggle with from time to time.

3. Having a good cry. Sometimes you just need a good cry to let everything out and cleanse your heart. It doesn’t make you weak or anything else others might try to say. What does matter is what you do after you allow yourself to cry it all out. Dry your tears, take a few good deep breaths, and pick yourself back up off the floor. Always remember, that’s not where you belong!

4. Arts and crafts. For me, it’s writing. There’s just something about putting your feelings out into the world and not having to hold them in any longer. For you, maybe it’s painting or singing or dancing. The great thing about creativity is that there is no wrong or right way to do it. It’s all about what makes you feel good, when all is said and done!

5. Building something with your own two hands. My husband can attest for this, but I’m not very useful when it comes to building things that require tools. Maybe working with the power tools and having a goal of what you’re end product will look like is what helps you unwind though. There really is something to be said about those that can have a vision in their head and make it come to life!

6. Working outside. This is my husband all day, every day! It doesn’t matter how long and frustrating his day was. If he’s in a bad mood or needs to work off some steam, working in the yard never fails to ease that tension that’s been built up! Cutting trees down, pulling up overgrown vines… You name it and he’s done it.

7. Volunteering. Sometimes, for me, the best way I can take care of myself is by helping others. I’ve never given my time to a cause I’m passionate about and regretted it later, but I’m always so grateful to have been able to give back in some small way! Not only does it take my mind off of whatever problem is present in my life, but it refills my cup and adds to the fuel of wanting to do and be my best!

What’s an unconventional way you like to practice self-care? Let me know in the comments below!

XOXO,
Leah

 

New House, Who ‘Dis?

Happy Monday, y’all

Today I’m sharing some pretty big news; the biggest news of 2019! If you follow me on Instagram (@alongftride), you’re already in the know. This past week my husband, our Ailey girl, and I moved into our new home!

This has been in the works for quite a while, and after much searching we finally found the one that felt like ours from the moment we stepped foot in it!

If you’ve been following along with my How I Prepare For Guests series (Bathroom and Guest Room are up!), you’ll also understand that a new house means preparing a little differently than I used to. We have T-minus two weeks until our first guests arrive, and I’m in go mode!

Stay tuned to see how I’ll be tweaking and revamping my ways to make sure our guests feel welcomed in our new home!

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XOXO,
Leah

How I Prepare For Guests: The Bedroom

Happy Monday, ya’ll!

If you read my post two weeks ago, you’ll know that this is part two of that series! If you haven’t had the chance to read it yet, you can click here and get all caught up!

After I have the guest bathroom all stocked and fully loaded with the things to make my guests’ stay a little better, it’s on to the bedroom. When I’m getting the guest room together, I always try to think of little ways to make it comfy, cozy, and inviting; a place I would want to stay in.

First things first: the bed: I’m a big believer in fresh sheets and plenty of pillows!  There are normally at least four pillows on the bed, not including decorative ones. This way our guests have plenty to use if they want, or the extras can just go on the floor.

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Depending on the season determines what kind of comforter or duvet cover is on the bed. In the colder months, it’s a little ticker and warmer. Right now, I have a white duvet cover that has an almost woven like texture to it on the bed.

There’s a mirror and a small hutch in the corner of the room, but other than those and the bed, there’s not much else in the ways of furniture. The guest room isn’t big by any means, so less is definitely more in this case!

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Little touches you’ll also find are a letter board with the Wi-Fi information, extra blankets in the hutch, and hangers in the closet.

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What little things stand out to you the most when you stay at someone’s home? Let me know in the comments below!

XOXO,
Leah

3 Moments of Joy

If you’ve been following along with me on Instagram(@alongftride) you know that most days start out with me writing down three things from the previous day that brought me joy. It’s a great way to start the day out on a positive and thankful note!

Today, I wanted to share with you my three moments from yesterday (Sunday):

1. I got in a great workout!

2. It was nice enough to have the windows open in the afternoon and let some fresh air inside!

3. My husband and I got a head start on a little spring cleaning!

Moments of joy don’t always have to be the big and extravagant things like going on vacation. While those moments are nice, for me, it’s always the little things that really add up the most for me!

What’s something that brought you joy yesterday?

XOXO,

Leah

Mental Health Day

Happy Monday, y’all!

Today’s post is on the shorter side. After a long weekend of checking the boxes on my to do list, today is for mental health and self care!

With It being Martin Luther King Jr. Day, I am lucky enough to have my sweet husband home for the whole day. Since this doesn’t happen often given my husband’s job in the Army, we try to take advantage of it when it does!

What’s something you and your significant other like to do together when you have time together?

XOXO,

Leah

Merry Christmas!!

Today’s post is short and sweet in honor of soaking up as much quality time as we all can this time of year!

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays! I can tell y’all how thankful I am for each and everyone of you that has come along for the ride with me and supported me on this new adventure! It really does mean the world to me!

I hope your holiday season is merry and bright and that you are surrounded by so much love and light as 2018 comes to a close!

XOXO,

Leah