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

 

 

 

 

Open When Letters

Letters are a great way to communicate with those that we love. They’re personal and, in my opinion, are something that I wish would make a comeback in 2020!

When the Army keeps my husband gone more than normal, I love to write a bunch of these to put in a packet that he can take with him.

‘Open When’ letters hold a special place in my heart. They’re a sweet and thoughtful to let someone know you really care. If you haven’t written one, it’s as simple or involved as you make it! At the core of each letter is a predetermined topic.

After you’ve picked what the letter you’re writing will be about, just write on the front of the envelope when it should be opened; ‘Open When… You’re Having A Bad Day’, ‘It’s Your Birthday’, ‘You Need Encouragement’…

To keep things simple, you can write them on notebook paper. If you want to be a little more creative, you can buy or make cards and include other things with the letters.

I love adding pictures and silly stickers that I know will bring a smile to my husbands face!

Who would you write ‘Open When’ letters for?

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

Life Update: Why I’ve Been MIA

If you follow me over on Instagram, you’ll know that life has gotten pretty busy for me and my husband this last month; we welcomed our baby boy into the world on July 9th!

While we are both over the moon that we have been trusted with this sweet little love, the struggle has been real as far as sleep is concerned! After months and months of waiting for the day that we would finally get to hold him in our arms, it is still so hard to believe that he is here.

Keeping that in mind, I think we’re finally starting to get into a rhythm, or as much of one as a family with a newborn can be in!

I’d love to know what y’all would like to see more of in the weeks and months to come; Recipes, product reviews, fashion, lifestyle… Let me know in the comments or send me an email!

As always, thanks for following along for the ride with me!

XOXO,
Leah

6 Dates to Treat Yourself This Valentine’s Day

With my husband being in the Army, spending holidays together can be hit or miss. The last two years we’ve missed out on our fair share! Just because he’s not home to celebrate doesn’t mean I skip the celebration all together though!

With Valentine’s Day coming up and the possibility that my husband may be gone again, I’ve rounded up a few of my favorite ways to treat myself!

1. Dinner for One. I’ve always been a big believer in having no shame with taking myself out to dinner at any one of my favorite restaurants! It’s a nice little twist on a traditional date night, and it gets me out of the house when my husband is away! I’m not going to lie though, the first time I went out by myself, I definitely felt a bit out of place.  At the end of the meal I was so glad I did! Now, I’m a pro at the game!

2. Go Exploring. If you’re someone that loves a good adventure, this will be right up your alley! I love getting to discover new things and places for myself. These trips make up some of my best memories! There is something so freeing about not having a set plan and just going with the flow. It could be a hike in a new place, going to a new city, or even just immersing yourself in something new! The possibilities are endless!

3. Buy the Outfit. Is there an outfit you’ve been eyeing from afar? This is your chance to buy it! Go all out; top, bottom, shoes, accessories, even new makeup to complete the look! Did you know that even just making an online wishlist of things you like can help reduce stress? I do this on a regular basis and definitely notice a difference from start to finish. Imagine what buying yourself a whole new outfit can do!

4. Visit Your Favorite Coffee Shop. If you follow me over on Instagram (@alongftride), you’ll know that I love having a good hot drink; coffee, tea, hot chocolate… My guilty pleasure is a hot vanilla latte! Have you ever gone to your favorite coffee shop with a good book and just enjoyed your drink and book? In our technology driven world, this idea may seem a little crazy, but I promise that unplugging for even just a half hour feels so good!

5. DIY Spa Day. I’m a big believe that treating myself can also involve things that are good for my mental health! I’m a whole package deal, so taking care of myself in this way is definitely high on my priorities. One of my favorite ways to do this is having an at home spa day. For me, this always includes a good bubble bath with Epsom salt, a hydrating lotion, fuzzy socks, a face mask, and a hot cup of tea! I love this because it can be whatever I need that day!

6. Netflix and Chill. Who says you need someone else for this? Personally, I think there’s nothing better than wearing my comfiest clothes and burrowing in a pile of blankets! Since my husband and I have very different tastes in what kinds of shows and movies we like to watch, when he’s gone is always a perfect opportunity to binge on the shows I normally wouldn’t or find a new series to watch! Add in your favorite snacks and drinks, and you’re all good to go!

What’s your favorite way to treat yourself when you’re flying solo for the day of love? Let me know down below!

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

Why ‘Along for the Ride’?

When I scroll through any social media platform, I always come across pages where I’m intrigued by the name and the person behind it all. It stands out to me for one reason or another, and I want to learn about the why behind it and what it is that makes it special to them!

Today, I’m taking you behind the scenes and explaining why I choose “Along for the Ride” as mine!

It started when my now husband was in the process of enlisting in the Army. People kept asking me how I felt about him leaving and everything that was involved. I would always say how proud of him I was, and still am, and that I was going to support him 100%!  Marriage isn’t something you do half-heartedly, and ours is no different,

He went several hundred miles away for almost 6 months to complete various phases of training, and now people were saying how brave I was. In my eyes, I wasn’t doing anything extraordinary. I still don’t think I am. I’m just a girl loving my husband the best I can. It was during this time that my go to answer to most things was that I was just “along for the ride”.

Fast forward to almost two years of active duty service, several more phases of training, getting married, moving across the country to be with him, our first home together, and getting our sweet pup, Ailey, and I’m still just as along for the ride as ever!

This was never the kind of life I thought I would be living. Being the girl that loves a good list with accompanying sub-lists, I probably would have told you were crazy! Now that this is crazy and unpredictable life is ours, I wouldn’t want it any other way!

Thanks for coming along for the ride with me!

XOXO,
Leah