Sunday, November 25, 2012

Great Gift Idea for the Men in Your Life

My husband recently purchased this Urban Warrior backpack and is in love with it. You can purchase it at Military Luggage for only $79.95. Here's what my husband had to say about this:
The Black Urban Warrior Backpack was exactly what I had hoped for in a backpack. My 17” HP fits nice and snugly, and there is plenty of room to keep the electronics accessories safe. I love the big bottom pocket for a space to keep the used PT clothes away from the rest of the packed items. It also fit my entire ACU uniform, with boots, and had plenty of room to spare. I put some of my MOLLE gear on the side with the MOLLE webbing on each side of the backpack pockets.
I also wanted this backpack for my outdoor activities, which at this time of year includes cold water walleye fishing in MN. The Urban Warrior held my four plastic cases for the different rigs, the extra cold weather gear, waterproof gear and lunch. My 5 year old loved having the insulated pocket for his hot chocolate, and getting his own big pocket in the backpack for his favorite lures, scale and camera!
We also filled it with our ice fishing tackle, electronics and warm clothes, and we did a practice pull of all of our stuff through the snow filled yard. The pack handled well, felt good on the back and was easily able to hold all of our equipment.
Lastly, we took this and packed it with both the boys (5 and 3 years old) toys and clothes for a weekend at Grandma’s house for Thanksgiving weekend. Each boy had a pocket for their stuff (toys), changes of clothes and all their winter gear to play in the snow. It was just right for their stuff and all of their snowpants, big jackets, boots, hats and gloves. We cannot wait to use this for all of our outdoor activities, and I will keep using it every day for work!

Monday, November 19, 2012

Army Wife/Girlfriend Must Have

Are you trying to figure out what you want for Christmas? I LOVE my Army purse! (It also doubles as diaper bag.) Not only does it serve a purpose, but it's a way for me to show everyone how proud I am of my husband. It's unique, it's personalized and it's mine. I LOVE it!
Take a look at all the fun bags and purses you can choose from at Hero On My Arm. You can get free shipping now if you use the shipping coupon Minnesota. I hope you find something you like as much as I do. Happy shopping!

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Shout Out to Benjamin Moore

I'd like to give a big shout out to Benjamin Moore! They were kind enough to donate a few gallons of their Aura (low VOC) paint. We decided on a blue color that we'll use to paint each of the boys' rooms. Both boys were given several colors to choose from and they each chose the same color. If only all decisions were this simple!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Shout Out to American Standard

I have to give a great big shout out to American Standard for donating a waterless urinal to our family. In a household with three males this will be a tremendous asset! (Especially for our 5 year old that has a hard time hitting the target first thing in the morning.)
Flowise Flush-Free Waterless Urinal - Medium Alternate View

Even though this is the only thing in our future house that I won't use, this is probably my favorite item. Not only are we building a new house, but our goal is to build an energy efficient house. This is just one part of the equation that will help us achieve green certification. What are the benefits of a waterless urinal? Water savings, possible energy savings, water pollution reduction, lower costs and improved restroom sanitation. Did you know that American Standard is an EPA WaterSense Partner of the Year? They have several WaterSense labeled products including toilets, faucets and shower heads. What have you or would you do to become more water or energy efficient?

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Next Chapter? Building a House!

So here we are 4 months after deployment. What’s going on? We’re planning to build a house! There have been so many changes going on in just 1 ½ years. Our current project is our “forever house.” A forever house is a house we plan to live in forever (or almost forever). We’re planning it based on our current needs and trying to foresee what our future needs will be too.

I’m also asking companies if they’d be willing to give us a military discount considering my husband was just deployed and given his full time job. We’re looking to do business with companies that support our troops and appreciate the sacrifices our soldiers and their families have made. I’ve had most furniture stores say they’d help us when we plan on buying our new dining room set. I’ve also had a few fireplace companies say they’d give us a discount on a fireplace and installation. Do you want to know the best deal so far? A free waterless urinal!! If I could see your face right now, you probably have a confused, weird look on it. A urinal? Yes, a urinal! 3 men and a woman…that’s our household. A urinal will not only help keep the toilet clean, but it will also reduce the amount of water used. Ever since our second son was born, I knew I wanted a urinal in our future house…and now we will!

Now we’ll continue the planning process of our house and hopefully more companies will step up and help us out in one way or another. I love it when people help people. It gives us a feeling of hope. It reminds us that there are good people and good companies out there. Let the fun and decisions begin!

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

A New Normal

My husband has been back for a few months now and we're getting into our "new" normal. People always talk about how they can't wait for the soldier to get home so things can go back to normal, but what they don't realize is that the old normal is gone. It left when your soldier left. Reintegration is tough. The person who was at home has a new schedule of how things get done. They've had the bed to themselves for a year and now they have to share again. Disciplining kids could be different. Your idea of how to spend money might be different. In a will be different. You might have a nice honeymoon period for a month or so when your soldier gets home and you'll think "This is great, why do people say reintegration is so hard?" The honeymoon period will wear off and real life will start again. A new normal will fall into place and that isn't a bad thing. It's actually a good thing because it means you're in a new groove and things are working for both of you, your kids, etc. You will not get back to the same "old" normal and that's ok. Life moves on and a "new" normal is born.

Monday, April 23, 2012

The End Is Near!

What does everyone look forward to during a deployment? Yep, the homecoming!! Our homecoming will be here in no time. I can't tell you how excited we are! We started counting down the months, the weeks and now we'll be able to start counting down the days. Our "Kisses from Daddy" jar is almost empty. It's a good thing because it means our soldier is almost home, but does that mean no more Hershey kisses? (I'm sure I can find a way to included kisses in our day to day routines.)

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Things Are Different

There are so many things that are different this year. First, the deployment. That in itself is a HUGE change. Second, we sold our house and moved into an apartment. Third, this is such a strange winter. The temps. are up and the levels of snow are down. Wait...what snow? I'm not usually one for winter, but I really hope next winter acts like winter (especially since we'll be all together again).

I need to take a moment to thank our friends and family for all their support. They are all so great and definitely make life a little easier right now. I appreciate the fact that they don't treat us any differently. They help us continue our day-to-day life as if everything is normal. I guess things are normal, just a different normal.

The boys and I have been working on a list of things we want to do when daddy comes home. We have a good list going and I can't wait until we start crossing items off that list. Some of the things we have listed are going to the zoo, taking a train ride and fishing (for the boys at least). If anyone has other ideas we'd love to hear them! The longer the list the better!

Monday, January 9, 2012

We Love Our Flat Daddy!

I'm not exactly sure where my last few posts went, but let's try this again!

(this is the picture we used for our flat daddy)

Flat Daddy is such a wonderful concept and our boys are in LOVE with him. It has definitely made this deployment easier for them to handle. Here are a few pictures of our life with our "temporary daddy."

Flat Daddies and Flat Mommies are life-size photos of deployed service members. They are provided to help children better cope with the separation they experience when a parent is away from home for long periods of time.

I would 110% recommend a Flat Daddy for any family with a soldier preparing to deploy. Kids love seeing it everyday and knowing their soldier is still with them even though they aren't physically there. Our boys like it when we bring "dad" for a ride with us or bring him to a special event. Flat Daddy will also come in handy when dad is home for good because he is often training or "playing army" for a few days here and there.

(when we moved into our new apartment)

(Like father, like son)

(Halloween - daddy went as a mummy!)

(Our photo for our Christmas cards.
 Some people even thought he was home when they saw the picture.)


(Celebrating my birthday with me)

Let me know if you have any questions because I'd be more than happy to tell you about the benefits of having Flat Daddy around.