March madness & military life

March has been a wildly busy month – but I think I say that about every month!

It has been a month filled with learning, new projects, stepping out of my comfort zone, lots of coffee, family visits, & goodbyes to good friends.

Graduation & goodbyes

One of the main highlights of the month was B graduating from the Air Force Institute of Technology with a Masters in Electrical Engineering this past week! He has spent the last 18 months working so hard & learning SO much. His next assignment is {luckily} at this base so we don’t have to move. We realized last week how settled into our tiny house we’ve become. Moving is going to be hard whenever we have to do it next!

The graduation of this class of students from AFIT also means that many many many of my military spouse friends are moving to their next assignments all over the country this week.

It breaks my lil heart to see them go, but I keep reminding myself that, as people say, “it’s a small Air Force” and it’s likely we will be stationed with these same friends in the future. And for the ones going to the DC area, I can visit with them when I return to Virginia to see my family!

Friends moving away is something that is still new to me, seeing as I’ve only been an Air Force spouse for, well, 18 months or so. The more “seasoned” spouses have dealt with this for years, but I can imagine that it doesn’t get much easier to say farewell.

Being a military spouse means leaning hard on the community around you, making fast friendships, and sharing a special kind of bond with those who you might never have spoken to if it wasn’t for your spouse’s career. I don’t exactly know how to explain this connection to people who haven’t experienced it before. Being a military spouse is beautiful & terrible all at the same time.

You have to open your heart fully, knowing that it’ll be broken a little bit every time the PCS orders arrive.

But I wouldn’t trade it for the world.

In photo news…

I’ve been snapping away lately, as a few friends have asked me to take photos for them & their families this month. I’ve done head shots, a newborn session, a couple session {which I’m currently editing}, & countless test shots around the house with a new lens.

The newborn session was definitely stepping out of my comfort zone, as I had never done anything quite like it. I’m so grateful to my sweet friend for trusting me to take photos of her little one! & happy two week birthday, Ember!

My friend Elisa needed some head shots for her professional portfolio – she’s getting her PhD in English and is a professor! – and asked me to help out. We went “on location” to a coffee shop that has some good backgrounds – lots of brick & colorfully painted walls. Of course, the weather was rude to us and decided to be barely above freezing, but Elisa was an amazing sport and braved the cold!

For the love of books

Life update: I think I want to be a librarian. I don’t know what kind yet {school, children’s, YA?} but since taking this job at my local library, it feels like a pretty great career for me.

I’m working in the Youth Services department as an associate, which means I help the actual librarians in the department prep events, I do teacher collections, & random tasks like bulletin boards.

But it also means that I work the desk in the Children’s department, and answer patron questions all day long! It feels like the coolest treasure hunt ever to be given a random search criteria & come out with just the right book for the kid or a parent.

It’s not so great when a child asks you to find “the book I was reading a few weeks ago with stick drawings but I don’t remember what it’s about or the name of the book or the author but there was a gun in it.” I wasn’t so successful there!!

Alas, grad school is the next step if I really want to pursue this, and I don’t quite have the funds at the moment – but I am learning a TON in this job.

Goal setting missteps

Remember how I wrote that big long post about how excited I was about my new planner and using it to set TONS of goals and meet them all?

Yeah… more on that later.

April showers

Looking forward to April, it feels like it’ll be a bit of a calmer month for me. I may be jinxing myself just by saying that!

B starts his new job next week, so he’ll be going back to a regular work day, while I mainly work evenings at the library & weekends at the coffee bar. It’ll be interesting to see how we work this out and make time to see each other!!

I’m excited to slow down a bit and re-focus on my goals and on self-care. I also may have a giant pile of laundry I need to catch up on… #adultingishard

Why you need to rent camera gear before you buy

I’m an amateur photographer right now, but more of my friends lately have been asking me to take photos for them – which I’m LOVING!

For a while I’ve felt that my camera bag is missing something, but I couldn’t figure it out. There are about a million + one options of cameras and lenses out there, and for someone who barely knows how to shoot in manual mode, the choices can be a little overwhelming. Continue reading “Why you need to rent camera gear before you buy”

24 hours in Cincinnati

Now that I work two part-time jobs, weekends are not really a “thing” for me anymore.

If I get any days off, they’re probably not going to be on the actual weekend – but somehow, I had a whole Saturday off last week, and wasn’t scheduled to work until the afternoon on Sunday!

So Ben & I jumped at the chance to explore our little corner of Ohio a bit more, and booked a B&B in the cute neighborhood of Clifton in Cincinnati. We had just about 24 hours to spend in Cincinnati, and we were going to make the absolute most out of it.

Continue reading “24 hours in Cincinnati”

Forty truths & no lies {about me}

Hello there, dear readers & people that I actually know in real life! I love you all!

This is going to be like those beginning-of-the-year icebreakers that everyone actually hates, except I’m the only one talking and it doesn’t suck.

I’ve picked up a few new followers over the past few months & thought it was about time to do a proper introduction of myself.

Standing in the snow & wearing my LuLaRoe, as usual.

And what better way is there to do that than dumping a bunch of random {and some fun} facts out onto the interwebs? I can’t think of anything, so here goes! Continue reading “Forty truths & no lies {about me}”

Dayton Coffee Crawl: A visit to Ghostlight Coffee

Ah, Ghostlight. You were the first coffee shop I visited in Dayton, the first one I found in my Google search, my first Dayton coffee love. Thus, I think it makes sense that it’s the first stop on my Dayton Coffee Crawl!

Let’s start with the basics…

Continue reading “Dayton Coffee Crawl: A visit to Ghostlight Coffee”

My husband took my last name when we got married.

Did that get your attention?

It’s a long-standing tradition, dating back to who-knows-when, for women to take their husband’s last name when they were married. In much of history, wives were considered the property of their husband, and taking on their last name was just one little part of that. Even in our relatively recent American history, married women were unable to get a credit card unless their husband cosigned, even up until 1974!

While marriage is an important institution, one that has (slowly) changed along with our society, it has such a deep history connected to female oppression and male ownership of women. The assumption that a woman will change her last name to that of her husband is a part of that history. It’s also super heteronormative.

Okay okay, I know I’m not writing an essay for a women’s studies class. 

It can be a beautiful thing to take on someone else’s last name. It shows that you’re creating a new family unit, that you are a part of someone else’s life so deeply and truly, and it just generally signifies marriage and lasting commitment. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with the desire for a woman to change her last name, but I do think that it shouldn’t be an automatic, this-is-the-only-way-to-do-this notion.

So, when Ben and I got married, he took my last name.

Continue reading “My husband took my last name when we got married.”

busy bee

Oh hello there.

It has been a busy week!! How busy, you may ask? Well, all of these things happened in the past week:

  • I accepted a second part-time job {that I am SUPER excited about}
  • I worked a Christmas Eve closing shift at the coffee bar {people get a little, um, difficult to deal with around the holidays…}
  • Ben & I flew to DC on Christmas morning to see my family
  • We had a packed 3 day trip that included lots of food, movies, & sitting around the table and telling stories
  • We flew back to Dayton, & with delays, didn’t get back home until 1:30am
  • I worked the next day
  • We unpacked & packed up again…
  • Aaaand now we’re in Cleveland for 3 days visiting some of Ben’s family!

So yeah, just a little busy.

I’m looking forward to starting my new job next week and hopefully finding a good routine to settle into. One of my favorite Christmas presents that I received was an Ink & Volt planner – I have loved planners for as long as I can remember – and I’m excited to use it in the new year. I have a gut feeling that 2017 will be a year full of change and growth and exploration. I think it’ll be a year of being busy and I just can’t wait.

What Alice Forgot: Book Review

Since getting involved with the book club through my local Air Force spouses group, I’ve read so many books that I might not have picked up on my own, and I love that.

Of course, since I’m one of the leaders of the book club, I do have some say in which books were a part of the poll, but our members voted on the top picks, and we ended up with a few that I wasn’t so sure about.

One of these books in particular was What Alice Forgot by Liane Moriarty.

This was our November book club pick. I have to admit that I thought this would be another silly chick-lit book that I’d end up getting bored with halfway through & have pretentious feelings about. But, as it turns out, I was wrong.

Continue reading “What Alice Forgot: Book Review”