The Holidays are Coming, the Holidays are Coming: Reflections on Holidays Past (and Also, Gift Guides are Here)

The Holidays are Coming, the Holidays are Coming! Yes, this was said in my Paul Revere voice (i.e. “The British are coming, the British are coming,” in case you missed the reference). And no, “Holidays” doesn’t refer to some super cool new family PCSing to our neighborhood — although that would be an AWESOME last name to have, amirite? (*Briefly considers name change and how to get the husband on board*).

Anyway, this year flew by like a flash. Is it just me, or does time seem to speed up as we age? I had a similar conversation with a co-worker this week over lunch and arrived at the conclusion that time hasn’t developed a superpower, but rather that, as we age, we become more cognizant of time and just how precious it is. We watch classmates mature and start families (via social media, of course), our children grown up, our military spouses near retirement age, and we realize time simply slows down for no man.

I suppose retailers are picking up on this too, because they appear to be targeting customers earlier every year. I was briefly confused, for example, in October when the first Christmas commercial aired on our local television station. To be honest, the commercialism does rob the holidays of their magic. This can be especially true for military families who often face the very real reality of celebrating without one or both parents or in a foreign place. So, how do you bring back the magic?

Growing up, my mother always filled shoe boxes with goodies, instead of stockings, in a tradition carried on from her mother. She’d also wake us up early Christmas morning to listen to her read the Bible and share with us the story of Jesus’ birth. We would then head over to my grandparents’ house (grandad is a pastor) to commune with my father’s side of the family before concluding the day with a visit to our cousins and a dance off in my aunt’s living room.

Now, as the wife of a chaplain, far removed from my birth home of Mississippi, those traditions have changed. In addition to attending  Christmas Even and Christmas Day chapel services and families of the deployed events, I’m trying to find ways to create traditions for our own little family.

Does your family have special traditions you adhere to no matter where you are? Do you prearrange Skype time on Christmas day or even go so far as to bring your spouse on stick with you to all of the holiday parties? I’d love to hear the unique ways you  celebrate!

To close, let us be the first to wish you “Happy Holidays!” (in whatever form the holidays may take for you). Thanksgiving is in less than two weeks, so the timing may be okay for me to say that now. In that vein, More than a Mrs. is featured in this year’s holiday gift guide from the wonderful ladies over at Milspouse Coffeehouse. Check out their guide, as well as the products offered by a wealth of other fantastic milspouses, and find the perfect gift for the special someone in your life. Click the hyperlink above to view.

Six Flags Military Appreciation Days in November

Fall is here! Or, if you’re stationed in the Midwest like we are, Fall/Winter/Summer/Winter is here. Either way, cooler weather heralds the perfect time to visit (drum roll, please) theme parks! Personally, I’m trying to talk my husband into a trip to Disney, since the theme park giant recently released 2019 discounted prices for military personnel.

In the meantime, parks like Six Flags are gearing up to host their annual FREE military days. Yes, you read that right! FREE. If you didn’t know before, now you do. And it you already knew, this will serve as your reminder. 🤷‍♀️

According to Six Flags websites:

Six Flags is proud of the men and women of the military who protect our freedom.

In honor of the service military personnel provide, the parks will be hosting Military Appreciation Days on Veterans Day Weekend, November 10 and 11. During this weekend, there will be complimentary admission to the theme park with a valid U.S. military I.D. A special military discount will be available at the Main Gate for the active duty member’s family and friends at $36.99 + tax each.

All admission tickets must be purchased at the front gate to receive these special military discounts and a valid military ID card is required. All Active Duty, National Guard, Reservists and Retired Military will receive complimentary admission to the theme park with a valid U.S. military I.D.

Check your local Six Flags website to confirm whether this offer is available to you. Make sure to take plenty of pictures!

Community Pool: Friendships, the Milspouse and the Militaryu

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It’s normal to desire to “belong”.

Transparent moment, here – when I’m having a bad day, it’s easy to convince myself that most of my pre-military “friendships” were superficial, with my “friends” having forgotten about me as soon as I was out of sight (aka uprooted in a PCS move).

Kicking Deployment and Taking Names: Jar of Gratefulness

“You’re in here,” I said to my husband. I held up the clear jar and shook it, rattling the pieces of paper inside around so that they plinked softly against the glass. He looked at me blankly, blinking his eyes, head cocked to the side, looking every bit the skeptic. So I explained.

I started my first jar of gratefulness approximately three years ago. It took another six months for me to become semi-serious about what was to essentially become an exercise in faith. It could be that I came across the idea in one of the many books I read that summer or it could have been the product of a quick, but very valid bout of loneliness (or it very well could have come from Oprah *insert Kanye shrug*.

Military Promotion Ceremonies: Expectation vs. Reality

My husband was promoted to Captain this past week. I could not have been more proud:

What’s interesting is that our promotions actually happened around the same time. In fact, mine came about a week before his. Although I’m sharing this information with you now, dear reader, I have yet to share news of my own promotion publicly. There’s a reason for this, and I promise to delve further into that in a future post.

But for now, I want to touch on the military promotion ceremony from the new military spouse’s perspective, plus how to prepare and our expectations vs. the reality of it.

What a Year July Has Been (Yes, You Read that Correctly)!

Hello, hello, hello! What a year month July has been – and it isn’t even over yet!

I don’t say this in a negative way at all, but it does feel almost as though my husband and I have fit an entire year’s worth of events/milestones in one month. I’ll touch on some of those things in future posts (like, the fact that it’s technicallllly our anniversary today), but for now I’ll briefly touch on the need for continued growth and personal development for military spouses and my travels last week.

Milspouse(s) on a Mission: The Women of Alpha Lambda Psi & Visionary Tonya Rankins

img_1236-1Community, support and sisters linked not by blood, but by a cause. These are all things many military spouses envision, crave and even hope for, especially when they foray into their first year of military life. Some milspouses find those things. Others find themselves constantly battling to find their way in a system that was not made for them.

After years of struggling to find their own niche in an unpredictable world, one group of women decided to forge their own community in a very special way, by founding the first military spouse sorority – Alpha Lambda Psi Military Spouses Sorority, Inc.

Milspouse With Your Own Business? There’s Something You Need to Know about Online Sales Tax.

Military Spouse BusinessThis will be one of the more practical posts on the More Than a Mrs. Blog and the first in a series of posting about launching and successfully establishing your own business. In a ruling that is sure to be confusing for many milspouse entrepreneurs, especially those who operate primarily online, the Supreme Court recently weighed in on a pivotal online sales tax case, South Dakota v. Wayfair, effectively widening the reach of sales tax to e-commerce. This is crucial if you operate a business that conducts online transactions. Here’s why.