Introducing My New Blog Category!

I have realized that there has been a category of my blog missing for quite a long time. I am open about this part of my life and I think that I can help others because it is something I have in common with many of my followers and friends.

I am a military spouse.

I have decided to add a “Military Life” category to my blog, but don’t worry because this will still be a healthy lifestyle blog! I just think I can provide some perspective and advice because…

I am also in the military.

Yes, my husband and I are in a “dual military marriage”, as it is called.

I joined the military in February of 2012. At that time, I did not know Michael. I lived in Reno, Nevada and enlisted with the Air National Guard. I went to basic training in September of 2012, back when BEAST was still a thing and we weren’t able to hold up a card to get an MTI to stop yelling at us.

I honestly enjoyed basic training. I had a ton of fun! My favorite part was the CBRNE training where I got to wear a full chemical warfare suit and then play around in tear gas. I also enjoyed the obstacle course and BEAST week.

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I graduated Veteran’s Day weekend and immediately went to tech school… where I would meet Michael. I did not go to tech school with the intentions of dating someone. I actually had a boyfriend back at home, which obviously things did not work out with. When Michael and I met, it wasn’t love at first sight or anything. In fact, I barely paid any attention to him, despite his best efforts to impress me. I literally had no clue that this super tall Airman would eventually be my husband.

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After about a year of being in a long distance relationship, I moved down to Arizona with him and eventually I transferred units so I didn’t have to keep traveling back and forth to my drill weekends.

I have almost always been a traditional guardsman, meaning I go to drill one weekend per month and do active training days two weeks per year. Why did I choose to do this? A few reasons. First and foremost, I never felt like I was in the right job with my original career field. I honestly hated it. It was stressful and I felt immense pressure to be perfect at it. There were a few other aspects that I didn’t like but I will not be posting it publicly! Another reason is because of my civilian career. I love personal training and it made me happy, so I wanted to stay with that.

Still, when duty called, I would have to put my civilian life on hold. Thankfully, I have been employed by some great people that made it easy on me!

We got married at the Pima Air and Space Museum underneath the SR-71 in June 2015. Given that we are both in the Air Force, it was the perfect venue.

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Photo by Michael Chansley

Within one year of getting married, we went through a couple of TDYs (temporary duty), I went on active orders for awhile, and then in April of 2016, Michael deployed to the Middle East for nearly seven months.

I won’t lie, deployments are tough! I know that he will deploy again and I do plan on creating posts about deployments because there are a lot of people I personally know who have not been through one yet.

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Right after Michael came back from his deployment, I was promoted to Staff Sergeant (E-5). Being promoted to Senior Airman wasn’t really a huge deal for me, but SSgt was because I had to board for it, test for it, and really demonstrate my leadership skills. The officer who promoted me mentioned that I was an “ideal traditional Guardsman” because during drill weekends, I don’t need much direction and accomplished all of my tasks.

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After the holidays, Michael went off to Officer Training School for two months, which resulted in him becoming a second Lieutenant! He had been selected for a pilot spot prior to his deployment. It has always been his dream to be a pilot.

After his commissioning, we went off to Laughlin Air Force Base in Texas for possibly the most difficult year and a half of both of our lives. I plan to write about that experience in a few different blog posts, too! He graduated from UPT in May 2018.

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Michael’s dad, a retired fighter pilot, pinned his own wings onto his son’s chest. Photo taken by me.

While we were at Laughlin, I went back and forth for awhile about whether or not to re-enlist. I did not like my job. I honestly had not liked it since before I graduated from tech school, which was disappointing because I loved basic training so much!

Did I want to stay in? Yes.

Did I want to change jobs? Yes.

There was my answer.

In January of 2018, I re-enlisted and switched career fields, choosing to join Public Affairs as a photojournalist. I am still awaiting tech school, but I already LOVE my new job. I have still been able to help out with various tasks because of my writing and creative photography background.

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My re-enlistment. Yes, that is my husband swearing me in!

Michael is now in the “B course”, which is what we call the training course for the F-16. Like I said, I am awaiting tech school and am in regular school right now. Once I graduate in June, I am hoping to commission myself and make a career in the Air Force! It is crazy how I have completely changed my mind about staying in and now I want to be an officer and do 20+ years.

What should you expect in this new category of my blog?

Advice, mostly! I have a unique perspective given that I am in the military and also an enlisted member married to a previously enlisted officer. I will also share my own personal experiences and lessons learned. I will try to do so without angering my fellow spouses. I was once upon a time an admin for a military spouse blog on Tumblr and I actually quit because of how much I offended other spouses.

I keep it real, as they say, when it comes to military life. You might not like what I have to say, but I will always be honest and I won’t sugarcoat things. That is what you can expect from me and that is what sets me apart.

Of course, if you ever have any questions or want to see a specific topic covered, please contact me! I am always happy to help because I understand that this life can be challenging and confusing.

Have a lovely day,

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I am a NASM Certified Personal Trainer specialized in fitness nutrition and weight loss, an independent distributor and coach with Herbalife, an English student, a wife, and a fur mom to one cat and one dog. I am from the southwest and love dry heat. I am a huge bookworm, a sepsis survivor, and I should be a professional cleaner.

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