Pros & Cons of going home during deployment

Spouses often weigh the pros and cons of going home during a deployment. There are a lot of good reasons to do either. Today I am sharing some of my personal reasons for both. This is pros and cons  with kids, because honestly I think its kind of no brainer without kids, although I know plenty of people who still choose to stay. I have gone home and stayed behind in the past, and I think theres no right or wrong answer, its just what works best for your family and what you're more comfortable with. So don't let ANYONE make you feel guilty about your choice, because YOU are the one that has to deal with it. I've had family make me feel bad about not moving home and I've had wives say I'm not a "real" military wife for going home (shrug). Who cares? Do whats best for your family.

Here is the list for Pros.....

1. Being near family

This is in my opinion the biggest reason to go home. If you like your family, have a lot of family, and miss them, this is a great reason to go back. I think they make the time go by quickly and you can keep busy. Your kids will also be with their grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins which I think helps them take it a little easier.

2. Saving money

There are a few ways to save money during deployment but if you can move back in with your parents it will save you a lot of money. This one is hard once you have kids because you want your own space and living with someone is never fun. But if you can suck it up for a year it will be worth it.

3. You have babysitters

It's hard to trust people with your kids and as much as we have great friends here, theres a limit to their kindness. Theres no limit to your family's kindness because they're stuck with you. So one of the awesome things about being home is we have a lot of babysitters and if I ever need a break, I know I can get one.

4. Its familiar

This one is specially true if you just moved somewhere and your husband has to deploy. A deployment alone is very overwhelming but being somewhere new with no friends, different weather, and an area you're not familiar with can be scary. I know I wasn't familiar with snow when we first moved here and I was terrified he would deploy in the winter.

Those are pretty much my pros, theres not a lot but I feel like they're big ones. Now for the Cons.....

1. You have to move

Yea, you have to move yourself and just thinking about it hurts my head. You have to figure out a way to move either one or two vehicles, kids, a household. If you don't move your stuff you have to figure out where to store it, and it's  a pain not to be in the same state as your stuff. Depending on if you're going back there it might be the smartest move. Not to mention you husband probably can't take time off before deployment because of all the trainings so you're likely left doing it alone. This was our biggest reason for not going home the last deployment. Oh, did i mention you have to move back?

2. You have to pull your kids out of school

One of the biggest reasons for not moving is consistency for your kids. Even though you're near family it can still be overwhelming for your kids to move to a whole different place, one they might not even recognize. Your kids having to switch schools is also hard because they have to make new friends. This is unfortunately the hard life of a military child. I think that if our sons were a little older and both in school, I probably would have stayed. In talking to our oldest, he's really sad to be leaving his school and his friends.

3. Military town

One of the most awesome things about living here is how much people appreciate the military. Coming from California its a really awesome change that I appreciate it. If you come from a military town then its a no brainer but if you don't, it can be tough leaving that. Everything is set up for you as a military family. Our church, friends, unit, and even the kids school all know when they're deployed. My sons school actually ask and his teachers know. It's a really neat support system to be in a military town.

4. Military Wives

Unless your family and friends have experienced it, no one knows how hard it is to be in the military. It really is a unique experience that only other military spouses understand. There are days that you're sad, angry, frustrated, want to be alone, need friends and these are all things that military wives understand perfectly. The wave of emotion that comes with the military is very real. It can feel very lonely even being surrounded by such close family and friends.

5. Military Kids

Similar to military wives, military kids stick together. It helped my son to know that some of his friends dads were deployed. It can be hard for kids to understand what a deployment is and why their parent is leaving, but knowing he's not alone helped him. His friends who had experienced this and were older actually explained to him that his dad would be back and that it was going to be okay. It helped him know that here its perfectly normal for dads to leave for a long time and come back.

 I most commonly see young wives go home, while wives with kids, specially older kids, stay put. You just have to weigh the cost of moving vs staying. An oversees tour is actually different. The military will move you or pay you to move where you choose.

For myself personally, even though I hate the thought of living with someone, I know it will benefit us in the long run to save money. Thats what works for us at the moment!

Let me know some of your reasons for either down below!

DIY Succulent Gift

These next few days I'm bringing you some simple DIY gift ideas for Christmas. Since RJ and I are on a tight schedule this year because of flying, and well, he has a huge family to buy for. I did my best to keep things minimal this year. Today I wanted to show you a cheap and simple way to make a succulent gift.

What you need: Baby succulents, mason jars, rocks, & Cactus soil.

Fill the mason jars with rocks about 1/4 of the way. I added the rocks so that the water has somewhere to go. Since theres no holes at the bottom.

Fill in the dirt, but leave enough room to put the plant in. Fill in the rest with dirt.

I watered it enough so that the soil was moist.

This gift was a total of about five dollars. I already had the mason jars, I buy some whenever I see them because I use them a lot. I believe they were a dollar at the dollar store. The cactus were two dollars at Lowe's. I already had the rocks and dirt! So this was a really affordable and cute gift.

Perfect gift for someones office or home :)

Fathers Day Star Wars Shirts

I made these fathers day shirts using my silhouette Cameo and I can't believe how great they came out. I was seriously nervous about using my machine to cut vinyl because I hadn't only used it in the past for card stock. But after looking at some tutorials online and with some help from friends, I managed to make three perfect shirts for all the boys. Can you believe that I didn't have to pay a dime for the images either? One of the cool things that silhouette allows you to do is pull any image from anywhere and turn it into a project. My mind is seriously blown and I can't wait for another project, T-shirts for everyone! 

Here are some of the images I pulled from the internet to make the shirts. Just so you can have an idea about how awesome this thing is! I plan on giving a tutorial in the future about how you convert them into t shirts. All you need is a t-shirt, vinyl, and your computer. The design studio literally allows you to create anything you can think of, its amazing. My husband loved the shirts and they all looked so cute wearing them. 

What were some of your fathers Day ideas? 

DIY Ring Light for under $40

I made this ring light a few weeks back, and thought I would quickly share the tutorial with you guys. Its super simple and way cheaper than buying an actual ring light which can cost anywhere from $100-$300. This tutorial has the stand included with is awesome if you're not facing a wall and need a stand. Below is the full tutorial that explains how to make it.

Wire wreath (18 or 20in)
aluminum foil
Paper towel holder (metal)
zip ties
crazy glue
LED lights (I used 2 for the 20inch, you can get away with 1 for the 18in) (I used
Power Adapter

Its a suer simple process and I don't think you really need pictures. So I will just write the steps.

1. Cover the wreath in aluminum foil until it is completely covered. I just take pieces and cut them off then wrap them around a section of the wreath until it is all covered in aluminum. It serves to reflect the light and as a base to put your lights on.

2. Put the lights on the aluminum foil in a circular pattern, the back is sticky. You will need to connect them if you're using more than one set of lights. Its simple but it can seem tricky, heres a video that explains it well.

3. After you stick the lights on and connect them, you will connect them to the power adapter. Plug it in to make sure it works.

4. After all that you can attach the stand (paper towel holder). You just attach it with zip ties. Theres no method. I just put a whole bunch until it was steady and didn't fall. Ha.

Theres a lot of tutorials using different lights. Even though it might be simpler these are the best lights I found for making videos.

Feel free to ask me any questions you might have.

Happy DIYing!

House Plants

I recently Partnered with Commercial Palm trees to review their company. They sent me over some plants to put around the house to see what I thought, and I have to say, I love them! Ive never been a fan of fake plants because I always felt like I could tell they're fake. But Y'all, I have had a few people compliment on how real they look. I have officially become a fan of fake plants. They really add so much to the house!

Being in the military I really have to think about every plant I buy. The military actually won't move live plants. So a part of me knows I might have to leave a lot of them behind. But it's really awesome knowing I get to keep all my faux plants! So I try to buy more faux because we know eventually we will be moving.

This fiddle leaf tree is my favorite! Those things are so expensive, real. I have been wanting to buy one but I'm not ready to invest $200 on something that could die or I might have to leave. This is the perfect alternative and it adds so much to the house.

Commercial palm trees has so many options to choose from, it was so hard for me to make a decision! They are offering 10% off to my readers with the code BLOGGER 10

Take advantage of the code and tree yo self! ha. Get it?

What are your thoughts on in door plants? My husband says I have an obsession. I just wished we lived somewhere with a little more sun.
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