The Professional Army Wife http://www.theprofessionalarmywife.com Balancing my career and soldier at the same time Mon, 14 Aug 2017 06:41:11 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.8.1 http://www.theprofessionalarmywife.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/08/cropped-InitialR-32x32.jpg The Professional Army Wife http://www.theprofessionalarmywife.com 32 32 About That One Time in Seoul http://www.theprofessionalarmywife.com/2017/08/about-that-one-time-in-seoul/ http://www.theprofessionalarmywife.com/2017/08/about-that-one-time-in-seoul/#respond Mon, 07 Aug 2017 12:33:59 +0000 http://theprofessionalarmywife.wanderlustpublicrelations.com/?p=1254 I’m a little behind on things in South Korea. Getting adjusted to a new work schedule and life in Daegu has been a wild and crazy ride! As I mentioned in my last post, we are also trying to make the most of being stationed here, so Busan was our last trip. However, I forgot [...]

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I’m a little behind on things in South Korea. Getting adjusted to a new work schedule and life in Daegu has been a wild and crazy ride! As I mentioned in my last post, we are also trying to make the most of being stationed here, so Busan was our last trip. However, I forgot to share that we spent a wonderful weekend in Seoul last month.

The Army celebrated its 242nd birthday on June 14 – and we traveled to Seoul to attend the Birthday Ball. Y’all, it was my FIRST birthday ball experience and I had a blast! For some reason, my husband was NOT  around for the last five birthday balls. An overseas tour or TDY would always take him away and he never mentioned it in our first year together. I LOVE a good reason to dress up, eat, and dance. 

Needless to say, when the opportunity came this time around…YES was my answer.

The Birthday Ball landed on a Friday night, which gave us the perfect chance to stick around to explore Seoul for the rest of the weekend. It was also our first KTX train experience and I think I’m in love. The city girl in me appreciated the opportunity to get around the country via mass transit. Korea has a SPEED train called the KTX, so we arrived in Seoul in record time.

The War Memorial of Korea

Located walking distance from the Dragon Hill Inn, the War Memorial of Korea is an impressive museum of Korea’s history with conflict. It doesn’t only focus on the Korean War we know about, but all other wars that Korea as a country has faced. The outside of the museum has beautifully done memorials, particularly the one of two brothers embracing after finding each other on the battlefield. One fought for the South, while the other for the North.

I left the museum with a new found respect and understanding of the issues that Korea endured and was so glad that they have a place for locals and visitors alike to learn about Korea’s history. I recommend anyone spending time in Seoul to visit!

Namsan Seoul Tower

From the museum, we hopped in a cab to check out the Seoul Tower. We could see it right from our hotel and the museum! Once we arrived at the base of the mountain, we rode the cable car up. It was a fun experience!

The views from the Seoul Tower were amazing! It was also amazing how much stuff is up there to enjoy as well. We walked around the compound and had dinner at a delicious Italian restaurant overlooking the city. 

Bukchon Hanok Village

The Bukchon Hanok Village is a well-preserved area of the city that still lives in traditional houses. I like to think of it as the Beverly Hills of Seoul that has Colonial Williamsburg charm. You can tell a lot of effort has been taken to keep these homes secure and beautiful after hundreds of years! 

Changdeokgung Palace

The first palace we visited was actually a secondary palace of the Joseon Dynasty but still loved by kings because of the beautiful grounds. It was our first taste of Korean palace life and was a great introduction. We did a tour for the day and was able to learn a lot about the history. 

Gyeongbokgung Palace

This palace was the main one of the Joseon Dynasty and by far the biggest! They also have daily re-enactments and I was thrilled to catch the Changing of the Gate Guard Ceremony. We spent so much time walking on this property and soaking in the history.

There were so many photos to choose from and so difficult to pick the best ones! The palaces are amazing and so worth a visit!

National Folk Museum of Korea

Right next door to Gyeongbokgung Palace is the National Folk Museum of Korea. You are not allowed to take photos inside to preserve all the artifacts. It was amazing to get a glimpse of early life in Korea and travel into the past.

Admiral Yi Sunshin and King Sejong Museum

My husband wanted to scope out the statutes of Admiral Yi Sunshin and King Sejong, which are located outside of Gyeongbokgung Palace, so we went across the street. While snapping some photos outside, we realized that there is an underground museum! We went down the stairs and spent more time learning about these two influential figures in Korean history. 

Admiral Yi Sunshin is known for his naval victories and the “turtle ship”- and King Sejong commissioned the creation of the Korean alphabet, Hangul. Of course, there are other achievements on both their resumes and worth a quick study!

Needless to say, we are looking forward to our next Seoul Visit and I can’t wait to share it with you all!

PS – I’ve changed how things look a bit with more changes to come in the coming weeks as I revamp things and continuously update! 🙂

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Fourth of July at Busan, South Korea http://www.theprofessionalarmywife.com/2017/07/fourth-of-july-at-busan-south-korea/ http://www.theprofessionalarmywife.com/2017/07/fourth-of-july-at-busan-south-korea/#respond Tue, 11 Jul 2017 23:59:57 +0000 http://theprofessionalarmywife.wanderlustpublicrelations.com/?p=1225 After we unpacked our final box, we started crafting our South Korea/Asia bucket list and are determined to make the most of the time off, especially during American holidays!  The first holiday in the country was Memorial Day, but we decided to stay in town and finish unpacking our goods. Our stuff arrived here the [...]

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After we unpacked our final box, we started crafting our South Korea/Asia bucket list and are determined to make the most of the time off, especially during American holidays! 

The first holiday in the country was Memorial Day, but we decided to stay in town and finish unpacking our goods. Our stuff arrived here the Friday before Memorial Day. So, it seemed natural to power through the weekend to set-up our new home here.

However, for the Fourth of July (the next long weekend), we traveled to Busan for a beach weekend and had a wonderful time. What a vibrant city with beautiful views! 

We jam packed our weekend with lots of activities. Unfortunately, it’s monsoon season here, which made for some extremely foggy and rainy days. As a result, we had to adjust some of our plans. Despite the setbacks, we did manage to see some amazing sites and experience the local culture. 

Busan is only about 40 minutes away from Daegu via the KTX. We decided to take the train because 1) it’s fast and 2) we didn’t have to worry about the traffic. Busan is the second largest city in South Korea (after Seoul). Cab fares around here are extremely affordable and encouraged. We don’t mind having someone drive us around to avoid the hassle of not knowing where we are going! GPS is a little tricky here….

We arrived Saturday afternoon and zipped to our hotel across the street from Haeundae Beach, a very popular beach in the area. It’s is the longest beach in the Busan area and gets really crowded during peak times. We waited to visit the beach till Monday, hoping we would beat the weekend crowd.

After we dropped off our stuff, we hopped in a cab and visited Haedong Yonggungsa Temple. It’s a Buddhist temple with gorgeous views of the East Sea.

Haedong Yonggungsa Temple
Haedong Yonggungsa Temple
Haedong Yonggungsa Temple
Haedong Yonggungsa Temple

Rachel Temple

In the cab to the temple, I noticed an outlet mall nearby. After our visit, we walked over to the new-ish Lotte Mall to have dinner and get tempted to shop. We didn’t do much else our first day because we booked an all-day tour for Sunday and didn’t want to be tired. I found the Busan Tourism Center through Viator. We used Viator (via Tripadvisor) and found an amazing tour while in Sydney, Australia in January, so I thought we might have the same luck this time around. I was right! 

Like I mentioned before, the weather didn’t cooperate well with us at moments, so when we visited Hwangnyeong Mountain, an area you can see beautiful mountain views of Busan…it started to pour. Also, the fog was so thick, it was difficult to see much in front of us. Alas, we couldn’t see Busan from the mountain.

However, our tour guides were amazing and adjusted our schedule and took us to other locations to experience other Busan must-dos! 

First, we did manage to visit Beomeosa Temple, another Buddhist temple with views of the mountains. We were able to experience Buddhist monks in action and were humbled by their prayers.

Beomeosa Temple
Beomeosa Temple

We had Korean BBQ, which was a part of the tour and then headed to the BIFF (Busan International Film Festival) Square. It’s where they host the BIFF and when it’s not film festival season, there are several vendors in the area with food and goods. It’s a popular area for locals to visit. 

BIFF Square
BIFF Square

In addition, we visited the Busan fish market and a book alley, the last remaining area where Busan residents can purchase books in-person. It was pretty neat to get shown around town by locals and why we enjoy spending some extra cash to book tours. Our tour guides also informed us of some other places we should visit that wasn’t a part of our tour. They shared valuable info with us! 

For example, our hotel is only a 10-minute walk from Dongbaekseom Island. We decided to visit Dongbaekseom Island before hitting the beach since they both were very near to each other and our hotel. I was very impressed with the views on Dongbaekseom Island, which actually isn’t an island anymore. Over time, the island started connecting with the mainland.

Dongbaekseom Island
Dongbaekseom Island
Dongbaekseom Island
Dongbaekseom Island

From Dongbaekseom Island, you can see the Gwangandaegyo Bridge, also known as “diamond bridge” because of the LED light show it displays every night. We had plans to go to Gwangalli Beach, another popular beach our last night in town because the bet view of the bridge is actually off that beach.

View of Gwangandaegyo Bridge from Dongbaekseom Island
View of Gwangandaegyo Bridge from Dongbaekseom Island

After Dongbaekseom Island, we suited up for Haeundae Beach and lounged there for a bit. To be honest, I completely chickened out on going into the water because it was extremely cold! I think that might have been one reason the beach wasn’t crowded. Despite not getting in the water, it was still a nice and relaxing time. We stayed till we felt sprinkles and packed up our mat to get ready for the evening. 

Haeundae Beach
Haeundae Beach

We hopped in a cab to Gwangalli Beach for dinner and to see the light show. While waiting for the light show, we visited a local craft brewery called Galmegi Brewing and sampled everything they had on tap. Then, an easy walk to the beach to see the lights! 

Have you followed me on Instagram yet? I actually share stories and some other pictures from our travels on there! 

 

 

 

Beach feet!

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Why Having a Mobile Office is Important for Working MilSpouses http://www.theprofessionalarmywife.com/2017/06/why-having-a-mobile-office-is-important-for-working-milspouses/ http://www.theprofessionalarmywife.com/2017/06/why-having-a-mobile-office-is-important-for-working-milspouses/#respond Thu, 22 Jun 2017 09:37:04 +0000 http://theprofessionalarmywife.wanderlustpublicrelations.com/?p=1215 As a military spouse, we learn that things can change at any time…no matter what is going on. With my job being an important part of my life, I knew I would have to take the necessary precautions to be able to work from anywhere, literally! At the airport. Inside a plane. At a coffee [...]

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MobileOfficeMilSpouse

As a military spouse, we learn that things can change at any time…no matter what is going on. With my job being an important part of my life, I knew I would have to take the necessary precautions to be able to work from anywhere, literally! At the airport. Inside a plane. At a coffee shop. From my parents’ house. In an empty apartment on the floor and later on a card table. Inside a hotel room and lobby.

All those things happened during the two-month move process from Northern Virginia to South Korea. I was without an office for two months…TWO MONTHS! Now, I’m typing to you from my new office and I’m happy to report that I have EVERYTHING set-up and all is well with the world. But, I did have to be creative at times.

I believe putting together your own mobile workspace is critical to maintain efficiency and continue working when military life has you all over the place. Especially for a PCS, having a mobile workstation eases the work transition. It’s particularly helpful to have one for an overseas move when most of your office luxuries are gone – on a slow boat to your new location. 

A laptop is, in my opinion, the most important arsenal in any remote office. When I first got started, I opted for an awesome PC to equip my office. When a TDY came up and the opportunity to visit my parents along with meeting my spouse, I was left with a predicament because I still had work to do! I splurged for an awesome laptop that is pretty much identical with my desktop, so it runs fast and processes everything I need and more! (Reminder: anything you buy for your biz gets to be expensed!) 

With two different computers, things can get a little tricky, but with cloud storage, no matter what computer I’m on, the same files are accessible. I use Microsoft OneDrive. What an awesome invention, y’all! As long as you have wifi, you’re golden and able to access your documents. It worked beautifully at the airport, airplane(!), hotel, and coffee shops when we finally arrived in Korea. Try your local USO or ACS (for Army folk) for wifi too! I know I’ve borrowed service from them. Of course for sensitive work, be careful with wifi – and why Entrepreneur suggests getting a mobile hotspot. If there is something sensitive I need to do, I usually work straight on the computer without internet in the meantime. 

Don’t forget to pack headphones that include a mic in case you need an impromptu meeting while you’re working out. While visiting my parents AND at a coffee shop, a client needed to touch base with me and I was able to have a silent conversation with loads of people around me. It wasn’t disturbing because my voice was among others having a conversation and my client couldn’t hear those around me as a distraction. 

For our OCONUS move, I had to be very selective in what I left after our pack-out because I knew it would be up to us to lug around our goods for at least two months. I kept my work notebook with me along with some important documents that I had to keep with me aside from the typical PCS-needed items. All my work documents were filed in a traveling zip-up document holder that I packed in my hand-carry. To avoid confusion, I had two different holders.

Lastly, I encourage you to be realistic. There will be a time that you cannot work. I’m lucky to have clients that understood my challenges. Timing gets away with you during a move – and while moving overseas, there are lots of things that are beyond your control. For example, when arriving in Korea, it’s a process…a pretty tedious one. Totally doable and not anything to really worry about, but it got me tired. The time difference is one to adjust with too. Perhaps I can discuss that another day! 

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Good-bye Northern Virginia, Hello South Korea http://www.theprofessionalarmywife.com/2017/06/good-bye-northern-virginia-hello-south-korea/ http://www.theprofessionalarmywife.com/2017/06/good-bye-northern-virginia-hello-south-korea/#comments Wed, 07 Jun 2017 09:36:13 +0000 http://theprofessionalarmywife.wanderlustpublicrelations.com/?p=1208 So, I left Northern Virginia. It’s unbelievable to type out (let alone say out loud) that I live in South Korea now. Who knew that I would be here? My husband and I sure didn’t think another assignment in South Korea would land on our plate. Alas, it did. And instead of doing another unaccompanied [...]

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HelloSouthKorea-TheProArmyWife

So, I left Northern Virginia.

It’s unbelievable to type out (let alone say out loud) that I live in South Korea now. Who knew that I would be here? My husband and I sure didn’t think another assignment in South Korea would land on our plate. Alas, it did. And instead of doing another unaccompanied tour like our last go around, we opted to do command sponsorship this time.

Why?

Unlike last time, I already work from home.

I didn’t have a career to worry about.

With those factors in mind, why not?

It was still a difficult pill to swallow that South Korea came at us again so soon. I would be lying to say that I was excited at first. But, it was the opposite. I was bummed. Of course, I quickly jotted down a pros list and thought to myself, it really could be worse. Another positive about our specific duty station, I’ve had more than one friend mention good things. Yay!

Here we go folks. Our first rodeo overseas. An overseas move has its own set of unique complications. We’re only granted to ship one vehicle, so I sold my car. To take a pet, there are some hoops to jump through, so we did a lot of jumping. We haven’t seen our household goods since mid-March (I can’t tell you how excited I am to sleep on my own bed!). It was also a big item on my agenda to make sure my work wasn’t disrupted too much. Lastly, I worked hard to avoid any hiccups with my graduate program. Not to mention our farewell tour that consisted of a trip to Disney and Universal Studios before crossing the Pacific Ocean.

Phew, as you can imagine, I can keep going with excuses of why I’ve been so silent, but I’m going to stop (I’ve already guilty of excuses before!). 

One of my closest friends back home really prompted me to hit the keyboard to share my adventures again. Besides keeping in touch with what is currently going on, I hope to share some very meaningful lessons, ideas, and stories from our time in Northern Virginia. From work to vacationing, so much has happened that I feel like blogging again would help me reminisce and value our time in our old home. 

I hope my online friends can help keep me accountable and nudge me along! Don’t forget to check out some of our recent adventures on my insta page.

Missed you all – and till next time!

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How I Transitioned from Working in an Office to at Home http://www.theprofessionalarmywife.com/2016/09/how-i-transitioned-from-working-in-an-office-to-at-home/ http://www.theprofessionalarmywife.com/2016/09/how-i-transitioned-from-working-in-an-office-to-at-home/#comments Wed, 21 Sep 2016 21:10:58 +0000 http://theprofessionalarmywife.wanderlustpublicrelations.com/?p=1201 When I started this blog years ago, I had absolutely NO idea where I would have ended up at the end of the yearlong unaccompanied tour. I knew things would change – a lot. I was excited. I was scared. I was unsure. I was confused. And the list goes on and on. At the [...]

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How I Transitioned From Working in an Office to at Home

When I started this blog years ago, I had absolutely NO idea where I would have ended up at the end of the yearlong unaccompanied tour.

I knew things would change – a lot. I was excited. I was scared. I was unsure. I was confused. And the list goes on and on.

At the time, one of my biggest fears was losing my job. Ironically enough, it did happen. I didn’t write about it so much because it sucked (no need to sugar coat). When the opportunity came up to share my story, I jumped at the chance. I wrote about how my work-from-home proposal was shot down on NextGen MilSpouse because it was something that needed to be shared.

(PS – There is a light at the end of that tunnel. I do project work for my old firm every now and again. Besides, I have enough work to keep me busy full-time.)

Anyway, I wanted to stay positive and remain hopeful, which was a great tactic because I managed to adjust my career trajectory from an office setting to solopreneurship quite fast. Things kept moving at a quick pace because I was planning a wedding, moving and changing jobs – all at the same time. I was on hyper drive and wanted to get myself squared away before our move, if I could swing it. 

At the time, I started spending hours in the evenings looking at job postings and in my networking groups. I had lots of things land on my lap, so I made sure to be as open and honest, especially that I wouldn’t be able to start till AFTER my honeymoon (thank you very much).

Saving up enough money to open up my own “office” was half the battle. Of course, I’ve been primarily using a company PC and at home I was using my decrepit laptop from college, which went rrreeeeeaaaallllly sllloooooowwwww. The list of office expenses kept piling on. However, I knew if I didn’t get myself situated right away, it would be a continuous struggle. 

First step, networking and interviewing.

Second step, making sure I was able to work where we were living. 

Do yourself a favor and create a dedicated work space! Whatever you can carve out of your home, know that it can be counted when you do your tax returns (not too mention all the goods you had to get for that space, i.e. new PC). As weird as it sounds, my dedicated work space in my house is a haven to me. Everything around the room is a reminder of how I got to where I am today. I have my group photo of my bridal shower handing up. A map of my old neighborhood in NYC right above my monitor and then good ol’ Yankee Stadium to the right. And behind me is a view I’m familiar with when I used to work at the top floor of a building in midtown Manhattan. 

Creating a productive work space is key – at least for me and makes me happy to “go to work” everyday. 

Once you get your space together, it’s important to establish rules. I’ve actually shared them at the start of working from home. They have been amazing with maintaining my productivity and keeping me sane when it’s just me and the cat at home. 

To me, the little nuances are the things that are the biggest differences from working in an office than at home. Duh, you won’t be in a room with people or perhaps get to interact with as many people as you used to, but there are now co-working clubs from coast-to-coast or you could create your own! Also, thanks to Skype I can see my colleagues as much as I’d like (yay all around!). 

My commute has cut down considerably from taking the subway from Queens to Midtown (about 30 minutes each way for me) to 3 seconds (from one room to another). If you’re feeling overwhelmed with all that you would need to do for yourself, don’t be afraid to take slower and littler steps because the more intentional and careful you are, the more it will stick, most likely. Things will catch up and the best thing you can do for yourself is to make sure you get to where you need to be at your own pace. 

I am the BIGGEST advocate of networking. Seriously, if you see my writing anywhere else, it’s quite possible I’m talking about networking. Your biggest asset is your peers and who better to know and understand your situation but them, right?! Whether they are a military spouse or fellow professional in your field, collaborating and conversation is how we can learn from each other. 

Did you transition from working in an office to at home? I’d love to hear your story!

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Turning 30: Birthday Milestone http://www.theprofessionalarmywife.com/2016/04/turning-30/ http://www.theprofessionalarmywife.com/2016/04/turning-30/#comments Thu, 07 Apr 2016 01:58:52 +0000 http://theprofessionalarmywife.wanderlustpublicrelations.com/?p=1187 Now that we’re in April, the first thing that comes to mind is my birthday is a month away (YAY!). This one is sticking out more than others though because I’m turning 30. Yes, you read it right…I’m turning THREE-ZERO, THIRTY, and any other variation that reflects the number 3 and 0. Want to hear [...]

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turning30Now that we’re in April, the first thing that comes to mind is my birthday is a month away (YAY!). This one is sticking out more than others though because I’m turning 30. Yes, you read it right…I’m turning THREE-ZERO, THIRTY, and any other variation that reflects the number 3 and 0.

Want to hear something stinky too?

My husband won’t be around. Whomp, whomp. ‘Tis the life of a military spouse.

No biggie because we plan to celebrate before he leaves in a couple of weeks. The Lion King has a traveling show starting in Richmond…AND I MUST SEE IT! I didn’t have a chance to see it on Broadway and we’ve decided to make a little overnight trip out of it. I’m pretty pumped!

Anyway, another exciting thing coming up is my parents along with my uncle and aunt are coming up to visit while my husband is away too! My dad being my dad bought tickets flying into NYC instead of DC so we can catch a Yankee game over the weekend (of course!). I’ll drive to NYC and will drive the family back to DC. In addition, this will be my Filipino uncle and aunt’s first time visiting the East Coast. I’m thrilled to take them around town, especially sightseeing in the Capital and NYC areas.

Besides my dad’s obvious Yankee motive, my family is coming to visit to help celebrate my birthday since I’ll be solo. Gotta love them. All the attention got me thinking of a bucket list. Did I manage to do everything I wanted to do before turning 30?

Well, I’m pretty happy with life right now and can’t think of any BIG goals to finish. In fact, the thoughts that have been coming to mind are things that I never expected would be a part of my life as I approach 30.

For example, a big one is that I’m actually married…WHAT?! Yes, I never thought marriage was in the cards for me. Men, yes, but not tying the knot with one dude FOR-EVER.

The joke is on me.

But, it’s the best joke ever — because I found THE ONE. As cheesy and cliché as it sounds, the man the internet stumbled my way is the ying to my yang. I guess it took me meeting my other half to understand.

Another detail that I didn’t plan on…is that I would be marrying the Army too. That’s where my friends would have disagreed because I admittedly had a thing for guys in a uniform, so I guess it was inevitable. Gosh darn it.

Adding on to that, I left NYC and am living in the DC area now. Just ten years ago, I would have said, “you’ve got to be kidding me?!” because I had no plans to leave NYC…ever. NYC is forever my (second) home. The place I became an adult. The place where I have countless memories that make me smile. The place I made lifelong beloved friends. I LOVE NEW YORK.

Lots of reflection as I get ready for my thirtieth birthday and now I look forward to the next thirty. Who knows what will come my way, but I’m looking forward to the ride!

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10 Lessons Learned from My Cat http://www.theprofessionalarmywife.com/2016/02/10-lessons-learned-from-my-cat/ http://www.theprofessionalarmywife.com/2016/02/10-lessons-learned-from-my-cat/#respond Fri, 19 Feb 2016 13:07:51 +0000 http://theprofessionalarmywife.wanderlustpublicrelations.com/?p=1167 Xena is a joy. When my husband and I adopted her almost two years ago, I couldn’t imagine how she would imprint on our lives. It sounds silly, but she seriously brings happiness to us. Xena is weirdly and adorably attached to both my husband and I — and must follow us where ever in [...]

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10 lessons learned

Xena is a joy. When my husband and I adopted her almost two years ago, I couldn’t imagine how she would imprint on our lives. It sounds silly, but she seriously brings happiness to us. Xena is weirdly and adorably attached to both my husband and I — and must follow us where ever in our home we go. And if we happen to be in two different rooms, she has no idea what to do. Most of the time, she sits smack dab in the middle, patiently waiting for when we are in the same room again. She eats when we do, she sleeps when we do and she lounges in the living room when we do. 

I work from home, so when I am working, she either sits on my desk, her window hammock or futon (the latter two is where I prefer her to be). One of my favorite Xena moments are when my husband is away on TDY, she sleeps on the bed where he typically would be. She is my home girl.

Our pets surprise us all the time and it’s wonderful. We are happy that we decided to take on pet parenthood. Despite being so obsessed with us (it’s okay because we pretty obsessed with her), her furry little butt does her own thing. Xena has a ton of personality and living with her has taught me many things. 

Here are the 10 lessons Xena has taught me over the years:

 

 

Xena loves to play! Her little panting session after some good jumps…#catsofinstagram #playfulkitty #kitty

A video posted by lilraerae86 (@lilraerae86) on


Play with anything and everything.

We live in a big playground, so why not have fun! Xena sees the fun in most things. The pen I’m writing with, an actual cat toy, or the hair tie on my head, she sees the potential of fun. 

Thankyouxena

Distractions should be welcomed.

To be productive, we need a little break every once in a while, right?

When all else fails, take a nap.

Sometimes you need a break. It’s completely okay to throw your hands up and take to a warm bed to rest. 

You learn from being curious. 

Curiosity made the cat smarter! We live and learn.

Getting a box in the mail is awesome!

Who doesn’t love mail?!

 

 

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Appreciate the little things.

Sitting by the window soaking up the sun, curled up in a ball on the couch, and getting a chance to play with a piece of string (or maybe in our case play with legos or puzzles), all of which are simple pleasure to enjoy. Take it all in!

Life’s too short not to be crazy.

There are times to take things seriously, but don’t forget to let loose every once in a while. 

Snuggling is a great pastime!

I have to agree. Waking up to cat cuddles is great. 🙂

Entertaining yourself is actually fun.

So, that shiny ball can be the perfect way to have a blast!

 

 

Happy #nationalcatday from Xena and myself to you! #catlady #meow #catsofinstagram

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Be yourself.

No matter what, you are awesome. Whether you are chasing around a shiny ball or attempting to eat paper (yes, she does this and we don’t know why), it is you and don’t stop being you. 

10LessonsLearnedFromCat

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Some Exciting Things A-Brewin’ http://www.theprofessionalarmywife.com/2015/12/some-exciting-things-a-brewin/ http://www.theprofessionalarmywife.com/2015/12/some-exciting-things-a-brewin/#comments Wed, 23 Dec 2015 13:18:47 +0000 http://theprofessionalarmywife.wanderlustpublicrelations.com/?p=1150 I’m going to let you in on a huge secret I’ve been keeping from pretty much everybody. I applied to Grad School about a month ago. Seriously though, I didn’t even tell my parents, it was that BIG of a secret (I tell my parents nearly everything). A combination of extreme nervousness and fear of disappointment [...]

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GradSchoolI’m going to let you in on a huge secret I’ve been keeping from pretty much everybody. I applied to Grad School about a month ago. Seriously though, I didn’t even tell my parents, it was that BIG of a secret (I tell my parents nearly everything). A combination of extreme nervousness and fear of disappointment (as silly as it sounds) kept me from telling people.

I’ve been exploring programs nonchalantly for the last year and hoping to come across a program that caught my attention. Of course, I’ve been working in both the public relations and journalism realm, so I didn’t want to be too specific on either with a graduate degree. That’s why I brushed aside so many programs that came my way.

Then, I discovered American University’s Master of Arts in Strategic Communications. After researching and discussing the program with an adviser, I was convinced this school was the right one for me. It’s local to me (for now) AND they offer an online program. It gives me the ability to utilize their campus in Washington DC and the Internet to keep my studies going if/when the military moves us from here. 

Ultimately, my goal is to have my education compliment my work experience and to really capitalize on what American University can give me. I bit the bullet and reached out to my oldest mentors to write a recommendation and secretly wrote my Statement of Purpose. After paying the dues and filling out my information, I submitted my application. The worst that could happen was I didn’t get accepted and I would still continue to move onward and upward in my career endeavors.  

Well, a couple weeks ago, I received amazing news. I have been accepted. And I can’t be any happier! 

I know what you’re thinking…how are you going to do it all?! That’s something I’ve been asking myself a lot too.

My husband is also currently working on a degree (he started a couple weeks ago!) and we’ve committed to helping each other on our new journey. AKA our free time will now consist of studying, which I’m kind of digging because it will feel like I have a school sweetheart. Library study sessions, hand holding on campus, why yes and thank you. We already took a stroll on campus over the weekend, so I could check out the situation. In addition, the program is designed for full-time professionals (holler!) and is done at a one-class-at-a-time pace. Otherwise, I think I might have gone crazy. 

Working from home has given me the right mentality to keep myself accountable in my time management. I am extremely confident that I can do it and more! Besides, the things I will learn in the classroom will go directly into my work. It’s really a win-win and hope that with the knowledge I gain, I can make more invaluable contributions t and grow my at-home business by leaps and bounds.  

Y’all I can’t be any more happier with how things are ebbing and flowing in my life and in particular, my career. I was so scared and nervous when I started doing my own thang, but seriously, it has been amazing! I have loads more work on my plate and wonderful opportunities at my fingertips.

I pinkie promise to share more of my journey with you all because I think there is some value in it. For real, three years today, I sat in a courtroom with my husband and married him before an overseas tour. I was extremely happy to marry him, but then there was an overwhelming sense of uncertainty too because I knew I was leaving my job. Flash forward to today, I work that same team again on a project basis among other projects and contracts with amazing people. It is truly awesome! 

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Playing Tourist at the National Mall http://www.theprofessionalarmywife.com/2015/11/playing-tourist-at-the-national-mall/ http://www.theprofessionalarmywife.com/2015/11/playing-tourist-at-the-national-mall/#respond Fri, 13 Nov 2015 22:52:19 +0000 http://theprofessionalarmywife.wanderlustpublicrelations.com/?p=1125 It only took a year and a half…. Actually, I’ve walked on the National Mall with family and friends already, but my husband has either been away or unable to come with us. He hasn’t been able to see any of the monuments and memorials and with the weather turning, we wanted to make sure [...]

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It only took a year and a half….The Professional Army Wife (5)

Actually, I’ve walked on the National Mall with family and friends already, but my husband has either been away or unable to come with us. He hasn’t been able to see any of the monuments and memorials and with the weather turning, we wanted to make sure we make of the time we have before Winter.

This past Sunday was beautiful out.

A couple months ago, I drove up to the National Mall area on a Sunday and surprisingly found that parking wasn’t as bad as I thought. So, I thought it would be fine for us to drive up (it’s only about 30 minutes on the weekend to drive for us). We found a cute brunch place near the GWU area and decided to park there. It’s only a handful of blocks away from the National Mall too. 

PRO TIP: Plan day trips into Washington DC on a Sunday because parking is free and not a lot of huge crowds. 

Our priority destination was the Lincoln Memorial and I really wanted to go to the National Archives to see the Declaration of Independence, among other things. On our way there, we passed the Vietnam War Memorial and on our way to the National Archives, we passed the Korean War Memorial.

It seemed fitting for us to pass all the war memorials with Veterans Day upcoming. 

The walk to the National Archives was a nice long one. I was pretty much bubbling with anticipation. Once we got in, we went around the exhibits and I was blown away at all the different things that were saved in our Nation’s history. The main exhibit area highlighted major social movements from Womens Suffrage to Immigration Reform and Civil Rights. There were some facinating declassified missions too.

Once we got through the exhibits, we finished our visit by going into the Rotunda where the Declaration of Independence, Constitution and Bill of Rights are held. What an incredible experience! The biggest bummer about the National Archives is that you can’t take any pictures! So, I strongly encourage if you are in the Washington DC area, you MUST stop by the National Archives. How could you NOT see the major documents that pretty much founded our country?!

As we walked back to where our car was parked, we stumbled upon the White House. Obviously we stopped and took our token photo in front!

The Professional Army Wife

White House

White House

National Archives

National Archives

The Professional Army Wife (3)

Korean War Memorial

Korean War Memorial

View from Lincoln Memorial to the Washington Monument

View from Lincoln Memorial to the Washington Monument

Vietnam War Memorial

Vietnam War Memorial

Lincoln Memorial

Lincoln Memorial

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I’m so lucky to have so many heroes! http://www.theprofessionalarmywife.com/2015/11/im-so-lucky-to-have-so-many-heroes/ http://www.theprofessionalarmywife.com/2015/11/im-so-lucky-to-have-so-many-heroes/#comments Mon, 09 Nov 2015 16:40:47 +0000 http://theprofessionalarmywife.wanderlustpublicrelations.com/?p=1118 This post is sponsored by Single Edition Media on behalf of La Brea Bakery, but all my thoughts are my own. Today is my husband’s birthday — HAPPY BIRTHDAY HONEY! — and in a couple of days, it’s Veterans Day. Along with celebrating my beloved’s special day of birth, it’s also time to celebrate all [...]

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FAIRYstories
My dad and I during our father/daughter dance at my wedding.

This post is sponsored by Single Edition Media on behalf of La Brea Bakery, but all my thoughts are my own.

Today is my husband’s birthday — HAPPY BIRTHDAY HONEY! — and in a couple of days, it’s Veterans Day.

Along with celebrating my beloved’s special day of birth, it’s also time to celebrate all the countless Veterans out their for their service to protect the wonderful country I call home. 

I mentioned that I’m luck to have so many heroes and it’s because I really look up to all the men and women that put on a uniform.  It doesn’t matter if I know them personally or not, I respect them for the sacrifice, which was a life changing decision that not everyone can make.

With that said, there are a couple of individuals that standout in my book.  First, my husband…then, my dad, who is my very first hero.

He served in the Air Force for more than 20 years and I can’t tell you how many times he’s had to leave because duty called. Despite all the time we had apart, it never felt that way. All the moments spent together were so meaningful that despite being separated for months on end, he did an amazing job making sure I always knew he was there for us.  Even after the military, my dad wanted to find a job that was civil service to continue giving back to the community. He’s a mailman now! 

I admire my dad for being a loving husband, wonderful father and sacrificing himself to serve in the military. I am forever proud of him and am so lucky to have him in my life. My husband has big shoes to fill, now that he’s an important man in my life!

I like to think that every family has those special someones that standout. For those that are going to miss out on their family’s La_Brea_Bakery_Logospecial Thanksgiving dinner, La Brea Bakery is hosting a wonderful campaign that donates a fully catered meal to five lucky finalists.  I share more details with you in my last blog post here

It’s really a cinch to nominate your loved one!  Jump to La Brea Bakery’s Facebook page to enter all your info and remember deadline to nominate is November 15th!

Who is your hero? 

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