We believe stories are important - they connect us with other women who share similar experiences and help us feel as if we're not alone when life throws us a curveball. And as a military spouse - owned company, we believe in the power of sharing stories of fellow military spouses. The military spouse community is a unique sisterhood - they show strength with every relocation, deployment, and lost job; they’re resilient - making a new home and forming new friendships at each duty station; and they are fiercely devoted to the family and military hero they love. Despite the uncertainty and sacrifice that military life brings, military spouses face each new challenge with grace and bravery. At Charliemadison Originals, we're celebrating our sisterhood of military spouses through our Meet a Milspouse series - sharing one story at a time and giving you a glimpse inside their world.
GIVE US A BEHIND-THE-SCENES PEEK AT YOU AND YOUR FAMILY – HOW DID YOU BECOME A MILITARY SPOUSE (MILSPOUSE)? WHAT DO YOU DO IN ADDITION TO BEING A MILSPOUSE? AND A FUN FACT ABOUT YOUR MILITARY FAMILY?
My husband and I met in high school through mutual friends, but we didn’t start dating until he was a sophomore at the USAF Academy. I guess you can say distance really does make the heart grow fonder! We then got married after 7 years of dating (6 of which were long distance). And while we don’t have any children yet, we’re parents to a super cute (I may be a bit biased) Lab named Jules!
In addition to being a military spouse, I’m the founder and lead content creator of Carried Away Creative Co. I started this small, but mighty business of mine when my husband got orders to deploy. I was tired and disheartened knowing I was giving my all to a position I wouldn’t be at much longer, and that didn’t offer me much flexibility. I was terrified to make the leap but doing so connected me to the thriving and inspiring military spouse entrepreneur community and gave me a greater sense of purpose as a service member spouse.
A fun fact about my military family: When we were planning our destination wedding for Charlottesville, Virginia, my husband got orders to deploy a few weeks before the big day. So, we had to re-plan everything within a matter of 2-ish months to be back in our hometown. While it wasn’t exactly what we had planned, it ended up being way more beautiful than we’d ever imagined and was even more meaningful as it was hosted on my in-laws’ property surrounded by all of our favorite people.
WHICH MILITARY BRANCH DOES YOUR SPOUSE SERVE IN AND FOR HOW MANY YEARS HAS HE SERVED?
Air Force - 7 years.
WHERE HAS THE MILITARY MOVED YOUR FAMILY OVER THE YEARS? WHICH WAS YOUR FAVORITE DUTY STATION AND WHY?
My husband was up north at his first duty station before we moved to Virginia. But I opted out of going with him to freezing temperatures as I was just beginning my career at an advertising agency and wasn’t quite ready to give up that opportunity!
Though, each duty station thus far has held special memories and favorites. While at Grand Forks, we would road trip together from our hometown (he’d visit during holidays) to go back to base. Those excursions had me on edge (thanks to icy roads, semi trucks driving at less-than-safe speeds, and me gripping the passenger-side grab handle), but they were filled with lots of fun conversations.
Langley AFB was our first true home together, where my husband proposed at Yorktown Beach, we got our dog Jules together, and where I held down the fort during our first six months of married life while he was deployed overseas. I learned a lot about myself and grew so much during this time, and also started my own business in the spare bedroom-turned office!
Monterey, California, is where we’ve really found our community and I’ve established a sense of belonging as a milspouse. Virginia was tough because, with my husband’s career, he works with a lot of civilians. So, while we had a few close friends who were also military, it was tough to find my milspouse tribe. And there’s so much to do and see within this area - the beach is within a few miles and the mountains just a 5-hour drive away!
WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE THING ABOUT BEING A MILITARY SPOUSE? TELL US SOMETHING THAT YOU HAVE LEARNED OR HAS MADE YOU STRONGER BECAUSE YOU ARE A MILSPOUSE?
One of my long-time friends once asked me if I was nervous about moving to yet another new location. While it is difficult to leave a place you’ve gotten comfortable with, what I love most about this life is that we get to experience living in a variety of different cities and meet people (and lifelong friends) we wouldn’t have otherwise had the chance to meet.
As for lessons learned, I feel like there have been so many! One lesson that stands out to me, however, is to live in the moment. I used to try to plan or control the future. But I believe in a higher power and I’ve learned to relinquish that control, knowing that while things won’t always go the way I had envisioned, they will work out and lead me to learning lessons and growing to become a better version of myself.
WHO INSPIRES YOU AND WHY?
My milspouse entrepreneur friends. They give me the courage and motivation to continue on this wild journey. And while we’re a diverse community, each one of us bringing something new and unique to the table, the near and far support is truly incredible. It’s a true reflection of the quote, “When women support each other, incredible things happen.”
WHICH CHARLIEMADISON EVERYDAY REMINDER DO YOU WEAR ON YOUR WRIST AND WHY DID YOU CHOOSE THAT PARTICULAR BRACELET?
Be Unapologetically You Mini Bracelet - Blush. It’s one of my most favorites. I’m a people-pleaser at heart and a Type 6 on the Enneagram scale. A perfect storm! ;) This bracelet reminds me to be me and to not let the fear of what I think others are (or aren’t) thinking interfere with being my true self and shining a light on those around me.
WHAT DO YOU DO TO STAY CONNECTED TO WHAT MATTERS MOST, DESPITE THE UNCERTAINTY, FREQUENT MOVES, AND DEPLOYMENTS THAT GO ALONG WITH BEING A MILITARY FAMILY?
My daily devotional (Lysa Terkeurst’s Embraced: 100 Devotions to Know God Is Holding You Close) and quiet morning moments of mindful self-reflection after reading. This time is important to me to remember that I’m not alone and to set my intentions for the day.
WE HAPPEN TO BE QUOTE LOVERS AROUND HERE – CAN YOU SHARE A FAVORITE QUOTE THAT KEEPS YOU INSPIRED?
“Let your smile change the world, but don’t let the world change your smile.” - Unknown
WHERE CAN OUR READERS FIND YOU ONLINE?
With a Bachelor of Science in Journalism and a minor in Business, Carrie has long had a passion for helping shape growing small businesses through storytelling. She began her career as a client account coordinator at a Kansas City advertising agency. And, today, she's extremely grateful to serve creative, big-hearted, entrepreneurial-spirited women at Carried Away Creative Co. Therefore, devoting herself to helping them stand out in this rather noisy universe of words.