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 have been married for 13 years. We dated in college (long distance) while he attended the Naval Academy, so the military has always been a part of our relationship. My husband is Marine, but he did an exchange tour with the Air Force. We really enjoyed getting to learn about a different branch and I especially loved the opportunity to live in Tucson, AZ! It’s my favorite place we’ve been stationed!
WHICH MILITARY BRANCH DOES YOUR SPOUSE SERVE IN AND FOR HOW MANY YEARS HAS HE SERVED?
He’s a Marine and has been active duty for 16 years in May (2019)!
WHERE HAS THE MILITARY MOVED YOUR FAMILY OVER THE YEARS? WHICH WAS YOUR FAVORITE DUTY STATION AND WHY?
We’ve been stationed at Air Station New River and MCB Camp Lejeune in Jacksonville, NC, a short stop for training at Kirtland AFB in Albuquerque, NM, Davis-Monthan AFB in Tucson, AZ, and MCB Camp Pendleton in Oceanside, CA. My favorite was living in Tucson. I just loved the desert, I think it’s magical. I’ve heard Tucson described as a small big city and I totally agree! I found the community there (within and outside the military) to be very welcoming and friendly. And it was a beautiful city with lots to do! It’s the only place we’ve lived where it felt like “home” almost immediately.
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?
Even though moving away from friends and not living near our families can be difficult, I have loved the opportunity to live in places that I would have never thought to move to on my own. After numerous deployments and time spent alone, I know that there isn’t much I can’t handle myself. I’ve always tried to use the time alone as an opportunity for improvement, whether it’s home projects, learning to sew (and starting a business!), or becoming a runner!
WHO INSPIRES YOU AND WHY?
My kids. Emmy is only one, so she doesn’t quite know what’s in store for her yet. But my son, Gabe, is 7. He’s moved 4 times and his dad has deployed 3 times in his life. Not to mention countless times spent away for training. He’s dealt with things and had to process concepts that most adults have never had to face and it’s not always easy for either of us, but I’m always amazed at his bravery, his ability to share how he’s feeling, and his ability to persevere.
WHICH CHARLIEMADISON EVERYDAY REMINDER DO YOU WEAR ON YOUR WRIST AND WHY DID YOU CHOOSE THAT PARTICULAR BRACELET?
Be Present – as a busy mom, military spouse, and business owner this is something that I constantly struggle with. I wear a lot of hats, which I love, but it’s also challenging to wear just one at once sometimes and give each of the things I love my full attention.
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?
I’ve learned that despite the challenges that come with military life, we have a GOOD, blessed life. I may not always like what the military tells us to do, but I’ve learned that I have control over whether I make the best of it or if I’m miserable and bitter.
WE HAPPEN TO BE QUOTE LOVERS AROUND HERE – CAN YOU SHARE A FAVORITE QUOTE THAT KEEPS YOU INSPIRED?
Lately it’s been “done is better than perfect”. Of course, I’d prefer perfect, but I’ve learned to give myself a lot of grace, especially after adding a second child to our family last year. Dinner may not always be homemade, my product photos could be better, my floors could be cleaner, but I think overall we’re doing ok!
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