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 sweetheart and I got married over 8 years ago; he enlisted in the Army a few months later, and now we have 4 beautiful daughters: Emma (7), Mary (6), Anne (4) and June (1). When I’m not chasing them around I’m working on my business and podcast, The Waiting Warriors.
The Waiting Warriors Podcast is interview-based where I share the stories of military and first responder loved ones. I’m also starting to put together more resources online for military spouses! Just like Wendy I feel so much solidarity and empowerment when I hear from my fellow Waiting Warriors so the longer I was a military spouse the more I realized that I needed to start a podcast to share those stories!
Fun Fact about us: The first time I met my husband he was in uniform (currently taking an ROTC class) and I literally thought “Oh hey there soldier!” Immediately he turned and walked towards me. I questioned if I had said it out loud or in my head and was feeling a little embarrassed. Turns out he just knew my sister and since we looked alike he was wondering if I knew where she was :)
WHICH MILITARY BRANCH DOES YOUR SPOUSE SERVE IN AND FOR HOW MANY YEARS HAS HE SERVED?
My husband is in the Army. We were in the Reserves for 6 years while he did his Bachelors, Masters, and then a Residency at a hospital. Now we’ve been active for 2 years.
WHERE HAS THE MILITARY MOVED YOUR FAMILY OVER THE YEARS? WHICH WAS YOUR FAVORITE DUTY STATION AND WHY?
We lived in Idaho, Utah, and now our first active duty station has been Fort Campbell, KY. While we miss our family in the West, the adventures of being east of the Mississippi are definitely amazing! We have been loving Fort Campbell and how much effort the base puts towards family-friendly events and entertainment.
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?
My favorite part of being a military spouse has been the community. While it can be exhausting having to restart every time you move, I know that when I put forth the effort and really build the community I need, people always show up. There is no community like the military spouse community. Never have I had friends, even acquaintances who then turned friends, because they heard of a need and swept in to help.
WHO INSPIRES YOU AND WHY?
I’m currently MilSpouse fangirling Maria Reed from Moving with the Military and Michelle Norman (2019 Armed Forces Insurance Navy Spouse of the Year). Maria’s positivity and enthusiasm for life are contagious. Michelle has been literally fighting for her EFMP daughter’s educational rights for years and blazing a trail that is benefitting so many other military EFMP families. Both are so incredibly generous and thoughtful of their military community.
WHICH CHARLIEMADISON EVERYDAY REMINDER DO YOU WEAR AND WHY DID YOU CHOOSE THAT PARTICULAR PIECE?
I love my Army necklace. It’s the perfect, classy reminder of this community that I love so much!
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’m constantly trying to become more and more aware of what I and my family need, instead of what my neighbors or culture are portraying is important. This has allowed our family to be very intentional in using our time to focus on our family, faith, character, and having fun. We are big on creating a family culture that is not only sustainable whether Dad is home or not, no matter where we live, and gives our girls the tools they’ll need to really thrive in this lifestyle.
WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO A FELLOW MILITARY SPOUSE WHO IS STRUGGLING WITH MILITARY LIFE OR DEPLOYMENT?
Focus on, what I like to call, your “Non-Negotiables.” It takes some self-awareness and maybe your spouse can help you see what really fuels you and helps you feel better, but pick three things that are what you need most. The things that give you energy and the lift you need on a daily basis and then unapologetically do those things before anything else each day.
If a friend wants to do a playdate, not until your “Non-Negotiables” are done. Kids want you to do a craft? Not until your “Non-Negotiables” are done! They might change every year or two depending on what your priorities are, but when you take care of those core things, it really lets you be at peace with the day.
For example, during our deployment last year my “Non-Negotiables” were 1. Exercising 2. Studying My Scriptures and 3. Eating Healthy. Because of the passion and drive I have towards growing my business right now mine have shifted slightly to 1. Exercising 2. Studying My Scriptures and 3. Working Uninterrupted for at least 1 hour each day.
Am I eating crummy food all the time now? No, we have vegetables every day and I try to limit my sweets. But at the same time having a perfectly balanced meal isn’t where I’m putting all my focus.
WE HAPPEN TO BE QUOTE LOVERS AROUND HERE – CAN YOU SHARE A FAVORITE QUOTE THAT KEEPS YOU INSPIRED?
“Just because it’s hard, doesn’t mean it has to be miserable” ~ Me :)
WHERE CAN OUR READERS FIND YOU ONLINE?