It has been so highly requested to share a bit of our home with the world. This was made with our west coast family in mind! We have had a handful of guests come and visit with us at this house, but we will be moving soon. I find that every space we have has it’s own personality; a warmth of it’s own that can not be covered with our chaos, but can be used collaboratively. I hope you enjoy this taste of our McClung Casa, and we will see ya soon at the next one! xoxo – angel
If you are stumbling upon this blog post, it is most likely because someone you love is coming home.
an instance of returning home.2. a chance to make a beer cake, or cute sign, shave your legs, and buy sexy lingerie
The Beer Cake.
36 bottled beer,
two platforms (mine was a salad bowl and Tupperware)
American flag duct-tape
topped with an American flag
(Pom poms for photographic effects)
Navy Blue pre-cut foam board
White marker (I used chalk board markers)
Table runner paper
*wrap around center of the door and tape*
Reverse side of table runner paper
Sense of humor
It’s not about the amount of time they have been gone,
the things that went wrong while they were gone,
or the right things they happened to miss.
What matters is they’re finally home.
Okay. I have no idea what I’m most happy about:
- I’m off work the next two days.
- Elf is playing on the TV right now.
- I’m on my second beer.
- I applied for a house this week.
- My Christmas packages arrived safely to the middle east!
I am so excited to FINALLY be sharing the mother of all care package ideas, CHRISTMAS! *Praise break* In this post, I’ll show you not one, not two, but THREE packages I put together for my husband, troops, and my family! If you have a loved one deployed, in school, or just far away, I hope this helps inspire you to send love via care packages!
- Instant soups
- Mac n cheese
- Oatmeal (instant)
- Peanut Butter
- Beef Jerky
- Almonds & Walnuts
- Breakfast Teas & Stress Relief Teas
- Hot Coco
- Candy Canes
- & 150 + Homemade cookies (Chocolate chip, sugar, mint chocolate chip, pumpkin spice, and snicker doodle)
Total weight: 40 lbs.
Thank you to everyone who helped with this package, and to my beautiful mom, sister, and niece (along with her girl scout troop) for sending their own packages with just as much, if not more to our troops!
“Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends.” John 15:13
As for my family’s package, I sent two packages to California. One to “mom’s side” and one to “dad’s side.” Instead of ordering online, or sending gift cards, I wanted to personally wrap each gift with a photo that comes to mind when I think of them.
Okay, and maybe all of my gifts are from Nordstrom… Sorry hunny!
I hope this inspires you to spoil those you love, and spoil them well. We never know when our last day will be, so don’t hold love back from anyone ❤ Happy Holiday and may our troops, you, and your loved ones be blessed in the name of Jesus!
Xoxo – Angel
Thanksgiving Care Package Post: Click here.
Halloween Care Package Post: Click here.
Things You Should NEVER Say To A Military Wife…
“I could never do it.” Really? You could never do it? I’m sure if the one you loved was in uniform, you’d find a way to “do it.” Military spouses don’t have a special powers, we just are ordinary people who love extraordinarily awesome servicemen.
“Deployment will go by so fast.” The only person I trust saying this, is the one who’s husband just came back. Anyone else… no.
“At least he’s not deployed for (name longer time).” Please belittle my situation. I beg of you, it’s my favorite to know you think what I am going through is chump change. It doesn’t matter if it’s 6 months or a year, missing your spouse is awful no matter how long or “little” the deployment.
“You chose this life.” I didn’t choose this life. I chose to love and support my husband, and this life just happened to be apart of it. People choose what coffee to order, what to paint the wall, what goes on a playlist. They don’t choose Christmas alone watching Dear John, while drinking a bottle of Chardonnay and eating a large margarita pizza.
“Does your husband, like, shoot people?” He doesn’t, and if he did, I would still say he doesn’t. But you know what? Someone does. And they fight for your freedom to ask me that stupid question.
“Where is he exactly? Where is that? When does he leave? When does he get back?” I know that most people who ask these have great intentions, but seriously… if you’re supposed to know, you’d know. And if you do know, you should know that you’re not supposed to post it. Lose lips sink ships, y’all.
“I know just how you feel, my boyfriend has business trips all the time.” Cool story bro, tell it again.
“You guys should wait to have kids. You know, until your husband is out of the military.” I suppose we shouldn’t ever invest into anything, ever because of the military? No, life goes on. Even if your family is across the country or you’re stationed overseas, life is to lived! So go buy your first nice car, finish school, start your career, and/or start a family because life is beautiful.
… And Things That You Should.
“Please thank your husband for his service, and thank you for supporting him.” *hold back tears and feel proud* My pleasure M’am.
“Here’s a bottle of wine.” *hold back tears and feel proud* My pleasure M’am.
My favorite beauty product this month has been the L’Oreal Magic Skin Beautifier BB Cream. This cream has completely hijacked and owned my foundation routine. I use this, concealer, and HD finishing powder. This product is very lightweight and breathable, yet helps even my skin color like a boss. (Click here to purchase for $7)
Tiny cross body bags! In hot and humid weather, the last thing you want to carry is a giant bag. I got this cute little bag from Target on my recent trip to California. It’s big enough to carry a small wallet, my keys, hand sanitizer, hand lotion, lip balm, mints, etc, yet small enough to forget I’m even carrying it! The strap is comfortable and adjustable, which is LIFE because tall girls need that! (Click here to purchase for $25)
Hydrate. Hydrate. Hydrate. Traveling a lot this year though high and low places has reminded me to ALWAYS carry a water bottle. If you’re in mountains or at the beach, clean water is so important! Camelbak has been my go to brand. They’re reliable, offer refillable filters, and don’t leak. I like to put a few meaningful stickers on mine to: 1) have a conversation starter 2) remember to grab my bottle. I’m currently using an Air Force printed bottle which I can’t find online, but you can find your branch on base or a plain one at Target.
On our base, there is a mini thrift store where my husband and I will go and find treasures. From lamps to cookbooks, a lot of our new home is handmedowns thrifts. My favorite is this book, which by the grace of God landed in my hands. From the moment I opened it, I KNEW that it was given to me at the exact right time. As a newly wed in the military lifestyle, I felt like I was spiraling into the “military wife and nothing else in life” category which is a LIE from the enemy. Through this book and the word of God, I was able to get my dreams, motivation, and purpose back on track! If there is one favorite this month, THIS IS IT! (Click here to purchase for $12)
Tomorrowland has rocked my world. As much as I hate to admit it, my expectations were not high. I felt like the trailers didn’t give enough info for me to be trilled. Luckily, as soon as the lights dimmed and the film started rolling, I was a goner. It had good vs. evil action, families that cared for each other, humor for both kids and adults, and unpredictable twists. One of those films that inspires you to strive for the best you possibly can and not just limit yourself to the best that exists. All in all, when it comes out on DVD, I’d go buy it!
You don’t know what you have until it’s gone… never rang more true until I boarded a six hour flight without… headphones! ROOKIE MISTAKE, ANGEL! Rookie. Friggin. Mistake. I will now make sure they are the first thing packed, along with an ipod or phone stalked with Spotify Premium ($9.99 a month, they’re running a special right now – first three months only .99c!)
All year round, my favorite meal is lunch. For may, my go to homemade hot sandwich was this toasted pesto, baby spinach, sliced tomato, and Swiss cheese on Rye bread. Rye is my favorite toasted! Try this with a mint, lemon, and cucumber detox water.
He’s in the military, I am in missions.
Here are five things to know before getting into (or continuing) a long distance relationship (or engagement)
1. There will always be time to talk.
Even with a six hour time difference or being nations apart, there should always be time made to communicate with each other. At points, it may mean sacrificing sleep. Sometimes both parties have to loose some Zzzz’s to get by with staying on the same page. So much life happens in a day, and if you aren’t bending over backwards to share a sliver of your life with someone else, or bending over backwards to hear about their life… maybe it is time to cut the cord. I don’t know about you, but I love to hear the fascinating adventures of my love. Maybe there would be a lack of a spark if I called, and he was playing the same video game as yesterday, or was “too busy” to make time for me. It’s just like making time to read your bible or drive thru the 15 minute Starbucks line. You make time for what you can’t live without.
2. No one left anyone, it’s called living out our dreams.
I cringe when someone refers to military dudes and chicks or missionaries as “leaving.” “They left their familes behind.” I believe it’s jumping ahead. Jumping at the opportunity to serve and love others as Christ loves us. You can say “leaving,” but we chose to step away from a comfortable life temporarily so others may live free from hate, shame, and condemnation forever.
3. Distance does not influence cheating.
What if one of us finds another… well I guess it depends on if you’re looking for someone else or not. If you go out and you’re looking to give someone attention or receive it, then you’re definitely not ready for a committed relationship. My sister once said, “If someone is going to cheat, why is distance a contender? They could cheat even when you live in the same house, so why would being apart make much of a difference?” I would agree. Would you stay close to someone to slim the odds of them cheating? The way I look at it is: I love Jesus, my future husband loves Jesus, and I love my future husband.” What’s the worst that could happen? He cheats and there’s someone better out there? If I loved the wrong person THIS much, I can’t wait to see how I love the right person for me. Humans will always let us down, but God is the consistent anchor we can holdfast to. God is a JUST and good God. He has a plan for us. So don’t hold someone else’s mistakes against your significant other. There’s two outcomes: you make it to the point of someone else is protecting your heart, or you make it to the point where God protects you from someone not worth giving your heart to.
4. Have fun with it.
Yes, we still have fun and go out. What good would talking do if we were constantly waiting for the other person? Go out for burgers with the boys, get the best brew in town. Go to the beach with your classmates, go wine tasting when you have the once in a lifetime opportunity. All that matters is the intentions behind going out, and the choices made even when no one is watching. We don’t sit at home, with no going out rules, or with any rules at all. If rules have to be set, it means someone has no self control and someone wants to gain full control. I sleep a room next to male teammates, he sleeps a floor next to female coworkers. What matters is, even in the midst of worldly desires and temptation, we walk with integrity, love, honor, faith, and hope in a happily ever after handcrafted by the one who created the stars. When there’s hope like that, what in the world could Satan offer that would be more desirable than true love?
5. Lastly, it isn’t easy… but worth it.
When people ask, my immediate answer has been, “No, it’s easy when both people love Jesus.” Until I’m in a village in the mountains with no Wi-Fi weeks at a time, then I find things I wish I could tell him. I’ll make notes to forward to him, I believe it’s an overflow of friendship. When something wonderful (or terrible) happens, and all you want is for your best friend to know. There is an absence that can not be filled by anyone else, but the Holy Spirit is the ultimate comforter. Even in difficult times, I know that God would not lead me into wasting my time; there is beauty in longsuffering. We come out wiser, discerning what is right and wrong by righteous standards.
If you have come across this post, it was most likely not by accident. If you are anything like me, you googled, “What is going to happen in Basic Training for my AB (Airman Basic)?!” or if you’re identical to me, “What am I going to do during Basic Training?!”
So your loved one has decided to join the military and now is time for them to leave for basic training. The time before they leave for basic training will be full of emotion for the both of you, but keep in mind that they are the ones going through it and you are their supporter. They are full of emotions both good and bad, so let them know how much you care for them and that they can do it. Until they leave, try and spend as much time with them, and encourage them to spend more time with their families and loved ones. Try and do things with them to prepare as team. My AB and I went shopping together for his “packing list”, and it was so cool to share that with him. It felt like we, as a unit, were getting ready for the change and embracing it (don’t worry I made sure he didn’t get name brand everything, gotta watch those funds yaknow?) Try to lift your future Airman to peaceful and calm spirits about their choice when they feel down; our happy place was with our church family, and praying for peace, joy, and patience.
The process of leaving and basic training are straight forward. They have their ceremony, say their goodbyes, get processed, *boom* they are on their way to basic training. What isn’t so straight forward is what is going to happen while they are there as far as communicating with you. Can we write them? Can they write back? When are their phone calls? Do they get Instagram breaks? What do you mean they don’t get Instagram breaks?
I have searched high and low on military wives blogs. I’ve found stories of rainbows and daisies, and I’ve found stories of completely crazy experiences (like that I can’t repeat because they were so scary for Airmen). Here I am going to share my personal experiences with my AB as we go through them! So they are fresh and raw for you to get a brief idea on what it is like for a supporter during Basic Training. Some of my experiences are far different from others I have heard or read, and in some cases, spot on/ the same. Keep in mind that anything can differ for you and your Airman. There are many factors that can differ, but we all have one thing in common, we love our AB’s.
Basic Training is currently 8 1/2 weeks long (I say currently because it used to be 6, but whatever Mr. Changed It To Be Longer.) Right now my AB has been in Basic Training for 24 days (end of week WOT3). In BMT there are 0-8 weeks. For a breakdown of what your AB will be learning, here is a list of the WOT’s http://afwm.org/category/wot/
Our first call was the morning after his flight arrived at Lackland AFB (much sooner than expected). The AB’s only have three minutes to call, provide an address, and hang up. The recruiter recommended that we “ignore” the call, so the address can be repeated. Some answer their phones, and are not ready to write down the address. If this happens, you can still get your AB’s address by calling the Air Force Basic Training Reception center at (210) 671-3024. I listened to my AB’s voice-mail about twenty times, and still had the address wrong, but my first few letters still were received. They also mail out their address, along with graduation information (I was devastated when I thought this envelope was a letter, so be prepared!)
When writing letters, keep in mind that your Airman is in a new environment, and even those good at adapting to change will not consider BMT Disneyland. Keep letters upbeat and positive. Motivate. Let them know they are missed so much, but don’t say things like, “I wish you didn’t leave, two months is too long” or “If it is too difficult, you can always come back home.” Be their cheerleader, and let them know failure is not an option (in a good way)! Like “I miss you, but what you are doing is amazing. ” or “I know it is difficult, but think of how rewarding it will be to be a US Airman!” My AB loves to know that I am praying for his flight, and when I send verses on strength, courage, brotherhood, and love.
A trend you will notice on all blogs or sites is: “write them EVERYDAY.” At first I was writing every few days. My life is not exciting enough to write a letter everyday! But the first and last thing my AB wrote on his first letter is “please write everyday, even twice a day!” Mail Call will be the highlight of their day. When they hear their name, they feel loved. This is their time to connect with you! They may not write back often, but they want to know what is going on in your life, in their families life, and even their pets. My AB was allowed small pictures, so I send pictures of our niece and nephew, our siblings, his pets, house projects, new things I buy or are gifted, etc. It makes him feel “in the lop.loop.” I go as far as to make sure he sees every post on social networking before I post it (too crazy?)!
Things not to send:
- Pictures before given permission. Never n00dz, ya nasty!
- Care packages! This is MTI ammo to break down your AB! Some Training Instructors have thrown awaythe package in front of their Trainee, or even eat their treats! Even if your AB says it is okay… just don’t.
- Girly smelling envelopes/ Glitter/ Colored envelopes/ etc. The simpler, the better. Keep it to paint white envelope, all cap letters, and do not dot your “i”s with hearts!
Your first call will be when your AB’s flight gets “Patio Time.” During this time, they can hang out, get snacks at vending machines, and use the payphones. My first (and only, so far) call was at the end of WOT2 on his 17th day of being at Lackland AFB. It was a short and sweet 7 minute call, and for me, it was an emotional one. Something I wish I did prior was: make a note on my phone of all the little things to ask him. Since that call, I have pages of notes ready, full of questions!
I hope this posts helps some of you who are about to be a supporter, or are currently! I look forward to making future posts regarding Weeks 4-8 and GRADUATION WEEKEND! If you have any questions or additional advice on Weeks 0-3, leave a comment below, and I will do my best to share my experience with you 🙂
“Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves.” – Romans 12:10
Part II: http://wp.me/p4tpCw-25