Being Intentional in a New Place


Before too much longer we will be PCSing (moving) to our new home.  I am looking forward to seeing who God has chosen for us to get to know.  I can’t to see who He wants us to befriend.

As The Pilot and I have talked about several times before, though, we are going to need to be intentional from Day One.  Before we moved to Texas, we knew we needed to be intentional and get to know our neighbors and community.

And we did.  To an extent.

But then life kicked in.  Pilot training was so busy.  I was shy.  I got pregnant and was nauseous.  Our neighbors were in different phases of training, so it was hard to find times to get together.

And that’s fine….life does happen.

But it made us realize that when we move to Nebraska, we truly need to be firmly intentional from the get-go.  We do not want life to crowd out the opportunities we have to be with the people God has placed in our lives.  We do not want to get into our comfort zone and find only a few people to be friends with.

That is one of the reasons that I put some intentional hospitality goals on my 101 list.  I can’t wait to host that block party and those game nights!  They will provide great opportunities to get to know our neighbors and church family.

What do you do to intentionally get to know new people?


Spouse Deployment Survival Kit


One of my most re-pinned Pins is this one.  It’s about how to make a survival kit to give to a friend whose spouse is deployed.  When I went back to look at it today, I discovered the original link is dead, as the owner made the blog private.  But Google yielded some other great results.

I am just loving this idea!!  Deployments are looming up closer and closer for us and, knowing myself and my tendencies, I have a feeling it is going to be a battle for me to fight for joy and not give in to a full-time pity party.  I know deployments are hard on all spouses and families, and I think this is a great idea.  I have great plans to make these for a couple of my friends when their husbands deploy for the first time.

Here are some ideas for things to include in this spouse deployment survival kit…

  • Stationery and stamps
  • Chocolate
  • Journal
  • Pens
  • Encouraging book
  • Scripture verses

And because I am not the most clever person, I direct you to these awesome posts.  Great ideas for including things like marbles (for when you’ve lost yours), a sucker (because it’s ok to admit sometimes that deployments suck), tea (for the late nights when it’s hard to fall asleep) etc.  Check out the posts here, here, and here (this one even has a free printable!).

What kind of survival kits have you made?  What did you include?


What To Do in a Small Town


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We moved from Southern CA to Del Rio.  Let’s just say that there is a big difference between the city we came from and the city we are in now.  Our little corner of So Cal was small by So Cal standards…..but huge compared to Del Rio.

So of course, the question is raised…..”What are we supposed to do here??”

There are the obvious ones….

1.  Eat.  We have 3 McDonald’s, 2 Subways, Taco Bell, Burger King, KFC, Sonic, Chili’s, Applebees, lots of Mexican choices, and a couple Chinese.  But we have also enjoyed some of the restaurants here that are not chains….including this AMAZING Mexican place called La Hacienda.  Look for the places that are unique to your area!

2. Find out where people hang out.  There are a couple bars (not our scene), a movie theater (with very inexpensive tickets!!), and a bowling alley.

But…after the obvious….it seems like we’re not left with much.  There’s a bit of shopping, but you can check out the entire mall in an hour.  Or less.  As a friend said, shopping in our mall is like saying, “Oh, this is cute!!…..I saw that last week.”

So…..what else can you do?

3. Find out of the way shops.  When a friend was visiting, we found this little shop full of vintage things.  There were old irons, an old plow, an ice box, two typewriters (that I would have loved to purchase!), and more.  There are several boutiques downtown.  Look for the things that are less obvious.  The key is to forget about the fact that there aren’t the stores you are used to and figure out what the town DOES have.

4. Go for a drive!  My wonderful husband and I have enjoyed several afternoons of just driving around the area.  We’ve explored around the lake….and we’ve also just picked a direction and just waited to see where it took us.  We found an old historic cemetery and a little hill with a cross on it.  We found this tiny (tiny) little town that made Del Rio look big.  We saw some beautiful scenery.  We saw things we never would have seen had we not just explored!

5. Find out what kind of outdoorsy things are in your area.  In this part of TX, it’s a little hard, because we are pretty much landlocked.  All the property around us is generally private property…mostly ranches.  But there are things to do.  There are hunting areas, and we have an awesome lake where you can do things like rent boats or kayaks and go water skiing.  There is also a hiking trail near the lake.

6. Spend time with friends.  Host a game night.  We love having game nights!!  Buy a fire pit and have people over in the backyard.  Grill burgers and hot dogs.  Have a movie night.  Go out to eat.

7. Talk to the locals and find out what they like to do and where they like to go!

The key is to be creative.  It’s also important to remember that there are things that make every place special.  It may not look like what you’re used to or where you came from….but there are good things about it.  Try to find something, even if it’s just one or two things, that you can be grateful for!  And if you’re in the military or otherwise move a lot…remember that it’s only for a season.  😉


The Lord Directs Our Steps


Life is full of unknowns and uncertainties.  We are facing that in a big way once again.

In July, my amazing husband is graduating from pilot training, Lord willing.  I am SO proud of him and all of his hard work.  It has been an intense year, and I am so proud of him for making it through.

But….it is also in July where our future is decided.  In July we’ll have an event called drop night.  That is when the Pilot will find out what plane and what base he is assigned to.  And that will be the start of his career!!

It’s kind of strange to know that before the year is out we could be living just about anywhere.  We could be on the East Coast.  We could be in the Midwest.  We could be on the West Coast.  We could end up staying here at Laughlin.  We could even be in another country, like Japan or Germany.

I am reminded of how, before we moved to Laughlin, I prayed for months that God would bring us to the base He wanted us to be at.  That He would prepare us for the people He wanted us to meet.  That He would pick friends for us.  And I am convicted that I have only recently begun to pray for this upcoming momentous life event.

Our Bible study leader mentioned something that he was told as he was preparing for graduation from the Air Force Academy.  “The Air Force doesn’t send you places.  God does, because God controls the Air Force.”

I love that.

It’s so basic and yet so huge.

It is so comforting to know that we are not just in limbo.  That we do not have to anxiously await whatever “they” decide.  It is so encouraging to know that God not only knows our future, but that He is actively shaping it.

I rejoice to know that when I feel myself getting anxious over the unknowns that I can rest in the fact that our lives and our future are securely in God’s hands.

I can’t wait to see where God will take us next!


T-6 Complete

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Its been a while since my last UPT (Pilot Training) update. Since then, I have completed the T-6 Program, which included aerobatics, instrument and formation flying. It was a blast and I learned a lot with almost 100 hours in the T-6.

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The first hurdle in T-6’s was getting to the first solo flight (aka the Pogo flight). The first flight was just around the pattern for about a half hour. After the Pogo flight, I was caught and dunked in the dunk tank. After that flight, I went on to solo the T-6 four more times throughout the T-6 program, including flights in the pattern, out to the practice area, and the last solo flight which was in formation. 

Solo Dunk

Now I am T-6 Complete.  Last Wednesday I tracked to T-1’s. In T-1’s I will continue my flight training with a multi-engine platform. I cannot wait for the next few months as I learn the new aircraft and have a blast flying. Once completed with the T-1, I will drop (be assigned) to a MWS (Major Weapon System) and we’ll move on to a new base…

The Pilot

An Open Letter to {Christian} Military Wives


Today we have a guest post from my sister, Melinda!!  I appreciate her thoughts here.  At the bottom I added a few thoughts of my own.  🙂


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I must open by letting everyone know that I am not a military wife. I do have some connections to the military though via family and friends. One of my brothers-in-law is in the Air Force (just began pilot training!), and quite a few of my friends are wives of Air Force men. (I live in an Air Force town so many of the people at my church are either Air Force or retired Air Force.) Since my husband is not in the military, I can only offer some observations from outside the military. Take them or leave them for what they’re worth.

I write because of the many blog posts I have seen written by military wives talking about the inherent difficulties and hardships they face. It’s true. I cannot begin to imagine how difficult it must be to have your husband gone on training exercises and deployments . . . sometimes for months (or years!) at a time. I cannot imagine how difficult it must be to raise your children alone or to manage all of the household affairs by yourself.

Yet I also want military wives to be aware of how these posts can ostracize other women . . . other women who are going through difficult times and hardships and desperately long for encouragement. As Christian women, we should be seeking to encourage each other in all the hardships we all face.

For example, during the first 18 months of our marriage, my husband traveled a lot. He was gone (usually out of state) for two weeks out of every month. While many military wives may think that’s no big deal (and perhaps for them it wouldn’t be), let me point out several things. First, my husband was gone for 50% of the first 18 months of our marriage. Even my sister who married a guy in the Air Force can’t say that. Secondly, I still dealt with household issues and parenting all by myself for half of the time. In many ways, I envied military wives because many of them have a community from which to draw help. They live on base or there are even online communities for military wives. But what about railroad wives? I was on my own.

My point is not that military wives should stop blogging or writing about their unique struggles, but please do consider stop phrasing it like you have the most difficult experience of any other wife. In reality, God calls each of us to hard, difficult, challenging things. For some of us, it will be through husbands who are absent, whether in the military or some other job. For others it will be loss of employment, death of our children, or something else. The body of Christ would benefit from seeking to help and encourage other women in whatever difficulties they find themselves.

For those of us who are not military wives, I do encourage you to be considerate if you (like me) do know any military wives. When their husbands are gone, most would appreciate some help with things like babysitting their kids, running to the store, or making a meal. As their sisters in Christ, we should be ready and willing to help them while their husbands are gone. Yet, let’s not forget other women. Are there any other women in your church who’s husbands travel? Those women would appreciate the exact same things a military wife would. Are there women struggling through loss of employment? Whatever it is, let’s cultivate hearts and attitudes of ministry for each other regardless of our husbands’ vocations.

I wholeheartedly agree with what my sister shared.  I am hardly into our military career and I have seen this many times.  I’ve read the mil spouse blogs and seen the memes that say things like, “‘I’m sorry your husband had to go away for a night.  That must be so hard!’ – said no military wife ever.”

I get that.  I do.  Deployments are no joke.

But…at the same time…and I say this as honestly and lovingly as I can….any time you’re away from your husband…it stinks.  It stinks when he’s gone for one night and it stinks when he’s gone a week.  The challenges that a wife faces will be different when he’s gone for longer periods of time, but the plain truth is that it still stinks.  The wife is still missing her husband.  She’s still lonely.  She still has to take care of the house, the kids, the car repairs, the bills, etc, by herself.

The woman whose husband is gone for an overnight business trip has no idea what it’s like for the woman whose husband is gone for a week at a time.  The woman whose husband is gone for a week at a time has no idea what it’s like for the woman whose husband is gone for 5 weeks at a time (our longest separation so far).  The woman whose husband is gone for 5 weeks has no idea what it’s like for the woman whose husband is gone for a year.  But no one should roll their eyes at the person who has gone through “less” than what you have.  It all comes down to “Rejoice with those who rejoice and weep with those who weep.”  Why do we get so caught up in our story and our situation that we have to compare other people’s real life stories and situations to our own?

Love for our spouses, or our abilities as wives and mothers, is not summed up in the amount of days spent together.  Or spent apart.


When Your Husband is Gone


Well….my sweet husband and I are two weeks into our time apart.  We probably have at least two more weeks to go…possibly longer.

I’ve been enjoying my visit in California.  It’s been so great visiting family, and of course spending time with my sweet nephews and nieces.  🙂  But honestly it is nowhere near as much fun as if my love were here, too.  Not quite as much sparkle in the world.

Being away from your spouse is never fun or easy, regardless of the length of time apart.  (Seriously, I still cry sometimes when he leaves just for a day at work!)

A post came up on my google reader shortly after arriving here.  It was really good timing.  It’s called How to Maintain Your Marriage When Your Husband Travels.  SO good.

One of my favorite parts was her fifth point.  “Turn to God for all your needs.”  It was such a great reminder that even the Pilot can not and should not be the ultimate one in my life.  He can’t fulfill my everything.  Only One Person can…and that is God.  Sure, the Pilot is the sparkle in my world….but God is the ultimate sustainer and encourager.  That thought gives so much strength to keep going when I don’t feel like it!  He will give the strength to make it through the next few weeks!


Off to IFS

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Okay, it’s been a while since my last update. So far, not too much has happened. I’ve been working a temporary job, waiting for pilot training to start. And finally, here we are. I am now starting the first part of pilot training, IFS. At IFS we will learn the basics, and hopefully have a fun time!

So far, my trip to Colorado for IFS has been one of adventure. We got caught in a blizzard, in Amarillo Texas. Fun times! Hopefully the rest of IFS will go well.

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Initial Observations


In our two weeks here, I have made several observations about this new home of ours.  In many ways it’s different than I was expecting…but then again I don’t know that I really had that many expectations.  Here are a few things I’ve noticed about Del Rio and Laughlin Air Force Base…

1.  It’s small.  Very small.  Del Rio is basically one main street.  The biggest store is Walmart.  In the mall, there are some very small versions of JC Penneys, Ross, Marshalls, etc.  We do have a movie theater, though…and tickets are less than half the price of what we paid in So Cal!!  The base is also quite small.  Last week I walked to a someone’s house in the other housing tract and it was only a 9 minute walk.  (And that was me walking slowly when I realized I would be very early to the appointment!)  There is a nice library here…again, very small…but I have high hopes of reading quite a large selection of their books while here!

2.  There is greenery.  My limited experience of Texas has just been that it is flat, flat, flat….and brown.  While there aren’t mountains here, there is definitely more vegetation and variation of the land then I was expecting.

3.  This is the fly capital of the state.  Probably the country.  A few nights ago, the Pilot came into our bedroom and informed me that the reason he hadn’t come to bed yet was because he was battling flies.  He had gotten 16.  Yes….16.  Just in our bathroom.  There were more throughout the house.  This is probably largely due to the fact that we have had to leave the door/s open for extended periods of time over the past few days, what with movers bringing in furniture, and us traipsing in and out with boxes.  Hopefully this fly situation will be short lived!!

4.  I have never been in a place where people actually followed the speed limit.  People of Del Rio…I applaud you!  Even in the 30 mph zones, people are seriously going 30 mph.

5.  We are going to have lots of opportunities to hang out with people!  Because there isn’t much to do in town or on base, we have already spent quite a bit of time with a friend who commissioned with the Pilot at UCLA.  (The other night we had a game night until 1:00 am!  Fun times…)  I started babysitting for another family here on base, and I look forward to spending more time with them.  We’ve started visiting churches and it will be nice to get plugged in with people there and start attending a Bible study hopefully!

So there you have it.  A bit of what I have learned so far. 😉


Two Months To Go….

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Perhaps some of you may have noticed the new counter on the side of our blog.  That’s because we now have “final” dates for when we have to be at our first base!!  We have to be there on October 1!  Originally it was going to be next February and we are very excited to have gotten the date moved up.  On our trip out there we wanted to stop and visit family and friends on the way…and that trip got extended to an entire cross-country trip.  Can’t wait to head out on September 1st!  Only 2 months away!

On another note, my sweet husband commissioned on June 8 as a 2nd Lieutenant in the United States Air Force!  With right-hand raised, he left behind his ROTC days and became an officer.  Five years of long, hard work.  Definitely such an exciting moment!