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Dog Deployment Goals

July 21, 2017

I write a lot about surviving and thriving during deployment, usually from my point of view. But today I’m turning the tables a bit and letting B and Ruger share some of their plans for the time their favorite guy is gone.  

Happy Friday, party people! Roogie and Wigs are back on the blog and we’re excited for the weekend! Hopefully Rachel doesn’t have a lot to do because we want to spend all of our time with her. Since A left, she’s been really busy and we haven’t gotten to play or snuggle with her as much as we would like.

She keeps telling us that we’re still trying to get into our deployment routine. We don’t like deployment because it means A is gone. But she always says that a deployment is what we make of it, so we have set our own deployment goals for the next few months.

Dog Deployment Goals

Take a lot of naps. At least two a day.

Ok. To be fair, we do this even when A is home, but we really want to dedicate ourselves to our craft. It helps us prepare for the big events during our day: meal time and bed time. We like to be in tip-top napping shape when our favorite guy gets home.

Make sure Rachel never feels lonely. 

We miss A a lot and Rachel does too. We don’t want her to feel bad so we’re making an extra effort to keep her company. We follow her into every room, sit next to her on the sofa and even cry when she leaves to get the mail. Sometimes we make her feel so unlonely, she goes into the bathroom and shuts the door just so she can feel lonely again.

Help with chores around the house.

We have a confession: sometimes we’re not the cleanest members of our family. We don’t make a mess on purpose, it just happens sometimes, like when we get really excited about a new toy or Ruger is extra thirsty. We know it can be a little exhausting for Rachel to clean up after us by herself so we want to do our part with the household chores. Ruger is helping to take out the trash by removing cardboard from recycling and chewing them up so they fit better. He also brings laundry from the laundry basket to the washing machine like a pro. B licks anything and everything off the floor, keeping it squeaky clean. We are basically keeping the house running.

Enjoy the little things in life, like a little more room in the bed. 

Sure, we’re sad that A isn’t here; we really miss him sharing snacks with us. But we can’t let missing him get in the way of enjoying the days until he’s home. Whether it’s the extra room in the bed or not having to wiggle in between A and Rachel all the time, we’re focusing on enjoying the little things in life.

Hopefully these goals keep us super busy and time flies until our favorite guy gets home. Have a great weekend!

B

Dachshund Life Lessons

July 18, 2017

There’s a saying about teaching old dogs new tricks and whether or not you can. I’m not sure which is true, but I do know that as much as owners try to teach dogs how to behave, dogs come with some lessons of their own. There is so much wisdom between those ears and for some reason, B has always seemed extra wise.  Over the past (almost) 5 years, he has taught me far more than I could ever teach him and not just because he’s stubborn.

Dachshund Life Lessons

You are only as little as you allow yourself to feel.

B may only stand 6″ tall and weigh 12 pounds, but he has the heart of a lion. No rock is too large, no lake too deep, no bowl of food too full for that little guy. You cannot tell him he’s unable to do something. He’s adventurous, daring and does not let his size keep him from all the fun life has to offer. He lives truly believing he is without limits, something we should all strive for.

You can’t be too close. 

That dog loves to cuddle and cannot get close enough to someone he loves. When he was a puppy, he used to sleep draped across my throat and while he doesn’t do that anymore, he still wiggles his way in as tightly as possible. Laying next to you isn’t good enough; he needs to lay on you. But when you love someone don’t you take comfort in being close to them? Don’t you find yourself unconsciously reaching for them at night, reassured that they’re still there? B sure does.

Greet each day with endless enthusiasm. 

Rain or shine, sleeping in or up early, B wakes up bright-eyed with a wagging tail. To him, each day is going to be the best day ever.  His bouncy attitude makes my first few moments out of bed a tad brighter, even if I’m grumpy at having to be up that early. What if we all went through life believing that today was going to be a good day?

What if we all went through life believing that today was going to be a good day? #doglifelessons Click To Tweet

Show those around you that you love them unconditionally. 

My husband often tells me that he’s not sure a creature loves another creature as much as B loves me. And while I know he’s partially joking, I also know he’s partially correct. Dogs have this tremendous ability to love their humans unconditionally, no matter how many times you’ve refused to play ball or scolded them for chewing on your shoes. To them, you are the greatest thing to have ever walked on earth and they are not shy about showing it. Frankly, it should inspire us all to love a little more unconditionally.

If you can’t have it, try again. 

B’s…perseverance in the face of a “no” is astonishing. If Ruger has his toy (or a toy B thinks should be his), does he shrug his little wiener dog shoulders and walk away? No! He fights for what he wants! And while the barking gets on everyone’s nerves, B ultimately gets what he wants. I’m not saying we should walk around yelling at people to give us what we want, but maybe we shouldn’t be so quick to walk away from it either.

My little 12-pound dachshund has more personality and quirkiness in his tail than some humans do in their entire bodies. And like most dogs, I’m pretty sure he’s wiser than we give him credit for. Dogs have so much to teach us, if only we’re open to learning.  What has your dog taught you?

Lifestyle

My Favorite Photos

July 14, 2017

Happy Friday, everyone! What a week it’s been; we are all ready for the weekend in my house. I envision a lot of couch snuggling in our future. And don’t worry, there will probably be quite a bit of care package creating thrown in for balance. I was doing some prep work for A’s first care package and got sucked into my photo library for a little while. I’m not sure what it is, but looking at old photos makes me so stinking happy. I found so many favorites that I couldn’t resist sharing a few of them with you today.

Beach + Sunset = Heaven. Struggling to get back into the real world after a few days in dreamland. More on the blog.

A post shared by Rachel McQuiston (@ramcquiston) on

Take me back to Charleston! Our fun weekend is on the blog today!

A post shared by Rachel McQuiston (@ramcquiston) on

What do you do with your favorite photos? We have quite a few framed throughout our house and some make it into our scrapbooks. But I have so many more that I love, but likely won’t see the light of day. Any suggestions?

Stitch Fix

Stitch Fix Recap #33

July 7, 2017

Happy Friday, everyone! What an odd week: after being gone for much of last week on a business trip, I worked one day, had one day off and then worked for three days. And this felt like the longest week of my life.  I’m ready to get my life back in order this weekend and hopefully get my deployment routine figured out so next week is less of a hot mess.

To celebrate that goal, I’m sharing my latest Stitch Fix. It was one of my favorite boxes to date. Spoiler: I kept everything in the box!

Item #1: Pixley Breonna V-Neck Dress. This dress was super flattering; the angle of the stripes on the bodice makes you look super pulled in at your waist.  The material is a little on the heavier side so I don’t know that I would want to wear this in the middle of the summer, but it’s a good transition piece for when the seasons change. I got a size small.

Item #2: Pixley Ryleigh Printed Short.  Could these be any cuter?! They are definitely on the short side so I would recommend keeping them for date night, but the silky material and elastic waist in the back make them so comfortable.  I got a size medium and they fit nice and loose around my legs.

Item #3: Current Air Riva Ruffle Neckline Blouse. When I said that I kept everything, I lied a little bit. As pretty as this top was, it was too big for me, but I had a friend who loved it so it’s now in her closet. I received a size medium and it was just too large.

Item #4: Skies are Blue Zeea 2fer Dress. I actually wore this dress to work earlier this week and got so many compliments on it! The bodice material is a really thick jersey knit and it has a really cute keyhole back. The skirt is very light and floaty, but completely lined. I got a size small and will probably have the top taken in just a little bit so that I can wear it without a jacket.

Item #5: Toms Seasonal Classic Slip-On Flats. Y’all, this is my first pair of Toms and I love them! The pattern is so stinking cute and will go with just about everything I own. I will likely wear them with socks for a little bit until they are truly broken in, but I got a size 7 and they fit really well.

Books Military

Under the Sabers Reflection

July 6, 2017

Earlier this year, I set the goal of reading more books by and for military spouses and finally made it to my third one! I was initially drawn to Under the Sabers partially because of the sensational backstory and because it was set at Ft. Bragg, where we’re stationed. I was prepared for something very similar to Home Fires Burning, and in some ways that is exactly what I got, but in others the two books couldn’t have been more different.

Summary: “In the summer of 2002, Army wives were in the headlines after Biank, a military reporter for the Fayetteville Observer, made international news when she broke the story about four Army wives who were brutally murdered by their husbands in the span of six weeks at Fort Bragg, an Army post that is home to the Green Berets, Airborne paratroopers, and Delta Force commandos. By that autumn, Biank, an Army brat herself, realized the still untold story of Army wives lay in the ashes of that tragic and sensationalized summer. She knew the truth—wives were the backbone of the Army. They were strong—not helpless—and deserved more than the sugarcoating that often accompanied their stories in the media.

Under the Sabers tells the story of four typical Army wives, who, in a flash, find themselves neck-deep in extraordinary circumstances that ultimately force them to redefine who they are as women and Army wives. In this fascinating and meticulously researched account, Biank takes the reader past the Army’s gates, where everyone has a role to play, rules are followed, discipline is expected, perfection praised, and perception often overrides reality. Biank explores what happens when real life collides with Army convention.”

It’s hard to profile individuals and accurately portray the wide variety of human nature, but Biank did a fairly decent job of selecting diverse women to follow. Rita is the newest Army wife and while at first she struggles to find her place in the both the community and her marriage, I think her story is possibly the most compelling because of how she contradicts so many stereotypes.  Delores and Andrea Cory’s husbands are high ranking and they are so ingrained in the military lifestyle that it’s hard to imagine them existing outside the Ft. Bragg bubble. But then they both go through unspeakable tragedy and have to reexamine everything they though they were.  And last, but certainly not least, is Andrea Floyd, one of the four Army wives murdered by their husbands in just six weeks. But her story is even more complex than a simple newspaper headline would lead you to believe.

Each wife presents an interesting look at a slice of Army life, and more broadly military life in general. But what frustrates me the most is that taken individually, each story doesn’t do the entire military spouse community justice. The sensational stories are the ones that make for entertaining reading: the affairs, the abuse, the death. I understand that’s compelling entertainment for the average person, but it’s still so stereotypical! For every military spouse living a Lifetime movie, there is another military spouse living a completely normal and boring life (or as boring as you can get in the military) without any of the dramatic bits. Frankly, I wish those stories were told more often.

Overall the book was a compelling read and for someone outside the military, it’s probably pretty educational, or at least seems that way. But for those of us living it every single day, I thought it was a bit dramatic and didn’t really touch on the coping skills or mechanisms necessary to get through this life.  If a new military spouse picks up this book looking for tips, I think he/she will walk away disappointed and perhaps a bit overwhelmed with worry.

Have you read Under the Sabers? What were your thoughts? Do you feel that portrayals of military spouses lean towards the overly dramatic or stereotypical?