Saturday, November 03, 2012

The Week In Review

both the good and bad highlights.
  1. Watching Nathan and Chris in the Marine Corps Marathon.
  2. Sitting through Hurricane Sandy.
  3. Cancelling an MSBA meeting.
  4. Chris making it home safely.
  5. Remembered my meeting this week with another military family organization (last week I forgot about it :( ).
  6. Waiting for the service tech.
  7. Installing the new refrigerator computer cap top myself.
  8. Service tech showed up three hours AFTER the scheduled four hour window.
  9. Service tech was appreciative I installed the new parts myself however,
  10. Service tech still needed to order a part as this part didn't fix the problem.
  11. Spending two hours in Prince William County Government Building getting zoning approval for a new fence on half the property.  We were almost told we couldn't due to FEMA regulations.
  12. Spent Saturday morning spackling all the holes in various rooms in the house.
  13. Husband calling me the "spackling queen."
  14. Receiving notice in the mail that 60 percent of a recommended dental procedure will be covered by our dental insurance.
  15. Leaving cute notes for hubby on the LCD display screen of our high tech refrigerator, all week.
  16. Hubby leaving return messages on our high tech refrigerator.
Yes, I realize that some of these bad things are minor in comparison to what Hurricane Sandy victims are going through but I wanted to write it down anyway.

How was your week?

Thursday, November 01, 2012

Hurricane Sandy 2012

AND.....it is another Hurricane to add to the list.

Hurricane Sandy slowly made its way to us on Sunday.  As the day went on the temperature dropped and the wind picked up.  I can attest to this because I was outside all morning for the Marine Corps Marathon.  You can read my blog post about that day here.

On Monday work was cancelled for almost everyone and the schools were closed.  Nathan had 72 hour liberty for the weekend so we headed out to do a Dunkin Donuts run in the morning.  It was nice and quiet on the roads in the morning but it was raining.  We did check the Air and Space Museum website as we thought we might be able to get out before the storm made landfall.  It was closed.  The men played games a majority of the day and we all took a nap.

On Tuesday work and school was closed again.  Nathan was happy as this was another day for him to recover.  Chris' flight was cancelled home and was going to be rescheduled for later.  We headed out into town to try to go to an afternoon movie but for some reason the movie theater was not opening until later.  We were told possibly in another hour or so.

We headed over to Five Guys for some lunch in hopes that once we were done eating the theater would be open.  We headed back over to check but they weren't opening yet.  We decided to head home to take a nap instead.

Tuesday evening we had homemade pizza for supper and then the guys headed out to the movie theater.  While they were out for three hours I did some straightening up and worked on the holiday cards.  By the time the guys got home I was ready for bed.

Wednesday morning it was back to work for everyone; at least the town/county.  I received an e-mail from mom inquiring how the house was after the storm.  We had received a total of 7 inches of rain over the day and a half and we had wind gusts of up to 60 mph.  The heater kicked in yesterday late afternoon/early evening and no sloshing was heard in the air vents.  We never lost power, not even a power flicker.  We were very happy overall.

In the afternoon I had a meeting so I worked on getting caught up in the morning.  Chris had some work to get caught up on as well.  After my meeting, Chris got an e-mail that his flight was cancelled.  A little checking and his first flight out tomorrow was on schedule but his second flight was cancelled.  Chris decided to find an alternative way to get back home.

Wednesday evening Chris had cancelled both his flights without a penalty and scheduled a rental car to drive home.  Just before supper Chris was on the road.  I sent him off with a bag of food for his trip.

This morning when Nathan got up he received a text that Chris made it home at 3am.

Halloween 2012

It was our first halloween here in our Northern Virginia home.  I was so excited about handing out candy that earlier in the month I ordered almost 500 pieces of candy from Amazon.  My thought was; we live in between two schools so there would be plenty of trick-or-treaters.  I was wrong and disappointed.  We had 7 kids and they showed up between 8 and 8:30pm.  I don't think any of the 7 kids that showed up were over the age of 8.

The funny thing about all of this is that a service tech who showed up at the house today told me that was a lot.  What?!  The only other time I remember having so few trick-or-treaters was right after Nathan and I got married and we lived on the second floor in a one bedroom apartment in Florida.  We didn't have any trick-or-treaters then.

Anyway I guess I won't need to buy candy any time soon.  I have plenty.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Marine Corps Marathon 2012

Last night we had friends over for a carb loading dinner.  These are friends that we knew in California who also happen to have registered for the Marine Corps Marathon and/or live in the same area as us.  I cooked up pasta, made a salad and a pumpkin cake.  Another family brought garlic bread and Italian bread.  We had supper at about 5:45pm and then around 7:30pm had dessert.  Everyone left around 9pm to get to bed for an early morning rise.

Sunday morning I was up before the alarm went off.  I think I was anxious and nervous for everyone.  The men had their oatmeal for breakfast and then we drove to the nearest Metro around 6am.  We took the orange line in and then had to transfer to the blue line.  When we transferred to the blue line it was like being packed into a sardine can.  It was crazy!  I was the last one to make it in on our car before the doors closed.  There really was no room to balance yourself for the ride.  We held onto the handles because everyone was swaying during the short ride.  I was joking with other passengers in our car.  Nothing like preparing for a hurricane by going to a Marathon packed on the metro.  It is not the normal part of hurricane prep.

We got off at the Pentagon.  It was still early but I was able to snap a quick photo with my cell phone.  Then it was a mile walk to the start line.  I had Nathan and Chris stop so I could get a picture before they were on their way.

They headed down to the crowd that was lined up and I stood there for a couple of minutes.  I realized that I wasn't close to the start line and decided to walk further up.  I thought that maybe I could try to get a picture of them as they crossed through the start but there were so many people.  I did take a quick photo to show how many runners there were.
The cannons went off and the runners started.  My plan was to head over to mile marker 10/11 and text Nathan to let him know where I was so they could grab some food and water I had.  I ended up walking further than I needed and saw some of the runners between mile marker 4 & 5.  I knew I had another hour to hour and 15 minutes until the guys would expect to see me at mile 10.  I  made it to just before the mile 10 marker.  I sent Nathan a text to let him know where I was and to inquire where they were.  I didn't hear from him but I knew I still had some time.  I got a text from my mom and as I was responding the guys ran by.  OOOooopps!!  I missed them.

The next plan was to meet them at mile marker 16.  Unfortunately as I walked toward mile marker 11 I realized that I couldn't cross the street to meet them.  I was going to have to run out in front of the marathoners and didn't want to do that.  I saw one marathoner swear at a supporter because they got in her way as they tried to cross.  I thought it would be safer and smarter to stay where I was.  I sent Nathan a text to let him know that I wasn't going to be able to see them at mile marker 16.


I turned around to head back to the finish line.  I was actually able to walk and not jog because this time I knew where I was going and there were signs.  I wish I had noticed that at the start of the race and then I wouldn't have walked around the course as much and could have done some more sightseeing.

On my way back to the finish I walked past a Seabees Memorial and some of Arlington Cemetery     As I was walking past the cemetery some of the first marathoners were approaching the finish line.  I was impressed and surprised.

I thought I scoped out a great spot just before Nathan and Chris would reach the finish line.  I wanted to try and get a spot just after the finish line so I could get them crossing.  I headed to the finish line but there was no way to get there that I could see unless you were a volunteer.  I went back to the spot I noticed earlier and hung out there to wait as other marathoners approached the finish.  As I stood there though I noticed people cutting in front of me and ignoring what the Marines were asking them to do: stay back.  After a while people from the other side crossed over to where I was standing and just pushed their way past/through me.  I was a little annoyed after a while.

A little after 4 hours Chris was approaching the finish.  I did get a picture but you can just barely make him out.  He is in the orange shirt to the right of supergirl.  I tried to scream for him as he ran by since I wasn't up front when he ran by.  He didn't hear or see me.  About 45 minutes later Nathan approached the finish.  He saw me and I was able to snap a picture of him just as he approached the finish line.

I walked to the family linkup location to meet up with Chris and eventually Nathan would join us.  We waited in line to take the metro back.  I took a picture of the both of them with their medals once we got home.  

Congrats to you both for finishing!

Wednesday, October 03, 2012

CCR And ORCA Now SAM

Last year I registered MSBA with DUNS (Dun & Bradstreet, Data Universal Numbering System). We needed the DUNS number is order to be entered into the Federal System. Once we received our number we then registered in the CCR (Central Contractor Registration) system. Registering with CCR was necessary to apply for Federal grants. Back in June CCR upgraded to SAM (System for Award Management). We had until the end of the year to make sure that we created an account in SAM and re-confirmed our information. This is when our CCR information would have expired (they expire unless you reactivate it within a year). I did do that today. If your company is in the CCR system don't forget to register in SAM.

AIOD is also registered in CCR along with ORCA (Online Representations and Certifications Application). The great thing about SAM is that it is also an upgrade for ORCA. If you have multiple accounts in these systems you only need one SAM account. This was helpful since I have both MSBA and AIOD registered in these systems.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Voting In My First Presidential Election

One week ago we received our absentee ballots.  Being a military family we don't currently reside in the state where we have permanent residency/consider our domicile/where we would like to retire to.  Because of the work I did with the Military Spouses Residency Relief Act, MSRRA (I am now able to declare a single state of residency without losing that residency because we moved/PCSed), I felt like I earned the right to vote.

Yesterday I put in the outgoing mail our absentee ballots.  I have now officially voted in my first Presidential Election :)  Yes, I was excited by this!

I did learn some interesting things though.

  1. I took voting very seriously; researching every person and issue. Side note: it required a dictionary and I really could have used a lawyer to assist with some of the language.
  2. It took me 5 days to do the required research and mark my circles.
  3. I felt so proud but that quickly wore off yesterday morning when I realized th
    e outcome of this vote will probably not match my ballot AND there is a chance my ballot may not be counted.
I also had some random thoughts throughout my 5 day exerience.
  1. Are ballots usually 4 pages long?
  2. I think lawyers should be available for free during elections to assist people with understanding any state amendments that you will vote on.
  3. Do people arrive at polling booths with a sample printed ballot already filled out?  I took 5 days and don't know how people vote in a couple of minutes.
I guess now I do what typical military families do and hurry up and wait.  It is another six weeks (+/-) until we all know the official results.

Happy voting!

If you are looking for more information about MSRRA you can read older posts in our blog or you can look ----->.  You will also find a link to the MSRRA Facebook Page.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Death of The Bread Machine Pan

meant buying bread in the store this weekend.  OOOHHH how I did not like that!  It has been 4 years since I bought bread in the store.  I am going to point out that I intentionally bought the cheap 89cent bread too.

I remember now all the reasons why I started making our bread.

  1. I know what my bread is made of.
  2. Homemade bread is not light weight and small in size, like the bread you buy in the store.
  3. It is also cheaper than the higher quality store bread.
  4. AND homemade bread actually fills you up.
I did order a new bread machine pan last week.  It should come in this week.  My one concern is that since the model I have is no longer made, the replacement pan that I bought might not use the same paddle I have.  If I need to buy a new paddle it will mean that I will have to buy more bread at the store next weekend.  I am trying to stay optimistic.

I think that once my bread machine pan comes in I am going to be a bread making fool.  I have no bagels, no bread or rolls in the freezer.  This catastrophe also has meant no homemade pizza night this last week - BOOOOOO!!

Tuesday, September 04, 2012

Feeling Pretty Impressive

as a cook that is.

Yesterday instead of making my weekly loaf of bread I made bread dough in my machine.  For the first time I made rolls.  It required me to cut the dough into pieces and then shape them.  I did try to shape them so they would end up like an oval but that didn't work.  I "glazed" the rolls before I cooked them and they came out of the oven nice and golden.  They were finished just in time for dinner so hubby and I were able to have a warm one for supper.  I was impressed.  Hopefully this will change up lunch a little but over sliced bread.

Don't get me wrong I LOVE homemade bread.  Actually I haven't purchased a loaf of bread from the store in 4 years.  But having nothing but sliced bread for the last 4 years is getting old.  Every once in a while I want a roll for lunch and now I know I can cook them myself without burning them :)

Today I was feeling a little adventurous and made bagels.  The bread machine made dough for me.  I cut the dough into pieces, shaped them and then cut out the holes.  When I finished the 8 bagel shapes I covered them and filled a pot with water.  I let it come to a boil.  Once the water boiled the bagels cooked for 3 minutes.  I put the bagels on a pan and glazed them.  Half of the bagels were poppy seed and the other half were onion.  I removed them from the oven when they were golden.



I cooked the poppy seed bagels first so I had one of those for lunch.  Even though it was still warm I toasted it.  I wanted to test the "crunchiness" factor and make sure they could hold up to a toasting.  Oh My GOODNESS!!  I was really impressed and it was really good.

I sliced all the bagels and put them in a tupperware container.  I then put them in the freezer.  I did this to the rolls I cooked yesterday too.

Hubby got home late from work and had a bagel for supper.  I teased him a little too much in the e-mail I sent him earlier today.  "These are the best bagels I have every had!"  I was shocked, "really?"  "Yes they are nice and crunchy."  Well that is all I needed to hear.  Bagels were a hit and if hubby is happy then they are approved.

Just a little side note to toot my own horn, I was impressed with their shape!

Sunday, August 05, 2012

Macho Spouse Video

Chris Pape sent me an e-mail on Friday night. The video was complete from my first on camera interview. He sent me a link to watch and was requesting my "stamp of approval" before he promoted it on his social media sites. I REALLY did not want to watch myself, so I kindly requested my husband to watch it for me. I forwarded him the link. I was actually siitting in the same room when hubby opened the video to watch it. I put in my earplugs and continued to watch replays and highlights from the Olympic games on my laptop.

Hubby says loudly, "That is great, you were wonderful and I am impressed!" I asked, "so you couldn't tell I was nervous?" He says, "No you were very impressive!" I said, "okay." I forward the link to Joanna and Lynn and ask them for their input. Hubby looks at me and says, "you need to watch that!" I sulk for a couple of minutes as I really don't want to. I know I will notice how nervous I was and proceed to pick out my silly nervous mannerisms. I will also critique myself, which means I won't say anything positive about myself.

I click on the link and watch it. When it was over I did critique myself. I wasn't happy with my projection. I am going to stop there before I create a list of things I was unhappy with. Chris did an excellent job! Two hours of video cut down to under 5 minutes. He used screenshots of MSBA's website in the video and even explained how MSBA's Red, White & Blue Pages™ helped Macho Spouse.

Watch Macho Spouse's video on Organizations That Rock - MSBA. You can also watch some of Macho Spouse's other videos here.

Thank you Chris!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

WHAT....

Hubby got home at 7pm last night. I ate earlier, so I reheated his plate. He sat down to eat and check his e-mail. While he was doing that I cleaned up, I ate about 40 minutes earlier. I sat down and he said to me "that was a great article you were mentioned in!" I said, "what article?" Hubby then says "you should check your e-mail."

I check my e-mail and notice a message from Lynn addressed to Joanna and I inquiring as to whether or not we read Babette Maxwell's article. Joanna responded. I had a separate e-mail from Joanna asking if I had seen what Babette wrote, as my name is in an article.

I click on the article link and proceed to read. I see my name listed at #1. I proceed to finish reading the article. As soon as I finish, I start crying and laughing. Babette wrote a funny article in response to an another article. My crying was the result of happiness and guilt. I didn't think my name belonged on the list. There are other Military Spouses who have done a lot of work for and through MSBA, who I feel, should have been mentioned in that article; MSBA co-founder Rebecca Poynter, MSBA co-founder Lanette Lepper, Lynn Carroll, Veronica Jorden, Carolyn LeVering. Without them MSBA wouldn't exist. Without them the Military Spouses Residency Relief Act wouldn't be a law.

I respond to Joanna's e-mail and told her the same thing I am writing here. She responded back. We proceed to collaborate on a Thank You note to post on the MSBA Facebook Page while sharing a link to the article. At the same time I am sharing a link on my Facebook profile and posting a Thank You to Babette, Congrats to the other Military Spouses mentioned and Thanking the MSBA Board of Directors.

The Thank You note is posted on MSBA's Facebook Page. I proceed to respond to Lynn's e-mail. Admitting that I was a crying fool.

While going to bed last night I tell hubby again that I feel guilty. He asks me "why?" "It just doesn't feel right." He responds "you did do a great thing in support of MSRRA and you do work hard for MSBA. I am proud of you." I said "are you sure?" He said "yes!" I smirked and left the conversation with that. There is nothing more wonderful than your husband telling you that his is proud of you.

If you didn't get a chance to read Babette's article you can here.

Thank You Babette, Congrats to All the Military Spouses mentioned in the article and Thank You to all of MSBA's Board of Directors for what you do for fellow military spouse entrepreneurs and for your work on MSRRA!

Monday, July 09, 2012

Vacation In Key West

Nathan's leave for The Keys was approved in April, even though he started a new job in July. I was able to finally let the Tyner family know that we could join them in The Keys for the first week of July planned vacation. Everyone was pretty excited including me! Nathan and I have never been down to Key West so we were looking forward to spending a vacation in a place that we have heard nothing but wonderful things about. It is also in a state that we enjoy/like. You will notice from other posts in the blog that Nathan and I have lived in Pensacola, Jacksonville and have visited Orlando, Gainesville, Miami and Port Canaveral. 

While in Key West we:
- walked Duval Street,
- hung out in Mallory Square,
- Para-sailing for me,
- Jet Skiing and a Jet Pack Adventure for Nathan,
- time at the pool at the Hyatt Beach Resort,
- Smather's Beach,
- 4th of July BBQ at Hyatt Windward,
- dinner at Abbey Road,
- a couple of hours checking out NAS Key West,
- a run along S. Roosevelt Blvd. (both Nathan and I),
- dinner at Abbondanza Italian Restaurant, and
- Southern Most Point.

I am sure you all are looking at this list and asking, what, went for a run? Yes Nathan and I went for a run while in Key West. It helped me destress and relax and it was cooler in FL than it was in VA. It was in the 100's and humid here at home. It was in the 90's and just hot in FL. We did go for a run in the morning when it was 80 degrees.

 The Hyatt Beach Resort was beautiful. Our suite or room had 2 bedrooms, 2 full bathrooms, kitchen/dining room combo, living room, balcony and washer and dryer. Mom and dad were able to get two suites. We cooked a couple of meals to feed everyone at the Resort so we didn't need to go out to eat every night. We even cooked out on the grills at the Resort on the 5th. Nathan and I were impressed with the Hyatt Beach Resort and with Key West. We think if you are going to consider a vacation in Key West you need 2 weeks. Nathan and I would like to go back down some day. I am not going to post any pictures here on the blog. I did post pictures on Facebook if you would like to see them.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Photo Book

I received a promotion code in my e-mail for a free 8x8, 20 page, Shutterfly Photo Book. I thought at first it was a gimmick. I tried the link and entered the promotion code. I noticed that the discount wasn't applied while creating the book. It wasn't until this morning when I processed the order that I could see the discount. I added an extra page which was only a .75 charge and then the cost of shipping was $7.99, I believe. So for under $9.00 I get this cool book that I created of all our cruises and to give to Nathan as our 10th Anniversary gift.
The new way to make a photo album: photo books by Shutterfly.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Dear Mr. Trump


In my volunteer work with MSBA I did something silly recently. You have seen Mr. Donald Trump on TV, right?! The gentleman that is famous for saying “You're Fired" on the show, “The Apprentice.” Well earlier this week I sent him an e-mail, requesting his help in being spokesperson for the Red, White & Blue Pages™. I was nervous clicking on that "Send" button in my e-mail. Did I give him enough information? Did I incorporate enough of his personal information so he knows that I did some research before sending the e-mail? Will it peek his interest? What if he thinks I am crazy? What if this e-mail just gets deleted? Yikes! Did I mention in any previous posts that I overanalyze every little detail?

Are you wondering why I sent an e-mail to Mr. Donald Trump? Joanna dared me. Well she didn't come right out and say I dare you to send an e-mail to Mr. Donald Trump. It was more like she suggested he would be the appropriate advocate in an e-mail and then put a question mark at the end of her sentence. I interpreted this as a, what are you going to do about it.

You are probably also thinking okay why ask him to be spokesperson for the Red, White & Blues Pages™? It makes sense to me, especially after reading some of Mr. Donald Trump's bios. Did you know that he went to the New York Military Academy? I also found in my research that he is a supporter of Paralyzed Veterans of America and Wounded Warrior Project. Of course he is also a well known business man. I just think about all the people that apply to be on "The Apprentice."

Yes, I think that Mr. Donald Trump's celebrity status will be helpful for the Red, White & Blue Pages™ and MSBA overall, but I also think that he can teach us a lot. There are plenty of things MSBA needs to learn, that I need to learn. One of those obvious things is how to advertise a business. Once armed with this new knowledge we can then pass that on to you our members.

Now I am anxiously awaiting a response. Joanna reiterated to me; nothing ventured, nothing gained. One way or the other I will give you an update.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Camera Interview


My first ever oncamera interview and it was for MSBA. Chris showed up at 10:30am as scheduled. I was nervous when I watched him bring in and assemble his equipment. What am I saying?! I was nervous from the minute I got up at 7:30am. Of course the homemaker in me says get the rest of this house in order and smelling "pine fresh." Then the paranoid me kicked in and I tried to go over every possible scenario and question I could think of. For example I went over MSBA's mission statement. All the things MSBA has accomplished; the Military Spouse Residency Relief Act and a member of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Hiring Our Heroes, "Alliance." Also remembering not to forget to mention MSBA member L.D. Herrara (male military spouse). This was an interview to cater to males.

I look around the house and realized I have nothing to represent MSBA here. Yes I do! I have the MSBA banner and marketing materials from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Hiring Our Heroes, Military Spouse Career Forum. I can put up these things so it doesn't look too homey/personal. MSBA doesn't have a brick and mortar location so Chris was doing me a favor by conducting the interview here at my house in Northern, VA. Hubby was home that day so of course I had him give me the approval for wardrobe, make-up and house decorations.

Okay so back to Chris setting up. I sat down in the chair to get ready. I am telling myself at this point to take slow deep breaths. I was afraid Chris was going to hear my heart pounding through the microphone pinned on my shirt. I think I get so nervous because I don't like the spotlight, I am an introvert and I overanalyze or overthink every little thing. But Chris started off with simple questions that helped put me at ease; what is your name and title? What is MSBA?

Two hours later I was getting worn out. Chris only had a couple more questions but my brain wasn't firing anymore. A nasty side effect from too much preparation. I think Chris picked up on the fact that I was struggling. He was guiding or coaching me along. When it was over I could breathe a huge sigh of relief and grab my water. The wonderful pasty mouth. Chris said I did a great job. He also mentioned that the video wouldn't be edited until the following week. That was fine with me. I don't like to watch myself.

As Chris was packing up I took this photo. I should have taken a photo while I was in the chair with the lights.

Before Chris left he became a member of MSBA and posed for a quick picture, taken by my wonderful husband.
 

Thank You Chris for giving MSBA this opportunity to share its valuable resources with male military spouse entrepreneurs! Welcome to MSBA!

You can learn more about Macho Spouse here.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Credentialing Summit


The National Credentialing Summit was about three weeks ago.  MSBA Governmental Liaison Director, Lynn Carroll and myself were part of a panel discussing challenges military spouses face having a professional license or credential.  We were honored to represent military spouses and specifically military spouse business owners.

Lynn and I had an interesting adventure just to get to the Metro.  Lynn picked me up at my house about mid-morning.  She drove us to the closest Metro station which was about a 20 minute drive from my house.  I thought that since there was a parking garage at this station we would be able to find parking and ride into D.C. without too many problems.  Oh how I was wrong.  Every entrance to the parking garage was closed because it was full.  I was shocked and feeling a little guilty.  I didn't have a backup plan and now Lynn is on the phone with her husband trying to help us find another Metro station that had parking nearby.

We stop at the next Metro station it doesn't have a parking garage and the parking lot was full.  We try two other stations before we find parking.  We now have 2 hours before we are scheduled to setup for the panel.   We knew that was enough time to get into D.C. and then walk to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce building.

We made it into D.C. with an hour to spare.  We decide to do some more preparation.  Ten minutes before the panel was scheduled to start we head toward the reserved room.  I was thinking a small classroom or conference room where we would be seated in a circle.  Nope, I had the wrong idea.  I peak into the room and notice that the panelists are sitting on a chair, up on a stage, with a microphone pinned to their shirts and bright lights overhead.  There were about 100 people in this room. I must have turned into a ghost when I looked at Lynn.  There is no way I can do that and participate for an hour!  What was I thinking?

We walk into the room and sit down but before I could even absorb what was going on we were being directed to the front of the room.  My heart is racing, I am sweating and I became very quiet.  Lynn was supportive and was a big help when I got on stage.  I used her as my initial focal point to calm myself as I introduced myself.  Mrs. Laura Dempsey made it easy as she was guiding the panel and asking specific questions.  I ended up doing the least amount of speaking.  A majority of the other panelists had statistics to share.

It was over a lot faster than I thought.  The panel discussion for our group lasted about an hour.   If you follow the link here and scroll until you find "Panel 10," it will tell you not only who was going to be on the panel but what was going to be discussed.  I got off stage as quickly as possible as I was still feeling uncomfortable.  The panelist did such a wonderful job.  The combination of their expertise, their organization stature in the military community and their data or information, was intimidating.  Lynn told me I did a good job and someone in the audience told me that I did a good job, as I went to get a cup of water.

Lynn and I stayed to hear the next panelists talk about what was being done in regards to changing or creating laws that would help professional military spouses.  Overall it was a good experience for me.  If you would like to learn more The American Legion wrote a great article to sum up the two day summit.  You can read it here.  Once you finish reading the article you will also find some links to the PowerPoint presentations that were given over the two day event.

I would like to say Thank You to the panelists, the moderator Mrs. Laura Dempsey, The American Legion and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Hiring Our Heroes for allowing MSBA to be a part of the discussion and to represent military spouse business owners, and for hosting this event.

Monday, March 12, 2012

One Year...

since he passed away.

This last week and a half has just been aweful! It probably didn't help that Papa's one year anniversary was last Monday and that already had me a little emotional.

My brother David has been sick for the last week. In and out of the hospital and doctor's office. For what started as a back ache that wasn't a kidney stone, to a congenital defect, to cancer, to it had to have been a kidney stone. WHAT?? I mean really! The five letter "c" word. The word I can't stand. The reason why my Papa isn't still here. ARRRGGGHHH!! But he finally got answers yesterday after yet another trip to the ER, he has a torn or pulled muscle. He has been doing P90X. He must of injured the muscle but thought that it would be okay and kept doing the P90X. Not a good idea. It has now lead him to rest, hydration and muscle relaxers. Oh and just for the fun of it his physician called mom this morning. She did a mono and strep test on David, Thursday or Friday, when he went in to see her. They came back negative but the doctor kept a sample to check for today. Sure enough he has strep. I mean seriously! What the heck else can the poor kid deal with at once?

Kandi was in the doctor's for a removal of a mole that didn't look good. We now wait for the results on that.

An electrician was called out to the house in CA.

I am stressing about money. Which is really ridiculous because it is not like Nathan and I aren't smart about it.

Mom hasn't been feeling well. She had tubes put in her ears due to the number of ear infections she has had lately.

Anyway I did take some time to help mom with something. She was looking for photos of Papa. I went through all the photos I have, which wasn't many. It actually helped me. Yeah it is still hard. I really think when you are a military spouse and you deal with the passing of a loved one it takes longer to go through the grieving process. But with that said it was nice to just chuckle. He was such a silly Papa. Always had unique stories. I couldn't help but laugh when I see him in photos.





Some of these images aren't of him specifically or he isn't facing the camera directly but it is nice to just see him.

How do you deal with the loss of a loved one? Do you go through photos? Do you write them a later? Do you go and sit by their gravestone and talk to them or read to them?

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Non-Stop with MSBA

but in a very good way!

From mid-November to mid-February the Military Spouse Business Association usually takes a break for the holidays. However in January, MSBA, was invited to join the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Hiring Our Heroes "Alliance," and take part in the Military Spouse Career Forum. You can read about it in our press release.

The Board Members put in full time some days to prepare for that event in January. It was wonderful! The amount of military spouses that are interested in or who operate their own business just in the D.C. area alone, was amazing! We actually gave out all 250 rack cards.

This event was also a rewarding moment for the Board Members as some of us were meeting for the first time. Joanna, Rebecca, Lynn and Myself were also met by two MSBA members, Denise and Carolyn. You can find more information about the event in the January newsletter.

After the event there was follow through with contacts we made.

February was here before we even realized and it is also tax time for businesses. I really dislike the stress that tax time puts on me for the two weeks. It definitely causes my patience level to drop.

Another big step to help get word out about MSBA and to become more active in representing military spouse business owners; an invitation to take part in the National Credentialing Summit held in D.C. and, hosted by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and The American Legion. MSBA was honored and thrilled to be placed in a panel with fellow "Alliance" members. You can read more about Panel 10 here.

Even with all of these great things happening MSBA is in a unique situation right now. The Board Members are trying to get the organization back on track after they each individually, took three years to promote and support the Military Spouses Residency Relief Act. In order to do that we need...you guessed it, money.

This weekend co-founder and Director of Business Development, Joanna Williamson had a great idea; fundraising for the organization through online campaigning per say. I believe she put this in our "Parking Lot" of ideas however I may put it on the agenda for our Tuesday meeting.

So do you have any suggestions or tips on how to raise money for a 501(c)(6) nonprofit organization? Anything in particular that really worked for you or your organization? Or would you please consider donating! You can click the "Donate" button in the right column of our website.

Thank You!