Sharing a Coffee-mate Moment with my All-American Hero

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It’s no secret by now that the military has played a HUGE role in my life and the life of my family. From having a plethora of family members who served in the military, to being an active duty spouse for over 7 years, to now living the life of a Veteran wife whose hubby is a full time college student using the GI Bill, the military still touches our lives on a daily basis.

Why yes that IS President George W. Bush standing right behind hubby (no photoshopping–promise!)! it was a common occurrence during his tour in the Coast Guard Honor Guard

I try to be extra thankful and appreciative of our military, their spouses, and their families. After getting a taste of what they go through my heart just goes out to them. Sometimes, however, it’s easy to forget to show your appreciation to those who are closest and mean the most to you–in this case I realized it had been too long since I had thanked Bob for all he sacrificed and did in service to our country, and reminded him that he is my Hero!

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Dinner with the Smileys

Military Reunion
Legalese Disclosure Nonsense: I was sent an advance copy of Dinner With the Smileys so I could read, laugh, smile, and cry over it and then turn around to tell you to do the same! All nostalgia and tears are my own!

Deployments Suck.

They really just do. 2011 was the hardest year in my life so far and a large part of that had to do with my husband’s deployment to Cuba when Amber was a toddler and Tyler was a baby. Thankfully he came back home safely (above you see us on the night of his return home) and I have experienced every deployment emotion from the sinking crying of saying goodbye, the bleak depression of trudging along through, and the joyful butterflies in the stomach from reuniting after so long apart and being so excited and nervous you wonder if you’ve been married for years because it feels like a first date!

So anytime I get offered the chance to read another military spouses story–especially if it has a unique twist on it–I’m the first to jump in line!

Dinner with the Smileys

Dinner with the Smileys: One Military Family, One Year of Heroes, and Lessons for a Lifetime is the story of Sarah Smiley and her family–her Navy husband and her three boys–and how they turned his year long deployment into an experience to remember. For 52 “Dinner with the Smileys” they had community members–from gold medal athletes to the boy’s preschool teachers–come and fill in her husband’s seat during his deployment.

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Cooper & Me & the Military

As I mentioned in my Deployment Resources for Kids video, when Bob was deploying last year I was shocked at the complete void of resources for kids whose parents were gone–especially when it came to books!

I was so happy to see our friends at  Cooper and Me are helping to solve this problem! Cooper and Me and the Military is about Cooper’s best doggie friend, Trooper. He’s a former military dog who comes to live with two military brats while their parents are deployed. I thought the perspective of two parents being deployed at once was a very interesting one.

The book is fun and was very easy to read aloud. Amber loves it and we’ve been reading it over and over and OVER for bedtime each night! I think we’re both excited to see a military book! This book is great for military kids or non-military families, as it is written from the non-military child’s point of view. It would be great to use for building empathy and understanding-something I think it really needed!

I also loved that there are activities that help children name and process their own feelings about what they’ve read included at the back of the book to help take everything one step further.

Be sure to connect with Cooper & Me on Facebook & Twitter

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