Life as a Marine Corps Wife


Mal Smiles

When I saw this link up for military wives, I knew I wanted to take part. I think there are a lot of misconceptions about the military lifestyle and posts like these sometimes help clear them up. I honestly don't talk about the Marine Corps very often but it's obviously a huge part of our lives. 

So, first let me introduce myself:

I'm Tami! I've been married to Jesse, my Marine, for 12.5 years. We were high school sweethearts and married young. 

We waited 9 years to have our first daughter, Emerson, who will be three next month.
In January we had our second daughter, Adelyn.

I have a Bachelor's and Master's degree in Elementary Education and I taught for 4 years before becoming a Training and Curriculum Specialist. I left that job when we moved overseas and I have since become a stay at home mom. 

I love Jesus, fitness, home decorating, coffee, sewing, and dressing my little girls. I used to be an avid reader but I honestly don't read as much as I used to. With two kids under three, my hobbies kind of get pushed to the side sometimes. :)

Our military story:
Jesse joined the Marine Corps in 2001, when I was a sophomore in college. Yes we are old!! :)  When he came back from bootcamp, he proposed and I said yes. We were married in October of that year and assigned our first duty station: Jacksonville, NC. I had to wait until December when I finished my semester and then I moved across the country to be with my husband. I remember feeling so many emotions moving so far away. I knew nothing about the Marine Corps life and it was hard leaving my family and friends  and transferring to a new college.

We ended up spending 8 years in North Carolina. During that time we bought two homes (and sold one,) went through two deployments, and I graduated from college and grad school. North Carolina really became home for us!

In 2010 my husband was selected for Marine Security Guard (embassy duty) and we were sent to Burundi, Africa for our first post. Living in Africa was one of the hardest and neatest things I have ever experienced.

After Burundi, we spent 20 months in Abu Dhabi in the UAE. Towards the end of MSG duty I was so ready to be back in the United States. I was so thankful for the experience but I definitely missed the USA. If you want to read more about all of the places we have lived, go here. I think the best part of MSG duty was all of the amazing places that we got to see. We traveled to South Africa, India, Germany, Austria, and Dubai.

We hoped and prayed that we would be sent back to North Carolina. We have a home there and quite a few of our friends are still there as well. But God and the Marine Corps had different plans for us and we were sent to Southern California. We've been in San Diego for just over a year now. I love the weather and that there is so much to do. I don't love the traffic or the fact that everything is so crammed together. The cost of living is also pretty crazy but we have found a place that works for us, so I can't really complain. We'll probably be in So Cal for at least another 2 years so we are hoping to see and do as much as we can while we are here.
This past July, Jesse was deployed to Afghanistan. Two weeks later I received the scariest phone call ever and learned that Jesse had broken his leg and was being medically evacuated. It has been a long road since then. Unfortunately he's having his third surgery next week so that part of our story is definitely not over.

Despite some of the hardships we have faced, I absolutely love the military life.  To be honest, it's all I've ever know as a wife. It is hard being far away from family and saying good-bye to your husband, but it is also on honor to be part of the Marine Corps family.  There is a special kind of pride that comes with being a military wife!  I have been able to experience things that I would have never otherwise experienced and made lifelong friendships. I hate deployments and I dread our next one, but I wouldn't trade our military experience for anything. I honestly can't imagine life outside of the Marine Corps.

I also have to say that military wives are a breed of their own. I have met some of the strongest, smartest, and bravest women I have ever known. They are resilient and resourceful and they often serve as mommy and daddy while also keeping the household up and running. It's definitely not easy but it's so worth it. 

Ten on Tuesday


How about ten randoms to start this Tuesday off right?

1. One of the things I really dislike about our townhouse is the kitchen and bathrooms. The countertops are practically pink and the laminate wood on the cabinets is literally peeling off. So it's not an understatement to say that I was bursting with excitement when we received a notice that they were going to be remodeled!! Yay! So tomorrow we have to be out of the house all day and when we come home we will have a brand new kitchen.  I'm so stinking excited! This is the before- I can't wait to share the after!

2. Jesse is having surgery next week. We are not excited about it but we are hoping this will be it and he can finally truly recover. The good news is that Mimi is coming to town to help with the girls. We can't wait!

3. Adelyn has mastered the art of rolling from back to tummy and she does it all day long. She's also starting to scoot around all over the place. I really think she's going to be an early crawler.

4. Emerson had crazy hair day at dance yesterday. We didn't go too crazy but I was able to snap these pictures of her and I am in love. It's rare to get a real smile from her in pictures these days.

5. She's developed a love for the camera and is always asking to take my picture. Yesterday I handed it to her and she snapped this. Future photographer in the making.

6. I finally placed my first order for Shakeology. I'm going to be completely honest and say that I have been such a skeptic about all these shakes and supplements. I've lost weight before with any special drink and I know I could do it again. But I keep hearing how AMAZING people feel after drinking it regularly. I figure it's worth a try! I'll definitely be back to share my opinions once I get it.

7. Has anyone ever nested after you had your baby? I swear I've gone into post-baby nesting mode. I have been purging and organizing like crazy. This weekend we took 5 bags to Goodwill and it was awesome! You can finally walk in my closet and my drawers aren't stuffed full of clothes that I don't wear. I still have a bit more to go through but it takes time. I keep telling myself that I need to start getting rid of the clothes that Adelyn has outgrown, but that is so much harder to do than I expected it to be.

8. I've been getting my workouts done first thing in the morning and I can't tell you how good it feels. I try to be done by 7 am most days. There are some days (like today) where I'd rather just sit here and do stuff on the computer but I know I will feel amazing once I'm finished. Usually after about 5 minutes I'm pumped up and ready to take on the world. 

9. We had a wonderful Easter weekend. I took tons of pictures so I'll be doing a couple of posts over the next few days. 

10. How in the world is it already almost May? This year is flying by way too fast. In less than a month my first baby will be turning 3. I just can't believe it! 

Happy Tuesday! I hope everyone had a blessed day!

Getting Fit and Helping Others


As y'all know, health and fitness is a big part of my life. I don't get around to posting about it too often, but I'm very driven when it comes to my fitness goals. Right now I'm on a journey to lose these last few pounds of baby weight and to get back into my pre pregnancy jeans. I've been participating in various challenges and a couple of Facebook groups and it has been so motivating. I am nowhere near where I want to be but I think it's important to be honest and share what the journey is really like. I didn't walk out of the hospital with a flat tummy and the weight is not "falling off" from breastfeeding. I'm working hard to lose a pound at a time but it is slowly and surely coming off.

A few weeks ago I made the decision to start Focus T25. I'm currently on my third week and I'm loving it so far. I mean who doesn't want to get their workout done in 25 minutes!?! I also love having a set program to follow. It keeps me motivated and I feel like I've accomplished something each day when I'm able to put a check in the box for that day's workout.

Along with my decision to start T25, I also committed to another adventure, if you will. I have officially become a Beachbody coach.  What does this mean? Well basically I am here to help you reach your health and fitness goals. If you have questions about any Beachbody products or programs, I'm your girl. I want to be honest and tell y'all that after being approached about coaching, I spent a full week praying/thinking about it. The last thing I want is for my friends and family to feel like I am trying to sell them stuff. In the end I felt like my passion for health and fitness could really help others, even if it just means that they have someone to talk to about their goals. If I never make a dime, I'm ok with that. But if this means I can help one person lose that baby weight or fit back into their skinny jeans, then how could I say no?

Now, don't worry. This blog is not going to turn into an advertisement. I promise! But I will continue to share my fitness journey, just as I have always done. If you ever have any questions about any of the workouts I mention, don't hesitate to contact me through email or Facebook.

I'll also be posting my T25 progress this Saturday. I feel like I may have lost a few pound/inches but the true test will come after I finish out this 3rd week.

In the meantime, would you be willing to like my brand new fitness Facebook page? Just click the banner below and you'll be able to follow along. I'll be sharing recipes, workouts, and my own progress as I work my way back into my pre-pregnancy jeans. :)

Thank you all for your support as I start this little adventure! Regardless of how it plays out, I know that I am putting my all into my own health and fitness! There is no better investment that you can make!

*This post contains affiliate links.

Adelyn Elise: Three Months


-Weight: Right around 12 lbs (according to our home scale)
-Length: not sure but I'll measure her and update

Adelyn at 3 Months:

-Wears Size 1 diapers and 0-3 and some 3-6 months clothes

-Goes to bed around 7:30 and sleeps until about 3:30-4:30 AM. She's wide awake at this point and usually doesn't go back to sleep for at least an hour. 

-Her wake time is usually about an hour before she needs a nap. She usually takes two longer naps- one in the morning and one in the evening- as well as several cat naps.

-Eats 4-4.5 ounces every 2-3 hours (still from the bottle! Little stinker!)

-Has the sweetest little grin you have ever seen. All you have to do is look at her and she will give you the biggest grin ever.

-Drools like no other. I won't be surprised if she gets a tooth or two in the next few months.

-Loves to be held.

-Is a happy baby as long as she is not tired or hungry. Let her get too far gone with either of those and she will let you know!

-Is crazy about her big sister. She lights up when she sees her or hears her.

-Takes most of her naps in the swing but has started transitioning to  the crib a few times a day. She still sleeps in our room at night.

-Rolls over from tummy to back and has rolled from back to tummy once

-Has several nicknames: Addy, Addy girl, Addy baby, Adders, Ads, Cheeks, Cheekies

-Is not a fan of her carseat. She cries quite often when riding in the car.

-Has THE most kissable cheeks in the world. Seriously, I can't get over them.

-Is so, so ticklish. You can lightly rub her tummy and she will giggle. It's the cutest.

-Has grown like a weed this month. I still can't believe she was so tiny at birth because girlfriend is getting some rolls now and I sure do love it.

Addy girl, we love you more than words can say. Your sweet little personality brightens our lives and we love watching you grow. We are so thankful for you!

A Busy, Blessed Weekend


How about a little weekend recap? There are some weekends that we don't do a single thing and then there are others that are just busy, busy! This was one of the latter! :)


We headed out the door bright and early to tour a nearby preschool for Emerson. I had originally planned on waiting until the fall but we haven't been getting out as much since Adelyn was born and she's getting a little stir-crazy at home. As much as I'd like to teach her myself, I think she will benefit from a structured environment even more. She'll be going two mornings a week starting in two weeks.  It's a Christian preschool and they are NAEYC accredited, which is a must for me because I know how rigorous the accreditation process is.
During the visit her teacher let her sit down and make a ladybug craft. She was so excited and couldn't wait to show it off when we got home. I'm going to miss her during those mornings but I know she is going to love every second of it. I'm sure Adelyn and I will enjoy some one one time as well.
  Since we were all dressed and looking decent, we decided a few selfies were in order. :)

Later that afternoon we went to swim with E's friend Kinsley. The girls ended up spending most of the time playing in the mud. 
They did finally run through the sprinkler a few times, though.They're both becoming little California girls.


Emerson is obsessed with hammocks so Jesse hung this one up between the stairs and the door. Emerson calls it her nest and we hung out in it for a while.

That afternoon we had a birthday party to attend so we headed to Target to pick out a gift.  I usually make Emerson ride in the basket but we had plenty of time so I let her walk around. She spent some time arranging the car air fresheners and smelling candles. 

The birthday party was in our friend's beautiful backyard so Emerson had a blast running around and playing. When I looked back at the pictures from the day I just couldn't believe how big she looks. When did my baby girl get so big?

After the birthday party it was time for another selfie- this time Daddy was included but Adelyn was sleeping and missed the fun.
We ordered pizza that night and E went to bed early since she missed her nap.

E has been telling me that her Sunday school teacher told her to bring her Bible to church so she was adamant about bringing it this week. She was so proud carrying it in.
And Adelyn was happy to be there too, I promise!

After church we stopped by Walgreen so I could grab a few things. I was pleasantly surprised to see that the Easter bunny was there and they were offering free pictures. Of course I had to go get the kiddos and bring them in.

We attended a housewarming party for some friends from our community group. It was lovely but this was the only picture I got:

The highlight of our weekend was a church event called As Yourself. The intent behind it was for us to get out and bless others as we have been blessed. We all donated money anonymously and then split it up among our groups. We were told to go out into the community and find a way to bless someone. We ended up going to Target and buying gift cards. Jesse and I headed over to the baby aisle and found two different couples to give them to. The girl that I approached seemed shocked and got teary-eyed. When she asked me for a hug, I wanted to cry too. It was a really neat experience and I hope we get to do it again soon! We are SO blessed to be part of such an amazing church. 
(Photo credit to my friend, Jamie. I hope you don't mind that I borrowed this. I think it's such an awesome representation of our church community!)

As you can probably guess, we were all pretty worn out by the time we got home. It was a busy, but very blessed weekend. With just one more to go until Jesse has surgery and is back on crutches, we are trying to make the most of every second. 

I hope your weekend was blessed as well!!
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