Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Keep Calm and Love a Naval Aviator

I don't typically advertise on my blog, but my OSC is doing a fundraiser and selling adorable shirts. We ship! Please email your order to VAW117OSC@gmail.com. Please share with your own spouse's groups, FB pages, etc. as we designed these to inclusive of the whole naval aviation community!

 
~ Jill
Sunday, October 19, 2014

So, Are We Screwing The Kids Up?

It is the million dollar question. One we joke about at our book clubs and Bunco groups but then quietly mull over in our minds in a more serious way when it's 2 AM. We all know that our kids will inherit some of our imperfections. We all have them, we all do some quirky thing or project some strange habit that our kids will inevitably annoy their future spouse with. But what about the big picture? Like, will my kids just be okay? And even better, what lessons can I take out of our unique life to help build a stronger, smarter, more well-rounded child?

I can't say that I thought much about how the military lifestyle would impact my kids when I was a youthful 21 year old planning our wedding. I was just excited to marry my high school sweetheart and ready for an adventure. Ready, after 5 years long distance, to not spend an hour each night on AOL IM  from my dorm room and instead actually see his eyes on a daily basis. I was naïve, but I was also open to something new and fun and different. I think I considered the differences between my own upbringing and the life I was about to embark on. But you never know something until you are neck deep in it.

The old adage of "you signed up for this so you can't complain" is probably the single most ignorant and obnoxious thing I've heard thrown at military families. Sorry, you just can't tell someone that they should "suck it up" because they "volunteered". I'll go fist to cuffs with anyone who wants to fight me on that one. This life, or any life, whether it be the surgeon on call when he just wants to sleep or the trucker missing Christmas for the third year in a row, is constant learning experience. We are all winging it. You can tell me to "suck it up, buttercup" when I'm getting my eyebrows waxed. NOT when I am moving my 4 year old to her third preschool. This stuff is hard.

The editor of Military Spouse Magazine contacted me a few months ago to write an article on grit. Grit is a term that has become trendy when discussing resilience and factors other than intelligence that predict success. Grit is the thing that keeps one focused, helps them get up when they have fallen for the 10th time, and keeps them persevering in the face of resistance and fatigue. The million dollar question was: what is grit? And can the imperfections and challenges of the military lifestyle actually help mold more resilient kids?

The answer is complicated. The premier researcher on grit, Angela Duckworth, actually said during her TED Talk that she can't tell you how to grow grit. She just knows that folks who exhibit more of that hard nosed and hard charging attitude toward their goals tend to do better, even when controlled for things like IQ score, socioeconomics, and educational background.

While doing my research for the article, I dove into a lot of articles and studies on military children and resilience. Both the positive side (it turns out that you can harness a bit of hardship and turn it into success), and the negative side (resilience fatigue is a thing). If you'd like to read more, please check out my article, which is in print in Military Spouse Magazine's October issue and here on their digital site: http://www.militaryspouse.com/articles/harnessing-grit/

I'm happy to say that I will be writing regularly for Military Spouse Magazine going forward. Next month will feature an I wrote article called "Racing Facebook" which will dive into my most read blog post regarding CACO notifications and social media. If you are a military family, I highly recommend subscribing as MSM dutifully tries to cover many issues that are uniquely related to our crazy unpredictable life. The wonderful editor is a military spouse as are all of the writers.
Thursday, October 16, 2014

Adventures in LA: Dancing with the Stars

One of the most fulfilling parts of Navy life for our family is getting to experience new places with depth. It isn't a 2 week vacation or a weekend visit to a new place. It is a few solid years to grow some (shallow) roots, meet people, experience the food and culture, and leave with memories and a new place you will remember calling home.

Last year, we "did" the mid west. We travelled a lot, ate the food (BBQ or bust!), tried new things, and learned many fun facts about the heartland. We got to walk through amazing places like the Oklahoma City National Memorial and the World War I Museum in Kansas City. We got to see silly things like the (former) word's largest ball of twine. The kids experienced what it was like to not have a beach within 15 minutes (and I met grown adults who had never put their toes in the ocean). John attended a Nebraska football game. We scalped last minute tickets to the NCAA tournament to see the Kansas Jayhawks play basketball in their home town. We made an effort to make Kansas memorable and fun; not just a year where we were counting down to return to the coast.

Now we are on the west coast for the first time. My husband is struggling with the idea of "doing LA". He isn't excited about movies, Hollywood, celebrities, or anything glitzy and glamorous. He truly doesn't get starstruck or excited about the idea of people watching in Malibu or attending movie premiers or seeing if some young starlet is hanging out at the local Kitson. He just.doesn't.care. (insert blank no-fun face). To the point where he has a visceral reaction to all-things LA (and will snidely remark about the smog or traffic even though I haven't seen any smog and we don't have much traffic where we are). It is like he has judged the place before we lived it. In my (humble) opinion, if I was supposed to be open minded about driving 75 miles in a straight line (**cough** Western Kansas) or trying Kansas wine (eeew) then he can be open minded about attending something Hollywood-ish.

However, I can have fun without my partner in crime. And just this past Monday, with the help a new local friend, I drove into Hollywood and experienced a flashback into the 80s and 90s courtesy of "Dancing with the Stars".

Until now, I haven't encountered any celebrities here. Maybe I'm not paying attention because I spend a fair amount of time in Malibu eating and shopping. Everyone I know just happens to see Paris Hilton in the Sephora or Harrison Ford in the grocery store. Me? Newp. My sister visited for five days this past spring and ran into Steven Tyler at the airport; actually, he ran into her. And flirted with her. She had been in Los Angeles for 10 minutes and had Steve Tyler pulling on her braid and calling her "cutie". 

I on the other hand have been here for 10 months and nada.

On Monday, I got to see my first batch of LA celebrities.

My first celebrity?

Nicole Eggert of 90s "Baywatch" and "Charles in Charge" fame. She actually pulled her ice cream truck right where my friend and I were waiting to go into the studio to see DWTS. I had no idea she had an ice cream truck but the Inside Edition crew filming my friend buying a rainbow sherbet was a tip off that something was unusual. Of course I texted my husband all smug about seeing a chick from "Baywatch" but he swung back with a sarcastic "an actor with an ice cream truck? stay in school, friends". Party pooper.

Anyway, after a few hours of waiting, we were led into the "Dancing with the Stars" auditorium. We had to surrender our cell phones prior to entering so I wasn't able to take any photos. My first thought was that it looked super small. My next thought was that I needed to start paying attention to people around me. And the array of celebrities I saw truly brought me back to middle school.

Candace Cameron, my 80s hair idol, was right across from us. I haven't thought of her in probably two decades but seeing her in person made my 9 year old heart skip a beat. I mean, what kid didn't want her hair in the late 80s?!


Right behind her was Danica McKeller. Better known as her character on "Wonder Years", Winnie Cooper. One of the dancers is Alfonso Ribiero, also better known for his character's name, Carleton on "Fresh Prince of Bel Air". When one of the other guests was asked who their favorite dancer was they simply yelled "Carleton!" and when the host tried to correct her that his name was actually Alfonso she seriously seemed to roll her eyes and wave his ridiculousness off. He's Carleton. Just like Candace is totally forever and ever DJ Tanner.

Once the show started my nostalgic reminiscing was given a swift kick into 2014 when Jessie J performed her hit "Bang Bang". Is it bad that I thought Ariana Grande sang that song? Or are you proud that I even know who Ariana Grande is? Either way, it was quite the dichotomy seeing my childhood girl crush dance to this...


And can I just say? Those leather bra and underwear things those dancers were wearing were incredible. Like, their bodies are even better in person than on TV. I was literally kelly green with jealousy and knew that while John might be playing it cool in the Hollywood department that he would have LOVED to see that performance live. Oh well, you snooze you loose.

Overall, while I am not a habitual DWTS watcher, seeing it live was a blast. The production is incredible. Watching the dozens of stage managers and producers make sure the sets are switched in a timely manner (the show is live) was very impressive. The live band and professional dancers were very talented. And the vibe was just positive and fun. It was a long day (about 7 hours from the time we got to the studio to when we left) but it was absolutely worth the effort. It was some of the best people watching in my life.

Since I wasn't familiar with how to get the tickets to these things, I'll share here. If you are interested in DWTS, American Idol, The Price is Right, Tosh.0, and a smattering of other shows filmed in LA, NY, and Chicago, go here: http://on-camera-audiences.com/  If you are interested in The Voice, Jimmy Kimmel, The View, ESPN Sportsnation, and others, go to http://1iota.com/ Other popular shows like Ellen require going on that specific website and registering.


Hi, I'm Jill!

Hi, I'm Jill!
Extrovert. Mom of two. Wife of a cute Naval Aviator. Lover of wine. When I'm not chasing my two kids around town you will find me writing, taking too many photos, and researching the ten future areas the Navy could potentially (but probably won't) PCS us. We are fish out of water, landlocked at 7,000 feet. For now.

Popular Posts

Search

Loading...
Powered by Blogger.

Followers