{November 6, 2017}   The Struggle is Real

Its almost 1 am and this nursing mama should be asleep instead I am awake. I can’t even say I’m wide awake, I’m just barely awake, yet there is so much to do. How does one balance it all? How do you function as CFO of our home, chef, property manager, laundress, and full-time child care provider. All while trying to eak out a semblance of a career (which has take a major back seat, I mean right now its not even in the trunk, its hitched to a trailer and holding on for dear life), lose weight, stay presentable (which means doing my hair every day) , and trying to actually interact more than just feeding  the aforementioned child. Sure teaching her French right now is a little much, but I also don’t want her just staring at the ceilings between feedings and diaper changes. How do you accomplish it all? Right now it doesn’t feel like anything can be dropped. Don’t manage the finances and rental property? Don’t prepare whole food meals for the family? Don’t do laundry?

The go to answer is have your husband help more. But if he is already extremely helpful between classes and work and taking on a major portion of the cleaning all while dealing with Uncle Sam on a daily bases what more can you ask before you both are overwhelmed? Right now my solution is that I overload myself to keep from overloading him. It seems like men can’t handle stress at the level women can. I don’t know if there is an answer. There’s just the question at one in the morning. How do you balance it all? The struggle is so real.


One word… Newborn

Yep, if you want to be stressed beyond belief and determined to cry on more than one occasion (even make your veteran husband want to cry), request a month long extension on your final out, get denied (despite a verbal approval) and be forced to move with a newborn.

Our trip should have taken 12 hours, 700 miles straight through. We decided to drive half way and spend the night. Under normal circumstances that would mean 6 hours a day, we figured with a baby that would mean a few more hours. We did not anticipate nearly double the time. Twelve hours to drive 350 miles… It was a looong trip.

{February 1, 2017}  

You know that time where life is happening so fast and all of its blog worthy but you can’t seem to keep up with it all? Yea, me too. The last six months have been a blur of blogable events and yet I haven’t really blogged. So I figured maybe if I just list everything that’s been going on then I can organize my thoughts and pump out some posts. So here we go:

  1. Husband and I developed a fertility diet for me after weeks of research based on some great books and blogs. 
  2. We found out we were pregnant after one cycle on the diet. Which was wonderful because we’d been trying for awhile and had received really distressing news from the doctor. I attribute a lot of this to faith in action. I had faith God would make a way, but I didn’t sit on my laurels either. 
  3. We celebrated a milestone birthday for hubby with a trip to Yellowstone National Park. It was amazing and we loved it. 
  4. Then I went about finding the right care provider by of course researching. Who would have know this sadity girl is crunchy when it comes to her baby. I wasn’t impressed with the apathetic or overly medical options I was being offered with traditional medicine so we picked a midwife. What! It’s actually becoming more common but mine is not associated with a hospital so for me that meant I could seek the care I want and not the treatments dictated to me. 
  5. I have had to do a lot of traveling for work and family in the last few months. Which has helped me come up with a pretty stellar travel “must haves” list for the pregnant woman. 
  6. I also switched my fertility diet and exercise routine to a prenatal one. I didn’t follow one particular plan but rather I took practice options from several to create a plan for a real pregnant person. You know one who is has a  below average fitness commitment and likes food (even if it does make her sick right now).
  7. I put together a registry early on based on great advice from my sister and mother, two vets in the game. It’s also gender neutral!
  8. I’ve resisted the new mom stereotype of everything must be new and instead opted for a Sadity Cents type nursery and baby preparation. 
  9. I’m prepping for taxes because organization and life don’t stop with a baby. 
  10. And of course cooking! I will say that’s fewer and far between because standing and smelling for too long just aren’t working right now. 
  11. As a bonus I figured out the man I married is awesome! And really is the best daddy-to-be. He’s consistently take on a number of chores and pampering techniques to make this a wonderful pregnancy. 

Follow the links, which I will add as I write the relevant posts. Said posts will be written in between naps, so please be patient. 🙂

I gave myself a few weeks to just relax, after literally traveling around the world… Ok, I didn’t do it on purpose. Our household goods are scheduled for three separate deliveries. The first two came in four weeks after we moved into our home. Ugh. So now its time to set up house. Yay! Starting with the most important room in the house.. The Kitchen. Nothing makes a house feel like home like home cooking.


  • Place drink ware near the refrigerator — It just makes sense for quickly getting drinks.
  • Place espresso maker near the drink ware and refrigerator — You need both for your espresso or coffee.
  • Plates and bowls go near the dishwasher — Ideally it would be between the sink and the dishwasher.
  • Silverware right above the plates or as close as possible.
  • Pot holders, serving spoons, plastic wrap, and aluminum foil all go near the stove.
  • Cookie sheets, cooling racks and cutting boards in the tall thin rack near the stove.
  • Dish towels and dish cloths near the sink, if possible. My kitchen doesn’t allow for that, so I put them close to the silverware.


I did the bathroom next because… well its important. I just can’t relax without a good bath or shower. My husband and I are blessed in this house to have our own separate bathrooms, but I still like to know where everything is at. For some reason, my closets, bathrooms, etc. always become the overfill rooms. So I’m the one with all the extras.

In the bathroom I grabbed some baskets and plastic drawers and basically categorized all of the items under my sink as that is the most cluttered spot. I tried to organize based on my daily routine.

  • Teeth and eye products go in the medicine cabinet.
  • Face products (main face wash, eye cream, and facial toner) went into the closest drawer to the sink on the left.
  • My everyday hair products (rubber bands for work outs, hair pins for work) went into the next closest drawer.
  • Under the sink:
    • Feminine products to the side, but close to the front. Just in case of emergencies.
    • Additional hair products (gels, moisturizer, spray) I use those regularly, but not everyday.
    • Hair appliances (flat irons, curling irons, blow dryer) I only use on special occasion so they are in the back in a basket together.
    • On the other side near the front is extra toilet paper, again in case of emergency. Lol
    • Extra body lotions and extra body wash are in the back.
    • I also have very basic cleaning supplies for everyday use ( I keep the heavy duty supplies in the hall closet. Homemade shower spray, paper towels for cleaning, and plastic bags for the trash can.
  • On the back of my toilet I keep wipes and face tissue.


Because we haven’t received our home goods yet I haven’t done much with the master bedroom except make it sleep-able. We were on a air mattress for about a week before I begged my husband to go mattress shopping with me. We needed a new one anyways so it wasn’t exactly a spontaneous purchase, although I was going to wait until the bed frame arrived. I’m glad I made the purchase. Nothing ruins a day more than poor sleep.

Discount Tip: When shopping for a mattress everyone knows to comparison shop, but do you know how to use it in your negotiations? That’s the real key to great deals on large purchases. Click here for a short story.


Just some old military spouse pictures I found and an article that I thought held some wisdom.


5 Things Military Spouses Could Learn from Their ‘Old School’ Sisters

Being a military spouse is not a new thing.

From the camp followers of the Revolutionary War who followed the troops from location to location, military spouses have remained a fixture of our armed forces. And since we’ve been around for hundreds of years, we’ve learned a thing or two.

A lot that was learned has been regaled to the history books simply due to changing times. There are some things, however, that remain the same, and we can continue to learn from the examples of the military spouses who have gone before us.

Here are five things we modern military wives should make sure to safeguard and pass on to those who come into our military family each and every day.

1. Patience

It was called the U.S. mail, and it was the only mode of communication. I know many of you can’t fathom a life free of cell phones, Skype, email, Face Time, etc., but believe it or not, there WAS a time where our Old School Sisters relied on paper, ink and stamps exclusively. Sometimes it took months for letters to be exchanged and every word of those were read and re-read again, cherished and tucked away for future generations to read.

We of the instant gratification generation demand daily communication and get annoyed and upset when that doesn’t happen. We are spoiled and impatient. A little patience goes a long way for the heart, mind and spirit- our Old School Sisters had it, and we should learn to cultivate it.

2. Appreciation

Hearken back to the day where there were no FRGs (I know some of you are looking for a time machine to jump into after hearing that!), no Child Development Centers, no MWR facilities or activities- basically you had a house and that was it. And let’s not forget being notified by telegram of the death of a service member instead of in-person by a Casualty Notification team.

There are so many people who have grand expectations of what the military should be providing to them- gimme, gimme, gimme is the name of the game.The bottom line is you aren’t owed anything for marrying a service member. Nothing. Zip. Nada. Not even a stipend (best Miss Vicki column EVER!).

So, instead of whining and demanding more from an already financially distressed DoD furloughing civilians and cutting precious training time for service members, be grateful for what you have. Appreciate the benefits afforded to you that our Old School Sisters didn’t enjoy-like the ability to have the GI Bill transferred to you.

They appreciated the simple fact that their spouses came home from war alive, which is much more important than worrying about the commissary being closed an extra day due to furlough. If you don’t believe me, ask a Gold Star Wife. She’ll set you straight.

3. Dignity

Our Old School sisters didn’t wear pajamas to the PX, to the commissary or out in public anywhere. Just because Wal-Mart shoppers do it doesn’t give the practice a seal of approval.

Take pride in your appearance. At least upgrade to something resembling actual clothing to be worn outside the house i.e., yoga pants, running pants, etc.You don’t have to get all white gloves and pill box hat like our Old School ladies, just look like you actually give a darn.

Which leads us to our “things not to wear at any military event” portion of dignity. We’ve all seen THAT photo on the Internet, where the spouse is flashing it all at a ball. Don’t be that girl who goes viral. There are ways to be sexy without baring 89 percent of your flesh.

A ball isn’t a night club — it’s a formal military event which has ceremonial aspects to it. Don’t walk in looking like you’re looking for the nearest pole to swing on. Look like you’re going to the White House. Or the Oscars. NOT the MTV Video awards.

Old School Wives wore suits or dresses, hats, white gloves, and the dreaded stockings (not pantyhose — stockings) every day at some point. Be happy those standards have lessened, but let’s not take the lax dress requirements of modern times to the extreme.

Wear real “outside” clothes, dress appropriately for the occasion (essentially, look at Roxy’s ensembles in the first season of “Army Wives” and do the polar opposite) and wear clothes that don’t flash your business and you’ll be okay.

4. Respect for and Pride in Your Servicemember

This one gets people all kinds of riled up. I know spouses who think it’s their job to talk about how crappy the military is, how much they hate it, how much they are against the wars, etc. That’s fine and dandy. But do you really need to share that constantly with your fellow military spouses and, especially, your servicemember?

Back in the day, the Old School Wives rocked the Blue Service Star flags in the windows and planted victory gardens. They also despised war, but understood their servicemembers didn’t all get together and elect to go kill people and risk dying themselves of their own volition. They were ordered to go. By the government. Not the military — the government. So hating on the military for what the people in power decide for them to do is silly and futile.

A great example is one of the most fabulous Old School Wives I’ve ever known. She was a total hippie freak in the 70s. I am talking the quintessential love-child-flower-carryin’-Joan-Baez-singin’-long-hair-lovin’-bra-burnin’ lady in bell bottoms. She was also married to an Army major in Vietnam. Not a draftee, but a career officer.

While he was gone on all three tours, she protested at every turn. She carried signs, she sang, she sat-in. What she never did, however, was direct or associate any of her protests to her spouse or the military. She protested to and about the decision makers calling the shots, not the people following their lawful orders. She understood the two were separate.

Her husband understood her need to voice her opinion and appreciated that she chose to direct it at the right people and not involve him or the military. And that’s probably also why they had three Vietnam-era babies back-to-back and were married until they died.

So, get mad and use your voice.  Just do it in the right way and to the right people.

5. Manners

This is the most simple, and the most abused by modern military spouses. If you get an invitation, respond. Respond “yes” or “no.” How hard is that? Apparently, extremely, since most people I know at some point either complain that people didn’t RSVP, or confess they themselves didn’t RSVP.

Tie this one with point two: appreciate that unlike the Old School Wives, our invites are no longer by hand and for sleep-inducing teas. We don’t have to wear gloves. Or heels. No, our modern invites are usually by email and involve cocktails and a fuzzy dice game (Bunco, anyone?).

So, even if you don’t want to win prizes and enjoy a refreshing adult beverage, have the decency to decline the invite (though I will never understand why anyone would do that…). Good Old School manners never go out of style, unless you won’t hand over the fuzzy dice when I ding the bell and scream “BUNCO!.” Then, I make no promises about being polite or minding my manners.

“Ansley” is an Army spouse and resides in Alexandria, Virginia

5 Things Military Spouses Could Learn From Their ‘Old School’ Sisters



Find more here:

Well we are setting up a new home! Yay! Of course our stuff is currently “unaccounted for” by the military. Boo! However with the little bit I have I am working to set up house. When I packed I made sure to have a few things in a suitcase called “household.” People laughed and said it was overkill, but considering that our storage was never sent from the government storage facility and the household goods, which we received confirmation of arrival for is now missing, I think I made the right choice.

Some of the things I packed were :

  • A plate, bowl, and a set of eating utensils for each household member
  • A cup and a mug for each household member
  • A pan and a pot
  • A large spoon (I bought a knife upon arrival because we had to take a plane)
  • A set of sheets
  • Air mattress
  • A pillow for each household member
  • Two sets of towels for each household member
  • A travel blanket
  • A large blanket
  • Dish towels
  • Manual blender bottle for my shakes

{June 13, 2016}   Military Spouse: PCS Packing

It seems like just yesterday, I was moving 6,000 miles from home to with my hubby in a foreign land. And now here we go again… Tis the military wife life. The first time, hubby and I were moving from two separate locations, so this is our first office PCS together. I’m excited yet daunted. Per everything military nothing is happening on time and yet our deadlines are quickly approaching. We are a month out and no official orders, what this means in terms of moving is that no movers can be scheduled, no housing can be arranged, no plane tickets can be secured, no storage drop of dates can be planned. So in the mean time, I will organize my house so that no junk is moved back across the world. Welcome to my PCS packing….

Packing System

  1. Massive Shredding Project – I am working my way through all of my files to shred repetitive and unnecessary documents. I’m throwing out old bills, junk mail, and anything that I won’t need for taxes in the future. This graphic from H&R Block is my guide right now.
  2. Military Files – My husband has nearly two decades of documents. I quickly learned that me asking him to pare it down was not working (he’s been planning on doing it since September). Instead I went through them in sessions and left piles labeled by topics across the living room floor. One, my husband doesn’t like a mess so piles of paper across the floor had to be dealt with. Second, my husband doesn’t like his military documents out in the open, much less on the floor. For about three evenings he came home and sorted and shredded his papers. Each evening he came home a new set of piles was waiting. It was tedious on my part, but I am determined not to move back to the states with the same cluttered boxes of paper he came with.
  3. Filing System – In the midst of the shredding project and any paperwork save by my husband I revamped our filing system by buying portable filing cabinets, colored files and using a filing system designed just for us.
  4. Memories & Art – While I’m at it I am organizing postcards, stickers, magazine cutouts, and digital pictures that represent our time here. I am trying to make a memory book for each year to journal our life together. I also am keeping memory boxes for those sentimental things that just can’t be scanned and uploaded.
  5. Small electronics – Items such as our roku, apple tv, gps, etc. we will need before our home goods shipment arrives so I didn’t want the movers to pack them. I used an old box to store them until I packed them our suitcases, so they were in one spot. Then I used quart and gallon size plastic sandwich bags to keep all cords, remotes, and gadgets together. I labeled each bag. If we still had the box I put them inside the boxes. I also labeled all the remotes and cords so that if they were separated I knew instantly which gadget the item belonged to.
  6. Clothes-  Today I removed all of the clothes from my side of the closet. I separated them into summer, winter, workout, and other. Then I divide my summer and winter clothes into casual and professional. From there I reviewed each item for holes, wear and tear, and general unpresentable features. I then made a pile on the floor of everything that was going to good will. Everything else I organized and put back in my closet. Summer clothes in one section to be pack in the carry on (it will take home goods about 2 months to get to us so I need all my clothes for the season). Winter clothes were place in another section to be bagged and prepared for TMO to pick up.  I then marked on a Goodwill tax form everything I was donating. Now my tax form is already prepared and my closet is cleaned out. And I have an accurate record of what I donated.  I did the same with workout clothes and later hubby’s clothes.
  1. Shoes –  Anything worn or damaged went into the donate pile and then was recorded on the Goodwill tax form. Anything with a shoe that was a duplicate or too similar in style and color also went into the donate pile.
  2. Kitchen- I separated unopened or gently used dry goods and spices to be donated to a local ministry that feeds a large number of people regularly. I also developed my dinner menus to reflect the perishable goods in my fridge and freezer about a month ahead of time. Anything leftover I also set aside to be donated. Then I decided on a few pots, pans, and dinnerware to keep aside, just in case our household goods weren’t delivered for a few weeks. I don’t want to be in a position where I have to buy everything because we are without kitchen supplies for several weeks. Also when we packed our suitcases I designated one just for household supplies we would need such as: kitchen supplies, a bathroom supplies, two sets of towels for each of us, computers and electronics we would want right away (roku, dvd player, extension cords).
  3. Bathroom- About a month in advance I stopped buying large amounts of my favorite items. Then we switched to the large supply of hotel shampoos, lotions, and soaps, I have collected over time. I also put them in our travel toiletry bags and made an airport toiletry bag since we spend about 15 hours in route from South Korea. In the checked household suitcase I put anything I thought we would need for a few weeks. I only added it if we already had it, this was to avoid throwing it out. Things like toilet paper I didn’t pack, its easy to get that. But special hair products (since we are moving to a rural area), skin care products, towels, sheets, a blanket, and a couple pillows.
  4. Vacation- Because we are taking our vacation on our way to our new base (this is called leave-in-route) we packed a separate bag just for the trip so the other larger bags don’t have to be riffled through while we are traveling. We are landing in Seattle and then leaving most of our bags with my parents. Then we are traveling to New York for our vacation. We will return to spend sometime with family, reusing our vacation clothes and the collect our car which my parents have graciously stored for us and finish our move to our new base.

This isn’t an exhaustive list of how to do a OCONUS to CONUS move, but these are the specific highlights of what we did in the packing process to make it easier for ourselves. I hope it helps.I have all of the resources I used for this move here:




{November 9, 2015}   How Military is Your House?

I was going through some old Military Spouse magazines when I found an article listing the 50 things you’ll find in “every military home.” Though my husband bleeds the U.S. Military and I am a through and through military brat, I was skeptical that our home is a “traditional (stereotypical)” military house. We live off base and really don’t decorate with flags and red, white, and blue (in large part because we have the military running through our veins so we understand the flag code, but that’s a different post). For one reason my husband likes our home to be a kind of rank-free sanctuary. All military items have a specific closet where they are stored until needed. Anyway as I read through the the list, I started checking it off like a little test to see exactly how military our home is, if at all. Here are the results:

  1. We have tan socks and protein powder — Check.
  2. We have bedroom furniture in the living room. — No, first of all how passe. But I must admit I do have my clothes drying in the living room because that’s where the best air flow exists and Korean dryers take up too much energy.
  3. Black shoe wax and spray starch — Check on the starch. No on the wax. How old is this article. Military dress shoes no longer require black shoe wax, but if they did my husband would have the best in the squadron. Thanks dad for making me wax your shoes as a kid. Lol.
  4. Customs forms and flat rate boxes. — Check and Check.
  5. A countdown poster, paper chain, or calendar.  — No. Do people really do that?
  6. Boxes of clothing from a completely different climate. — Check.
  7. An unlimited supply of Motrin. — Check. Assuming any pain reliever in general counts.
  8. Magnets and takeout menus from places you no longer live. — Check to the magnets. No on the takeout menus.
  9. 23 bottles of shampoo from the case lot sale. — Not from the case lot sale, but from several hotels! So kind of Check.
  10. Baggies full of dammits, pins, patches, ribbons, and medals. — Check! Definitely guilty on that one. And check to knowing what dammits are: 
  11. Canteen and waterproof notebooks. — Check… I think. I’ll have to check the military closet. But for sure in storage.
  12. Someone else’s dish from a cookout. — Not exactly, but other people’s dishes passed down or randomly left in old quarters? Check!
  13. Spices or dry goods from six months ago. — Actually no. TMO wouldn’t let me take open food containers, but if they had…lol.
  14. Flat white sheets and paint for welcome home banners. — Again, people  actually do that?
  15. Daddy dolls.  — No kids, so that would be weird. But I did get my husband a female body pillow as a gag gift for deployment. 🙂 … He still has it (side eye).
  16. Sports team memorabilia for a team thousands of miles away. — Check! Especially now since they make inexpensive jerseys here in Korea.
  17. Beautiful furniture that won’t fit in this house, but fit in the last. –No. We don’t even bother buying nice furniture.
  18. Frogs (pin backings) on every counter. — No. The military closet… Wait isn’t that the same thing as a dammit?
  19. Sports gear inappropriate for the area (ex: Ski gear in Hawaii). Nope. TMO weight limits.
  20. Cars with license plates from different states. No. It’s a walking base and we register our cars in state. It actually makes you less conspicuous.
  21. CamelBaks — Check. Like seriously why do we have so many?!
  22. White walls — Yep. I never understood the MilSpouse who paints a wall only to have to repaint it upon departure.
  23. Piles of pens and chicken scratch notes from uniform pockets – Definitely. Especially by the washer, I’ve already ruined my fair share of ABU’s with pens in the most obscurely located pockets.
  24. Brand New Cleaning Supplies — Yes and used cleaning supplies from the neighbors because the movers can’t pack them.
  25. Little black clicky pens — Check. Seriously government issued pens are the best. People like me are probably why the government is in debt, because squadrons keep having to replace missing pens. :/
  26. Blankets – Yes, but not just any blankets. More blankets than one family could ever use. Good for packing, making pallets, extreme changes in weather, and flights on military cargo planes (which are not insulated like commercial planes).
  27. A few bad formal gowns — By bad do you mean great! Well check either way, sometimes you have to get a gown at the last minute.
  28. MREs – Not in this house, but boy do I remember them fondly.
  29. A Tuff Box – Actually yes! Several, they’re great for moving. Lol.
  30. Red, yellow, and blue stickers from the movers — No because we didn’t move furniture this time.
  31. Unit Challenge Coins  – Check, complete with their own display case.
  32. Alcohol Glasses from Different Balls — Wait! What! They used to do that?! Budget cuts…
  33. An unpacked box that follows you around the world – I plead the fifth.. fine Check!
  34. Curtains not currently being used – Check.
  35. Boots, boots, and more boots… YES! They just seem to multiply. ABU T-shirts keep disappearing. Why am I always buying a new pack?
  36. Red, White and Blue clothes — No! See above.
  37. Wedding Pictures Involving Swords – No. It’s the tragedy of my wedding being away from my husband’s unit. But there are plenty of uniformed shots.
  38. Duffle Bags or Sea Bags  — Yep, also great for packing.
  39. Two People Deeply in Love Despite the Distance — Is that exclusive to the military? I think a better one would be ‘two people who have made a commitment to each other despite the distance’ because trust me its no walk in the park. It takes more than romantic feelings to stick it out when you haven’t seen each other in almost a year.
  40. Stacks of Old Love Letters — Yes! We do, we actually made a scrap book of them.
  41. An empty chair at the dining room table —  Is this for the deployed service member or the MIA service members?
  42. Outlet adapters – Yes, despite the fact that I have nearly burned my house down a couple times using them.
  43. An address book with friends from all over the world (written in pencil) — No but I really should, you can’t always depend on technology.
  44. Dogs that lived in more places than most people — We used to have one. Maybe one day soon…
  45. Children who are a product of a homecoming — Not Yet LOL.
  46. Dog Tags  – You better believe it.
  47. Cribbage Set and Cigars — Seriously?! How old is this list for real!
  48. Sand … Even if you don’t live near a beach — Actually yes. What’s that about?
  49. Chem Lights and Gas Masks — Yes! I have my very own gas mask as well… Welcome to Korea!
  50. An American Flag — Cute sentiment, but no. We live overseas, you don’t draw attention to yourself like that.

All in all, I think we might be the most non-military “military” home in the world! But considering that my husband joined before he could vote and still loves it and I’ve been a military dependent twice, I’m going to go ahead and say we’re very patriotic at heart… if not in throw pillows with flags on them.

{August 1, 2015}   August Fitness Challenge


For the month of August I am taking my fitness challenges in a different direction. As in indoors LOL. It’s monsoon season but its hot! Like sweating in the rain hot. So I decided that to avoid anymore dehydration issues, I should take it inside. There are several fitness classes on the base so my challenge this month is to:

– Drink at least 30 more ounces of water a day (this is actually going to be difficult, how much water can one person drink!).

– Attend 30 fitness classes this month or do this HIIT workout on days I don’t go on base. However, I am also challenging myself to at least attend a class one class every 3 days.

– I also challenge myself to apply to at least 3 jobs a week (It’s hard to work overseas, but I think even the act of applying is mentally stimulating)

– Bonus challenge is to attend one social event each week. This is mostly because its easy to get into a rut and only hang around people in your service member’s squadron, except very few of the service members are married or accompanied in my husband’s squadron. So hopefully this will help me think out of the box as far as socializing.

It’s all the rage on any military spouse blog: The PCS (Permanent Change of Station) Binder. It’s a lifesaver, a God-send, everything that you could ever need for a PCS. Honestly, this is only my first PCS, so take this with a grain of salt; but I spent more time preparing my PCS folder than actually utilizing it. However, I can see the purpose behind it and it did bring a measure of comfort to one such as myself who has an over-planning, anal, type-A personality. So you may find it helpful. I keep it now as my military folder, because you just never know when you need information quickly and its a ready made filing system. I didn’t use a binder per se. Instead I used one of those plastic accordian folders. I felt it traveled better than a folder (being that is literally more flexible) and I didn’t have to worry about things like passports or paperwork falling out of the plastic lining. I used the folder the most upon arriving on base and getting my SOFA stamp and ration card.

Folder Sections:

1) Personal Records

– Passport

– Driver’s License and Paper Copy

– Military ID card and Paper Copy

– Birth Certificate

– Social Security Card

– Marriage License

2) Travel Documents

– Flight Itinerary and receipt

– Storage and Shipment form: Basically a receipt of our storage shipments

3) Orders

– 5 copies of service member’s orders with my name on them (I had several copies, but I wouldn’t leave a copy with civilians. All they need to do is verify the information on there, because of OPSEC you really shouldn’t let them keep a copy of the orders themselves).

– Service member’s last Leave & Earnings Statement (LES)/ Pay Stub

– Record of Emergency Data (RED): This is a print out that shows that I am listed as my husbands beneficiary and emergency contact

4) Medical 

–  Tricare and Dental Log-In information

– Paper prescriptions for any medication

– (Optional) Health Records: Some people put health records, but I had my log-in information to my medical organizations, so I felt this was sufficient

5) Legal

– Power of Attorneys

– Spouse Dormitory Visitation Letter: My husband obtained permission for me to stay in his dorm with him while we looked for an apartment.

6) Receipts & Misc.

DSC03487   DSC03486

Here are a couple websites with other examples of PCS Binders, you can find a bunch more here on Pinterest, these had the most pins:

et cetera