Books to Read When Your SO is Deployed

…or at bootcamp, or living in another place, or super busy with military life.

These are the books that I read during long stretches of absence, when I need to find comfort in something small. Some of them are fiction, some are not. Some are self help, some are not. I figure it’s good to read a little bit of everything. Because military SO’s need all the help we can get.

31394685

1. How to be Married by Jo Piazza
You don’t have to be married to get the fruits of Piazza’s bare-it-all narrative, but it doesn’t hurt. She goes into the nitty gritty of what it means to choose one person, and then she explores what that means to different cultures. Ultimately, How to be Married shows that there’s no One Way to be together, just do do your best. I’m currently reading this one.

2. The Art of Asking by Amanda Palmer
Communication is Hard when your SO isn’t there to talk to face to face. Palmer is an expert at asking for what she wants, and she’s very keen to teach you how in this touching memoir about the music business and art for arts sake. “I trust you this much. Should I? Show me.”

23317538

3. Rising Strong by Brene Brown
Brene Brown has her PhD in vulnerability. Okay, not literally. But she should. This book is super important because it shows us how to rumble with the stories we make up for ourselves, especially the ones based on fear and distance. It’ll teach you how to communicate the stories to your significant other.

4. Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand
Historical, unbelievable, and a true hero’s journey. Sometimes, it’s nice to read about those who came before our SO’s and survived. Admittedly, this one is a bit harrowing, so maybe try it when you know your SO is home and safe if you’re concerned for their safety.

Fangirl

5. Passenger by Alexandra Bracken
This one I think is particularly great for Navy SO’s. It’s got time travel, sailing, action, romance. Mostly, it’s a great escape from missing someone. But as someone who loves a sailor, that aspect was really fun for me.

6. Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell
Do you remember how you fell in love with your SO? All the butterflies in your stomach, the wondering if they felt the same. Those first kisses… This book is sure to remind you of that. Rainbow Rowell is queen of romance in my eyes, and she’s really great at conjuring that “falling in love” feeling.

My Most Anticipated Summer Reads

2017 Summer Reads

Summer is almost here and I’m super excited to get a ton of reading done while basking in the beaming, hot Florida sunlight. This is my reading list. Some are brand new (or not even out yet) and some I’m finally wanting to get around to. Click on the title for an Amazon link.

1. Once and For All by Sarah Dessen (Out June 2017)
2. The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid (Out June 2017)
3. Girl Out of Water by Laura Silverman
4. Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman
5. The Light We Lost by Jill Santopolo
6. Ten Tiny Breaths by K.A. Tucker
7. A Million Junes by Emily Henry
8. Stuff I’ve Been Feeling Lately by Alicia Cook
9. The Dreamer by EJ Mellow
10. When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon

Have you read any of these? Comment below with what you thought.

I’ve Got Something For Goliath

I’m so excited to share this announcement with all of you! After thinking about becoming a Beachbody coach for a while, I finally attended a Facebook Live event that described what it was all about. The overwhelming consensus that I got was that coaches GET RESULTS. Whether it’s the accountability of other coaches, the idea of people watching your journey and getting inspired, or even knowing that you’re invested in the products, coaches get shit done.

Continue reading “I’ve Got Something For Goliath”

Your Mental Illness Doesn’t Make You a Bad Person

Whenever I think about OCD, I think about the intrusive thoughts that take up more space in my day than I’d like to allow. I think about the sleepless nights wondering if I’m a bad person, wondering if going to sleep would mean never waking up.

That’s because the first thing I treated when diagnosed with OCD is the bad thoughts. I had to learn to disown them. I wouldn’t choose to get caught up in wondering if my food had been poisoned or if my headache is something much more sinister. These thoughts happen to me, not with me.

However, I’m starting to recognize that having lived with this disorder for so long, my coping mechanisms have made me a much more obsessive person in general.

I dive head long into everything.

I can spend hours thinking about the last time my boyfriend kissed me, or talking about how much I miss him. It might take a person two or three times to get my attention if I’m wrapped up in a show. I’ll stay up all night reading a book if I allow myself.

This doesn’t sound like OCD, but it’s a part of my obsessive personality.

I’ve had to learn to allow my mental illness to be a part of what defines me. It’s not every thing that I am, but it’s a good chunk. That’s okay.

I remember the first time I watched this spoken word piece on OCD. I’d been dumped not too long before, and everything that was said rang loud and true to me. I hadn’t realized that part of me was obsessed with my ex. I never knew that OCD could latch onto my real life.

It took me years to move on from my ex. I only just did when I met my current boyfriend. So OCD has latched onto him instead. But I’m okay with being this attached to him. I’m okay with missing him so much. It’s part of what makes me who I am.

I’m not saying that I love my OCD. I really don’t, trust me. I’ve lost too many hours being afraid to live my life. But I’ve found something so very good to latch onto. And this part of me that copes by feeling too hard and too fast has allowed me to love in a way that I haven’t before. I’m thankful to be aware of this part of myself.

So much of mental illness actually sucks. But we as people are so much bigger than that suckyness. And it’s nice to know that even in my darkest moments, I’ve created my own light.

Lessons from Loving a Sailor


I’ve had this list in my drafts since my first experience with deployment. With another one impending, I thought I’d finally publish it.

1. His job always comes first.

Changes in military scheduling will always trump prior plans. Dates tend to change often, and as an SO I just have to roll with them. I want to whine and complain so bad because even when he’s home I have to let him go so often. But I don’t because I know he’s just doing his job.

2. He comes second.

I can describe my boyfriend in one word around deployment time: tired. He works so many hours and gets little sleep so time with me ends up more than often being cuddle and fall asleep time. It’s easy to feel jilted from quality time (especially combined with my first point) when he gets like this, but I have to remind myself that this is what he needs. And loving him means putting his needs before my own.

3. Homecomings are wonderful, but they’re hard.

When he came back from our first deployment as a couple, I remember feeling so happy to have him home, but also out of place from not having seen him in months. I had to get used to having him around again. And he had to get used to being home again. It took some time, but it was totally worth it.

4. Communication takes discipline.

During deployments, I try to write every day just so I can have something to hold onto. It keeps our connection alive when we can’t talk on the phone or see each other in person. It gets hard when he doesn’t respond for weeks at a time, but I keep it up as best I can because I know it will benefit both of us in the long run.

5. You’ll surprise yourself with what love will allow you to handle.

I never thought I’d date someone in the military. I thought long separations were too much for me to handle. They’ve been hard for sure, but there’s so much love in my heart for my man that serves and I’m so proud when I can be his rock on a hard day. Love trumps all of these difficulties. I can’t imagine my life without him, even just missing him.