How Do You Tell Your Military Journey?
As most of you regular readers know, we are facing yet another move in a mere 3ish months. Yes, you read that right. Yes, we just moved into our current home last summer…yes, we are getting ready to move again. And no…we have no idea where we’re going. Humph. However, in this Thriving and Surviving Military Life post, I am not going to lament how frustrated and anxious I am about our upcoming move. (In fact, I wrote a post almost exactly one year ago about what it’s like waiting for orders…and if you’re curious about how I’m holding up these days, just read that post. It’s all pretty much true right now too!) As you might expect, our life is currently consumed with where we are headed, when we will go, and everything we have to do to get ready. And while I’m certainly stressed about the uncertainly and work that lies ahead of us, this time is always filled with some excitement too…because it’s fun and exciting thing think about what kind of life awaits us next!
In the 12 years Greg has been in the Marine Corps and we’ve been living the military life, we’ve been blessed to live in some amazing places…5 of them to be exact! We’ve made some amazing friends, seen and experienced wonderful things, and learned about the world in ways that wouldn’t have been possible if we stayed in our home town. Our perspective has always been to see as much of the world/country as we can before we have to pick a place and settle down for good. As such, we try (as much as possible) to live in a new place each time. As much as moving and setting up a new life every few years is challenging (#hugeunderstatement), we do take a lot of pride in our military journey. It’s part of who we are, what we do, and what we, as a family, believe in.
There’s a saying that the things in your home should tell your story. That when visitors come into your home, the things you have displayed should speak about you as a person, your likes, your passions, your faith…your journey. We have always tried to share our military journey with the things in our home. Today, I thought it would be fun to show you the various ways we’ve told our story over the years…as well as share a few more ideas that you who move frequently might want to try too!
One of the most obvious ways to tell your journey and show the places you’ve been and lived is through photos. Both in California and Virginia, we displayed oversized photos of all the places we traveled in the previous years. No, these images are not the places we lived, but this idea could easily be adapted to show favorite memories of each place you’ve lived, the house at each place, a landmark from each place, etc.
As most of you long-time readers know, I’m partial to sharing our journey through state artwork. In our last house, we displayed our journey like this:
…and I improved upon this concept (and added our current location!) when we moved into this house last summer. (You can read how I made these State Silhouettes here!) Both in our last home and this one, these prints are some of the most commented on and asked about items in our home. They instantly tell our journey and usually spark great conversations! There are so many great ways to adapt this idea and I’ve included a mini roundup down below!
Greg and I have one more way that we like to commemorate our military story…and it’s probably my most favorite. It’s not something we display for all to see, but it is my best collection of all: my charm bracelet. My Mom, who was also a Marine spouse, had a charm bracelet and I remember looking at it as a kid. Each time Dad went away, he would bring her home a charm; and they would also collect charms of the places they went together. The year Greg joined the Marine Corps, he gave me a charm bracelet (on Dad’s recommendation, of course!) Ever since, we have filled that bracelet (and started a new one) with all the places he’s been on military-related trips and deployments, as well as the locations we’ve been together. As you can see, I need to get some of them attached and there are actually so many more (these are just our military ones). But gosh, we LOVE pulling out my bracelets and charms and looking through our journey. Some charms represent bases we’ve lived at, others represent deployments (I have quite a few camels from the Middle East ;)…but we both know what each and every one represents. Aside from the miniature representations of real life places…what I love most is that without fail, Greg always remembers. He always comes home with a charm, and I always look forward to seeing it. I don’t need rugs or fancy jewelry from exotic places, but I do love my charms. I don’t wear it often, but these sure bring me so much joy and pride! What a life we’ve had already!
Other Ideas for Telling Your Story
From Christmas ornaments to collages, there are SO many fun and creative ways to tell your story! Here are some other ideas to try!
(Please pin from original source!)
(via Make It and Love It)
(via Make It and Love It)
(via Made From Pinterest)
(via LL Bean)
(via Cut Craft Create)
(via Artzy Creations)
These Military Life posts often spark some of the best conversation in the comments! So tell me, if you’re a frequent mover, do you tell your story somehow? Do you collect and/or display things from each place you’ve lived? Do you have a creative way of sharing your journey? I’d love to get more ideas, so share in the comments below!
I hope you all have a great weekend! I’m hoping to do some significant blog maintenance that will hopefully solve my site loading/cacheing issues for good. I should be back here on Tuesday like usual, but if not, know it’s because I’m working out a few things behind the scenes! See you soon!