I give serious props to military families. We live near a military base so I see a lot of families come and go and it just blows my mind how these people do it! I am fortunate to have always lived near family, but for people like Cindy and Hersel, it’s not like that.
Hersel is an active duty Soldier currently stationed at Ft. Meade, MD. They live off base in a cute townhouse. Cindy is a stay at home mom and often holding the fort down while her husband’s away. “We try and make each new area an adventure that is waiting to be explored”, Cindy told me. I love her positivity.
“We’re both from Texas. We met in high school, our lockers were actually right next to each other. I never really thought of him romantically but one day, I guess cupid struck his arrow and I had a crush. We dated for two weeks before he left for basic training at Fort Knox, KY…. we have been together ever since!”
Flash forward 17 years, they have 2 beautiful daughters, Siena, 8 and Olivia, 4, and have had an array of duty stations all over the world.
I got to follow them around on a normal day, where Siena had school and Olivia was home since preschool was over. I’m sure we’re all familiar with the process…pickup, homework, snacks, dinner, husbands, more snacks, you know…
“I wouldn’t trade any of our days, even the hard ones, for anything because it has gotten us where we are today and that is more in love than ever. Hersel will probably tell you I’m stubborn and I’ll say he’s hard headed, but he is the most kind and sweetest man I have ever known. He treats me and our girls each and every day with the utmost love and respect.”
Their girls are so sweet…and total opposites. One looks just like mom, and the other like dad. Siena is definitely very excited about life, while Olivia likes to take it all in.
“Siena is always super excited about everything, she is a very active child. She loves talking to anyone and everyone and will try to make friends with whomever she meets along the way. She is a bit of a perfectionist and can get overwhelmed at times, something her teachers and I work on with her. She is a kind soul.”
Cindy hit play on her laptop that always sits in her kitchen, and as it played iHeart Radio, took out her Blue Apron kit, and totally nailed the mom role.
NOODLES….noodles, noodles, noodles….if I let my kids, they would eat them for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and everything in between. (p.s. this wasn’t dinner, just an after-school snack- however, I am not judging if it was!)
“Olivia is my calm child, she loves to play with her dolls and could play or do crafts all day. She’s not into sports yet but says she’s willing to “try” soccer. She’s my little helper at home…if I’m cooking in the kitchen, she’s always right next to me.”
“I play referee about 50% of the time, but when they aren’t arguing over who’s who in a play setting they have so fun much together.”
This photo below looks staged, but I swear it’s not (none of them are). They took out an old photo album of their parents and started looking through it. Needless to say, it was hilarious. They came across old photos of their parents at a party taking shots. “Mommy! What were you drinking!? You can’t drink that! You’re gonna die!” Print your photos, people!!
Hersel had just gotten home from work and sat on his computer…and if you’re wondering what’s behind him, it’s his, yes HIS, collection of Funko POPS!
“The absolute best thing about parenthood is all the love you receive. How someone can love you so much that they have to be near you and with you at ALL times, even in the bathroom?! “
” One of the hardest things about parenthood has to be not knowing. Not knowing what to do in certain situations. I feel these things should come natural and when they don’t, I feel like a failure. Because we are a Army family their daddy has to go away I have to hold down the household alone and be the comfort and strength my daughters need during this time. I often feel because we are a military family and have no family members nearby they have to depend on me and their dad for everything. We have to be their comfort, have to show them fun and even though spending time with other family members is healthy, they don’t have that option. “
“I used to read all the books, take advice and feel terrible when things didn’t work out for me and my child like it did for others. As long at my family is happy and I know I tried the best I can, I learned not to be so hard on myself. So take it easy, stick to what you feel is best and ask for help when needed. Also, make some friends along the way because parenting is hard and we all need those friends to help make this journey a little bit easier.”
Military families really do make a huge sacrifice constantly moving around. They have to make new friends, and leave old ones, go to new schools, find a new home…those are all really huge parts of life. Who knows where they are off to next? Either way it looks like no matter where they go, their happiness will go with them because of the great bond they have created.
Thank you for your service!
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