September 24, 2014

{Love Session} Andrea & Joel

Rachel Smith Photography is back and she has A LOT of great military sessions to share on A Military Story, so be prepared for some great photos & love stories <3 To see more of her work click here:Rachel Smith on A Military Story

Andrea has shared a little about their story, "Joel and I met at our super small Christian high school. Considering he grew up in South Africa, it's a wonder he ever ended up in my small city, in my school of 15 high schoolers. We started dating in early 2011, and he left for boot camp September 2011. We dated for a year and a half before we got married, just two months after I turned 18. I waited to move until I was finished with the college semester I was enrolled in, and I joined him at Camp Lejeune a few months after we were married. A month after I moved, he left for deployment training and deployed shortly after. He was gone for 9 months total. After he returned we needed some new pictures taken, so we had these pictures done with the ever talented Rachel Smith. She did an awesome job, and I now have these beautiful memories throughout my whole house. Every love story is beautiful, but ours is my favorite."

September 22, 2014

{Homecoming} Emily & Michael

I'm BAAAAACK and trying to catch up with emails and + blog posts!! Today Missy Rich Photography is also back with a sunny Hawaiian homecoming and if you missed her other homecoming make sure you check that one out too! Missy Rich Photography is based in Oahu, Hawaii. Missy is an Air Fore wife who met her husband in High School 10 years ago and have been together ever since. High school is also where her passion for photography started, but she didn't start her photography business until a few years ago. Before she PCSed to Hawaii she found the Welcome Them Home website and wanted to give back in a special way so she signed up to become a Welcome Them Home photographer.

Missy shares "This was one of the sweetest homecomings I have had the chance to be apart of! Emily was counting down the days until Michael returned from his first 6 month deployment. They unfortunately had to spend most of their first year of marriage apart. But now that Michael is home, they will be enjoying their 2nd year of marriage and having fun exploring the island of Oahu!" Mahalo Missy for sharing!

September 1, 2014

{Family Session} Daddy's Little Girl

Krystal Silva is back with the most adorable family session!!! If you missed her last homecoming post, make sure you check it out.

"These two people mean the whole world to me as they are my people. My handsome husband is a crew chief for MEDEVAC here at Hunter Army Airfield. He works so hard and loves what he does and I am so grateful he is mine. The little Princess is my baby girl. She is the absolute light of our life. Everyday is a good day when she is with us. She is sassy and spunky and has the best little personality. I thought I would share this session because it is the last one I get to do at our home here is Georgia as we are going to be headed to Hawaii very soon! Across the street from my house is this lovely location and it has been so awesome having it there. Whenever Emma and I need to unwind this is where we go! Taking photos is my pause button, I love capturing these moments." Mahalo Krystal for sharing your photos and best of luck with your BIG move! 

August 29, 2014

{Giveaways} Spartan Race

Oh my goodness!!!! My readers are in for a bunch of treats!!!

The buzzzzzzzzz happening for the Spartan Race World Championship Race in Killington Vermont on September 20th is crazy! These intensely trained men and women are elite athletes. Make sure you follow +Spartan Race to see who wins. 
And now for the GIVEAWAYS!!

1. To be entered in the winnings for the Spartan Race Cruise this March for airfare and the cruise out of Miami (US residents only) you must go here and fill out their form to be considered for the prize: 
2. The other giveaway will be for anyone who blogs about this Spartan Cruise and the World Championship race and emails Dan Krueger, Spartan Race Inc., with the link to your post on your blog. The winners will be picked on Sept. 22.

3. I ALSO have 1 free race giveaway to the random winner who comments below. The winner will receive a code emailed to them, from me, that will work one time for any open heat (non-confirmed start time) Spartan Race in the continental US. Winner will be selected on September 5th. 

4. LASTLY, this code will give you 10% off of any race:  SPARTANBLOGGER

For more information about Spartan Race click here: 

"Spartan Race is on a mission to get you active, healthy, excited about change, and return to our ancient roots where running through woods, getting dirty, and facing adversity was part of everyday life. Our events are all about challenging today’s perception of normal."

August 27, 2014

{Guest Post} The Lieutenants Wife

Welcome Troy Anna Smith of The Lieutenants Wife Blog She has a wonderful blog that I think a lot of my readers would appreciate and find very helpful. My blog mostly shares photos and stories, but Troy shares her personal thoughts, emotions, and life experiences of living the life of a military wife.

From Troy, "My story starts as a girl, young and in love. I married the man of my dreams, my best friend, who happened to look very good in a uniform, and that was all I needed to know.

Within the first weeks of marriage, like many, I was thrown into a small, southern town … far from family and friends. When we heard the news that my husband would be leaving for seven months and in no more but three days, my entire world seemed as though it had ended. He was headed to Afghanistan, part of the initial troop surge that was announced over Thanksgiving dinner. I still remember how empty I felt. I wasn’t prepared, I had no idea what to expect, or who to turn to.

I chose to blog for a number of reasons. It was a personal journal.  My hope was for it to not only become an outlet for my need to always put words to my many emotions, but for America to see what really goes on in the life of a military spouse. It's not normal, the stress and the worry -- and certainly not natural to be away from your partner under such circumstances. We will have missed anniversaries, birthdays, & countless holidays. So I was challenged. Sacrificing my privacy in the hopes that any vulnerability could help even one spouse feel understood, well that seemed worth it.

It was a time in my life where I knew I would be raw ... and how freeing that could be to share to the public. To allow my open book during such trial and anxiety ... it almost felt powerful amid such weakness. And you know what? People responded … my brutal honesty found a compassionate audience, and I was able to feel warranted … as if that could ease the pain of our separation.

I continued to write for a while after building such a loyal and loving following. I found through blogging a way to discover my identity as a military wife, even when he wasn’t deployed. The moves, the goodbyes. The life changes. It was a chance to connect, to inspire, to celebrate, and to mourn.

Six years later, three relocations, and one brand new baby … we now face the challenges of starting over, leaving so much of it behind. At this point, my life is far less interesting than when having a Marine at war -- but the constant excitement of chasing after our precious little girl, redefining motherhood, and post-war marriage restoration leaves me navigating through an entirely new terrain; I'm quite certain to have plenty worth writing for. 

In the meantime, I always encourage to never forget. Please continue to pray for those who are keeping the fight, and the families left behind -- God bless & Semper Fidelis." 

August 15, 2014

{Homecoming} Jessica & Matt

Brittney Livingston Photography is back with a homecoming from the same day as Ashley and Brian. If you missed the other homecoming click here
"Matt was returning from his second deployment with VMFA(AW)-224 and Jessica was beaming with excitement. Matt has been in the squadron about three and a half years and done two 7-month deployments. The first time they hopped between Japan, Guam, and Thailand. This time he was mostly in Japan, but went to the Philippines and Korea too. It doesn't sound so bad, but between the two deployments and going away to a school in between, he had been away for a total of 17 months out of the 30 months that they have been married! Jessica is definitely happy to have him home, and looking forward to their next tour, which is three years, non-deployable!" Thank you Brittney for sharing these homecomings and thank you to Matt for your service.

August 13, 2014

{Homecoming} Ashley & Brian

Brittney Livingston Photography is a military spouse who LOVES homecomings! For her, seeing families and loved ones reunited is something that will never get old! Brittney is available for family, child, newborn and military lifestyle photography in Beaufort, SC.

Brittney has shared more about Ashley and Brian's homecoming. What is unique about their reunion is that it was Ashley who was coming home!! "It was so sweet seeing Brian standing there with all of the wives waiting for Ashley to land! Ashley, a WSO (Weapons Systems Operator) was returning from her fourth deployment to the Western Pacific. This particular deployment lasted six and a half months, making stop is countries like Thailand, Singapore, Australia, Korea Japan and Malaysia. She and her boyfriend, Brian, met at the Weapons and Tactics Instructor course in Yuma last year (not really where you'd expect to find someone...), which is funny because they both had been stationed in Beaufort for several years and had never met before." Brittney has another happy homecoming session to share from this same day which will be on the blog Friday, so make sure you check back again.