Thursday, November 7, 2013

Home Is Where the Government Tells You

I know my blog is titled, "Such Is The Life of A Military Wife" but if you really peruse this site you'll see that very rarely do I bring up anything "military-ish".  Being military is a large part of our life but it doesn't define who I am, who my children are, or how my family lives for the most part.  Most people I meet don't even know we're a military family and the majority of my best friends in Tampa, FL were not military.  Of course I'm extremely proud of my husband and his decision to serve and to continue to serve this country but our life is so much more.  I've met many women who get sucked into the enlisted vs. officers, NCO vs. SNCO, base living drama, and the really awful women who use their husband's rank as a way to increase their feeling of self worth and importance in the otherwise equal playing field of stay at home moms.

Well, let me go ahead and tell you

My name is Cheryl, we are the Cavanaugh family, and we accept and warmly welcome anyone who adds meaning or brings true friendship to our home.

There are times where the military inserts itself into your life and it's inescapable.  You can't turn a deaf ear, avoid the drama, or walk away.

It's called PCS season.

It's during this time that all families in the military are equal.  Regardless of rank or branch of service, we all experience the stress of finding a good home, we feel the stress of finding a good school district, we are crunching numbers to make sure our BHA will cover expenses, we feel the pain of saying goodbyes, the fears of the unknown, and we all feel the excitement of a new adventure.

 Gotta love house hunting on the world wide web......

The countdown begins

Celebrating Darcy's 30th birthday and our last adult time out together

 Last dinner out with the entire crew.  Yes, we each have 3 kids so it's a pretty large crew =)

Tampa Bay at 5am as the kids and I head out from FL to NC.  Jacob had to stay back

What about the stress of where to stay during the transition?  You know, when we're out of one house and can't check into the new one for a week.

Thank goodness my parents live on the east coast and could take us in.  I know we're a handful so I'm beyond grateful!

It's during our moves that although the government is telling us where we'll be living, we really understand the meaning of "home is where the heart is".  Hampton, Virginia is the 3rd place we're calling home and my husband and I are doing everything we can to help our kids come to love and appreciate it as much as the other places.

Together, we are working at creating memories that will last a lifetime.  Together, we are hopefully teaching our children that a "home" isn't a place but instead a feeling.  A feeling that we can recreate anywhere the government sends us.

So, here we go.

It's time to call Hampton, Virginia home =)


Air Power Park

Checking Out the Local Chucky Cheese

Found the Base Bowling Alley

Our family loves the bowling alley and it's one of the first things we find when we move to a new place.

I thought Jacob bought Nicholas this drink and Jacob thought I bought it.  We don't know who it belonged to.  Gag.

Dance break

The famous chin roll

It's unbelievable how many times my husband has beat me by one point!


Kangaroo Jacks with the B Family

I met Melissa years ago when our families were both stationed in Jacksonville, NC and our youngest boys used to get together for playdates.  Our paths have crossed again =)

 Right, like that's going to stop him.




 The day wouldn't have been complete without stopping at Rita's.


Visited Doumar's

Our family had to take a trip into Norfolk so I could get fitted for running shoes.  We decided to stop in at Doumar's , as seen on Diners, Drive-In's and Dives, for lunch.  Yummy and cheap.  My favorite combination.

The drive-in made me even more thankful for my mini van.  The kids had space to spread out and a tv to keep them occupied.

We couldn't leave Doumar's without tasting their ice cream and fresh, home made waffle cones.  I don't like dairy in the car so we took this one inside.  


Celebrating 4th of July in Newport News, VA

Celebrating 4th of July in the Jacksonville, NC area is somewhat of a tradition for our family.  We usually spend the day at a beach and head to Camp LeJeune for their fireworks display. I used to attend their fireworks when I was a little girl and it was nice to be able to experience it with my own children.
They. are. awesome.

Unfortuantely, due to budget cuts, Camp LeJeune was not able to put on their show which was a shame.    We had to figure out a new spot this year.


Nicholas was addicted to this quartet.


Our first deep fried Oreos.  We all tried one and then my kids asked for their granola bars =)

A little light saber action to keep the boys entertained.

Trying again for that family shot that I just can't seem to capture.


Turning a House Into a Home
I know I said "home is where the heart is" but it's still pretty damn fun to decorate all these different houses to suit our family's, I mean my, taste.  Taking a fairly blank slate and putting our stamp on it over and over and over again never gets old.  I started with Nicholas' super hero room.
Here's the blank slate

And here's my stamp

Cozy, right?!  The linens and light came from Ikea and the total cost was around $40.  Now, Ikea doesn't use the highest quality dye so I expected some fading.  Luckily, this navy color dye can be bought in almost any grocery store.  The pillows I had sewn myself for the kids playroom in our Tampa house.
Blank slate #2

I am a little obsessive when it comes to hanging things perfectly straight and evenly spaced apart.  It's so bad that I will trace my objects on paper, tape them up and properly measure the spacing and make sure the level bubble is perfect.  No need to comment.....I know I have issues.
Disclaimer:  the picture is crooked, not my measurements ;)

Centered bubble = perfect happiness

Ok, so you saw the blank slate and here is my super hero stamp.


Everything you see is from Ikea.  We had purchased the 16 cube Expedite system a year prior but it is so worth the $130 or so bucks.  Even though I love Ikea, I often make fun of their particle board furniture held together with wooden dowels.  This piece above however is straight up solid and bolted to the wall.  I'm not going to include it in the cost of my room makeover since it was something we already had. 

The super hero wall art was on sale for $7.99, the white shelves were $5 each, and the hooks holding the masks were $3 for a pack of 3.  I bought 2 packs.

Total cost of this super hero make over was approx. $70.

And worth every penny.
Now what should I do with this wall......

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