Cammo Style Love

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

The Long Road Home is An All Too Familiar One

When I stepped into the press room that was set up in one of the auditoriums on Fort Hood I was expecting a typical press junket. The ride over in the bus should have tipped me to the fact that my experience would different than any that I had before, but those are stories that I keep all for myself. None the less I wasn't expecting to have the very deep, emotional experience I have ever had. The week before I had been in a room with other military bloggers, entrepreneurs and influencers as we sat and listened to two of the soldiers who had been there that Sunday, as well as the director of the mini-series. We watched an extended trailer, and while there was an important emphasis placed on the families that were a part of this story, I didn't feel it. The trailer shows parts of home life, the typical military experiences of goodbyes and phone calls. The phrase, "not another war movie" was thrown around. But all this still did not prepare me for what The Long Road Home really is.




I was privileged to be at the Fort Hood premier of The Long Road Home, sitting in the very auditorium the 1st Cav deployed from, sitting amongst the families of those depicted in the movie, and alongside the men that were really there. I count myself lucky in my life, because if we're honest who wouldn't want to find themselves sitting at a star-studded event. But, as I sat in that press room it became very clear to me that this was not about them, and that everyone standing in front of me had been forever changed by their experience filming this series. It was the first time I had ever found myself crying while trying to ask a question. More on that on my podcast this week, so make sure you check that out.



Back to the reason we were there. National Geographic has outdone themselves, by joining with Martha Raddazt, author of the book, and screenwriter Mikko Alanne. Everything they had said over and over again last week at the conference I attended, and tonight in the press room was true. The powerful story that was on the screen had very little to do with other war movies I have seen. So much time was spent on the families. It was true, this was different. The down side of all of that being true is that I was sitting there watching my life on the screen. The words coming out of the mouths of the kids on the screen were almost exact reproductions of what has happened in my life. That feeling when your cell phone goes off in the middle of church because no milspouse in her right mind ever turns her phone off for fear of missing THE call. The real anger I felt when the issue of "rumors" was addressed. It was because all of those things had either happened in my life or in the lives of the people I know.




As the lights in the auditorium slowly flickered on, after watching the first two episodes, there were tears and hugs around the room. Couples held hands and slowly walked out silent, families held each other close and friends gave each other hugs. Sitting and watching feels like going through something. Its a lot to process, but the process is important. We are heading into eighteen years of this. We hear constantly that the American public is tired, that they are forgetting. I get it. But I hope that the words echoed by many that took part in the creation of this series ring true. That this remind everyone of what military families go through still. That people can stop and process that these are people, and that you don't have to be pro-war to be pro-military.

I hope you watch, in whatever way you need to. Take your time and really watch what is happening on the screen. You will be changed, that I can promise.



The Long Road Home Premiers Tonight!




Rheanna
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Saturday, October 14, 2017

Have You Seen Cirque Du Soleil?! *Attn MilFams in Germany!*

We finally were able to check something off our bucket list and attend a Cirque Du Soleil show here in DC! I was so absolutely thrilled for the opportunity to see it AND take the kiddos. This event was also completely designed for families and kids. This was the coolest live show in a long time and I was excited to be able to share that with my children. I could ramble on and on, but sharing the pictures with you will be so much better!!!

OVO is teeming with life. Insects work, play and look for love in a non-stop riot of energy in motion. Their home is filled with biodiversity, beauty, action and moments of quiet emotion. The awestruck insects are extremely curious when a mysterious egg appears, representing the enigma and cycles of their life. 

Meet Amazing Ants, Flexible Fleas, Silky Spiders and Crazy Crickets!

If you are currently stationed in Germany, OVO is coming to you!!! This is a fantastic show that the whole family would love!!











*this post is in partnership with US Family Guide. I received tickets in exchange for my honest review*



 Rheanna
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Friday, October 13, 2017

Rhe's Bookshelf - Spotlight on Washington Romance Writers

*This post contains adult themes and affiliate links*


This past weekend I spent some time with some of my favorite people, the authors of the Washington Romance Writers group at their Readers, Bloggers and Librarians Luncheon. This is my favorite thing I do all year. Being your people is amazing and these are my people. We always have fun, laugh, never run out of words and just plain have a great time. Supporting each other as a group is a priority and you feel it. Yes, these authors are here to support their own books, but one of the reasons I was so drawn to this group was their desire to build relationships with their readers and with each other. This group has been helping me support military spouses for several years now by donating gift cards, books and swag to National Guard spouses remotely stationed. So on this edition of Rhe's Bookshelf I'm going to share a couple of books written by these amazing local authors!!


Geri Krotow

  Geri's book, Navy Rules was my very first romance book. Most secular fiction these days have sex in it, books that you wouldn't consider to be 'romance novels'. But Geri's book was my first romance novel, in the Harlequin family, that was traditional romance novel. I was going through a deployment and I was wondering the aisle of Walmart. I took my kids to the bathroom, which just happened to be right by the book section. On the cover was a man in a flight suit, with a jet plane and a military service dog. It caught my eye and picked it up. The rest is history. I've read almost every single book she's written so its hard to pick my favorites but these are my some of favorites.


Commander Max Ford was injured in combat and returned to Whidbey Island to recover, the help of a therapy dog. The owner of the dog is Winnie Armstrong, widow of his closest friend. They are thrown together again which forces them to confront the biggest secret between them. 

I'm partial to Navy Rules because it was my first. I'm partial to this book because this woman is my friend now and I am so grateful to know her. But this writing is good guys. I was drawn into the story because this isn't your mother's or grandmother's romance novel. There's a significant storyline in a lot of these books, and this one is no exception. And because Geri is a Veteran and a military spouse she gets it right. And I never knew how important that would be to me until I started reading these books. You will feel a connection to these characters. If you aren't connected to the military you will get a very real window into the lives of military families. 


Jamie Farrell


Her Rebel Heart is a sassy book!! You will laugh hysterically when you read this. The kind of laugh that if you have birthed more than one child will probably make you pee your pants!! If you are all about a small town, make you belly laugh, pulls at your heart strings story - with a Southern Twang - The Officer's Ex-Wives Club books, as well as the rest of Jamie Farrell's books are exactly for you. 





MK Meredith

This woman is my heart, a fellow military spouse, a Breast Cancer survivor and plain amazing. The kindest heart and the brightest smile. But on top of all of that she's an amazing writer. She writes saucy stories perfect for a snuggle in front of the fireplace. 


Drago De Luca is an international tycoon in beautiful Italy. His beloved grandmother's family inn is on the verge of closing its door thanks to a hotel heiress from America. Chase is trying to prove she's got what it takes beyond her family name. Winning over the people of this beautiful Italian town is priority number one. She meets Drago who claims he will show her around and get the town to fall in love with her. But the truth is he's out to make sure he fails. Somewhere along the way they fall in love with each other, against their better judgement. 

Seducing the Tycoon is one of my favorite kinds of romance novels because it draws you in to the personal life of the characters. And what I truly think makes it stand out among many others is that it takes the time to connect you to Drago, your male character. You are drawn into his life and are moved by his relationship with his grandmother. I don't feel like that happens a lot in these types stories. And boy is it a little on the steamy side!! I just got her newest book, Love on the Cape, and I can't wait to read it and get you guys the review. 




Uma is running away from an abusive and possessive relationship. With no idea of her own self worth she takes a job that will forever change her life. Ivan doesn't look like the compassionate and gentle man he is. He is determined to heal Uma's wounds, both physical and mental.

This book was entirely unexpected and surprised me at every turn. This intensely emotional story made me feel so deeply. It touched me right to the core and brought tears to my eyes. This is one of the reasons I was pulled into this incredible community. The intensity with which some of these stories are created is so real. This is not about the romance. These are real humans and could be someone you know. Adriana doesn't write your typical fairy tale. These are gritty and raw stories that showcase the best of what humans can be, even if they don't look crisp and pristine. Under Her Skin is an amazing book and I would highly recommend you click on that link and get it right now! I've also seen it in the wild on the shelf at Barnes and Noble!

Visit the Washington Romance Writers website to find more local authors! There are so many more amazing ones on the list. You can also find a local chapter of Romance Writers of America by visiting their site. I love supporting local writers and small businesses and you should too!!





Rheanna
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Tuesday, September 26, 2017

My Kids Do Chores, and Why Yours Should Too!

School's in full swing and we are fully embraced in our new schedule. So it's the perfect time to evaluate the chore duties. We have three kids, and they are all their unique person. But let's face it, when more often than not I'm here alone with them the easiest road is the one I often choose. But chores are important, and no matter what you're doing them so we should all get to a place where we can accept that. Acceptance is key! In our home we also pay for chores. It's one of those marriage compromises, that I ended up totally coming on board with and we have seen the payoff *no pun intended*. We don't pay lot, but we pay enough for them to understand the value of money and get into the habit of saving. I use a great allowance app with a profile for each kid. They can also choose to put money in their piggy bank if they want. They also have a goal they are working towards and we encourage them to pick something special. You see the beauty of them making their own money is now they buy themselves anything they want. So outside of birthdays I now can say "save your money for it!" The second benefit is their desire to do extra chores and coming up with the idea on their own! It's lovely!!

So what types of chores do they do?
 
-It should be noted that my kids are also required to participate in the our household like putting away folded laundry, clearing the table, keeping their rooms clean as best they can and other things that are part of keeping our home together-

The 11 yr old $2.50

  • Vacuuming
  • cat box duty
  • dusting
  • unloading dishes
  • vacuuming and mop kitchen and mud room
  • extra chores we ask
The 8 yr old 1.50

  • Bathroom (minus chemicals for shower and tub)
  • vacuum and mop bathroom
  • wipe down kitchen cabinets
  • dusting (splits with brother)
The 5 yr old .75

  • windows ( whatever he can reach)
  • bathroom trash
  • recycling
  • he loves extra chores, so he'll ask regularly for them

You have to change your point of view

If you are a super type A person this will either drive you crazy or be a great learning experience....what I'm hoping is that its both. It's okay to want perfection. I'm kind of that way about my living room. It's my space, with no kids toys or anything like that. So there I get to be crazy and organized. But the dishwasher, maybe not the best place to go crazy. 1) they won't learn how to do it and 2) they won't want to do it with a happy heart. When are having company sometimes you'll see be bust out the cleaning supplies for a grown-up once over. But its so important to us that they kids also recognize and take ownership over the space.  Kids can do way more than we think they can and we have seen the benefit in our household.

What kinds of chores are done at your house?
Got any questions?  


Rheanna
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