Wednesday, April 23, 2014

The Real Military Wives of Blogland

Mal Smiles

Today I am joining Mal and Samantha for their newest link-up!

I'm not quite a military wife. I can't claim to be one yet, and I won't. 

However, I move from fiancée to wife in just five weeks. 

The blog link-up tells me to introduce myself first, so here goes:

I am Janelle, and I'm 26. I teach 8th grade language arts, and I have two cats. I am engaged to a very handsome guy (Cadet Lovemuffin), and I enjoy reading, writing, and running. 

Dan and I met in 2008 through our co-ed national honors fraternity, Phi Sigma Pi. I was already a Brother, and he rushed. We became friends while he was an Initiate, and shortly after that, we became GOOD friends. And then we started dating. That's when I learned how weird it was to be with someone in the military.

At the time, Dan was in the Missouri Air National Guard (since 2006 - it's crazy that he's been in for nearly eight years already!), so he wasn't gone often, and he wasn't TOO busy with his military duties. It seemed pretty nice. 

And then he applied to and was accepted to the United States Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs

I stayed back in Missouri to finish my senior year of college and complete my student teaching. He moved to Colorado to begin his five year journey at the Academy. 

Once I graduated, I knew I had to be near him. I packed up my belongings and moved to Colorado Springs, where I have spent my entire adult life. For the past four years, I have taught middle school in Colorado, and I see Dan on some evenings and weekends. It's amazing being able to be near him, but it's still tough not being able to be with him all the time like a lot of my friends are with their significant others. 

That said, we've been through a lot, and we appreciate our time together a lot because of it. 

We haven't made our first move yet, but it's coming up soon. Dan goes to pilot training at Sheppard AFB, and I can't wait to go with him and finally live together. (Oh, and there will more than likely be an 18 month pit stop along the way, but that's a whole new post that'll be coming soon). 

One thing I wish others knew about being a military spouse is how difficult it is for us to get jobs in our career fields. As a teacher, there are always job openings, yes. But did you know that I can't apply for a job in the next state we'll live in until I take a new test? Oh, and once I pay for (~$150) and take the test, I have to fill out pages and pages of paperwork. Oh, and I have to pay that state about $200 as well. And then I have to have a background check (more $$$), and I have to get fingerprinted (AGAIN - and even more $$$). Oh, and since my résumé states that I left my last job after only a couple years, that raises some red flags too - such as the fact that I'll be moving, yet again, away from the job I'm applying for. 

Those reasons are why I haven't even decided if I will pursue teaching anymore once we leave Colorado. I don't know how I'll feel once we're settled somewhere, but I'm a little put off by all of the seemingly unnecessary work I need to do in order to obtain a job JUST LIKE the one I currently have.

That said, I wouldn't trade this life. It's an adventure, and I love it. I can't wait to OFFICIALLY be a military wife in five weeks. It seems like the past five years have been an eternity waiting for Dan to legally be allowed to get married... we are so ready, and I am looking forward to seeing what the military has in store for us in the future! Where will we move? Who will we meet? What cool things will we get to experience because of this lifestyle?!

Are you a military significant other too?
Did you participate in this link-up?


  1. Loved reading your blog!!! I'm a Missouri girl ( we're both from St. Louis ), he's an Acaedmy grad (but Naval Acaedmy), and a pilot!!!!!!

  2. Ah so glad you get to marry your man so soon! I had no idea you had to go through so much red tape to transfer teaching it as hard to get teaching jobs on base?

  3. I joined the link-up too, and linked back to your blog in my post since I found out about it here! I hope the next 5 weeks fly by (but not so fast that you stress about preparations!) and you can enjoy your big day!! I knew moving teaching jobs wasn't a cakewalk, but goodness, that's a lot of hoops to jump through!!

  4. You're going to be a great military wife!! 5 weeks?! Yay so exciting!! :)

  5. I'm excited for y'alls wedding! I can't wait to see all the photos and the blog post!!!!!

  6. This story is all too familiar! I was an 8th grade Language Arts teacher as well, and in moving to Washington a couple of weeks ago with the Captain I decided to take a break from teaching... the number of hoops I would have to jump through to get certified in this state is just not worth it for the one or two years I'll be able to work here for! I am starting to wonder what the best careers for a military wife might be... I need to do something more than keep house!

  7. Finding a job is one of the things that worries me as well. But I'm so excited to hear all about y'alls wedding.

  8. Your wedding is SO close!! I actually am in the beginning stages of doing a research paper on military wives and how the military affects teaching careers…. it can just be SO hard!

  9. You hit it spot on about the careers. It irks me so much when people act surprised that I am an Army wife and have a career. I am fairly positive that there are a few jobs I haven't gotten here because they found out I was a military spouse. It's really obnoxious. And amen to all the teaching red tape. I had considered going back to high school teaching when we moved here but decided not to because in order to teach what I was certified for in MO, I had to pay for 4 different tests here...absurd. Before you say no to your teaching career though, you should look at DoD schools on military installations. They have a little lighter red tape because of the nature of being military based. Here at Ft. Campbell they also had a military spouse preference application you could fill out for the DoD, so that might be something to check out wherever you end up.