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When I say show up, what do you think?   Attend an event? Make it to work on time? Be somewhere you said you were going to be, but don’t really want to go?  What if I told you it has more to do with your attitude? Your outlook on your day. The way in which you’ll tackle your life. I’ve learned showing up means way more than just physically being somewhere. It means being present body, mind, spirit, and attitude for every day.  There was a period of time, just after I moved in with my then boyfriend now husband, that I slept in until 10, lounged on the couch Netflix binging, and only left the house for groceries and date nights. It was great! Sure, I deserved it. I’d worked for a few years after college, non-stop, trying to scrape by. Eating ramen and doing laundry at my parents. There was a huge part of me that was reveling in the fact that I had a break and I was going to soak up every second. Soon enough, I ventured out of my hole to find a job. Even then, I would roll out of bed, not brush my hair, and dread going to work. That dread turned to exhaustion once I got home which was good for no one. How was I going to fix this? I couldn’t continue on through life wearing yoga pants and a messy bun every day. I mean I could, but it was seriously affecting my attitude. I would look at myself and be upset at the bags, frizzy hair, and pounds I was starting to accumulate around my middle section. I was unhappy. Was it the job? Weight issues? The move to a new city with no friends? It didn’t matter where I lay the blame, all I knew was it needed to change. I tried a few different things. I worked out more. This only led to more yoga pants and messy buns. Still not quite happy. I reached out to a few new women to make friends. Busier, but still missing something. It took me some trial, error, and time to figure out what showing up meant for me.  It meant, every morning, I needed to wake up, do my hair, put my make up on, and dress up! That was it! I’ve always had a love for clothes and I was missing that. I was missing the confidence I gained from a killer pair of jeans and the perfect beachy curls.  
That little bit of extra made such a difference in my days. I was excited to go to work. I enjoyed getting compliments (I mean who doesn’t?). I appreciated bonding over where I got my dress from with a perfect stranger at the grocery store.  Now, don’t get me wrong. It’s not like I never leave the house in yoga pants and a messy bun. It’s still by go-to uniform. But on those days where I need to wake up and tackle my HUGE To Do List, I make my winged eyeliner a little thicker and throw on my comfiest pair of heeled booties.  So, think about your day. Do you dread the day ahead of you? Get back to the roots of what makes you happy. Is it working out? Reading? What’s going to make you want to get up every day and show up for your day? Whatever it is, find it and then try to do it every morning life gets a little too tough.   Find your reason to show up.

 

 

 

 

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  I met my husband in the fall of 2014. I wasn’t looking for him by any means. We met randomly at a bar in Nashville where we were both visiting separately with friends for the weekend. In the getting to know each other part of our relationship, I learned he was in the military and had been for some time. Even though I grew up near a Navy base and my Dad and brother both served in the Navy for a short time, I knew very little bit about the military. I had watched tons of homecoming videos and cried accordingly, but I never dated anyone in the military or saw myself being a military spouse.  What were deployments like? Could I still have a career? Why are there some many damn acronyms and what do they all mean? I learned many things over those first few years and I’m still learning now, but here are 5 of my biggest takeaways so far. 1. Take all of the cheesy tours and learn everything you can. The first duty station I ever lived at with my husband was Fort Benning, GA. It was a mere 4 hours from my hometown (which at the time seemed like such a drive, but now I’d give anything for that quick trip.). When I first moved in with J I looked to him for everything. Where to do the grocery shopping, where to grab lunch, I basically only went to places he had already been or suggested. That was just on the civilian side too! Going on post was a whole other world which I did not understand. I knew how to get to his office and back and that was it. He had mentioned a few times about a tour they gave on post to help acquaint new comers to the area. I was skeptical. I never did it. Now, I’m kicking myself. It took me months on my own to find the great gym, the helpful running trail, the MWR, dang even the commissary. I look back over those first few months and the time I wasted by simply just not wanting to look like a newbie, but I wish I had. Now, every time we go to a new post, I go! I take the tour, I join the groups, I sign up for the newsletters. It helps me stay connected, learn more about the place our lives revolve around, and often times leads to some fun activities. So, go! Take the tour, learn about your post and enjoy it. 2. Ask questions. I met a spouse one time who told me her and her husband didn’t really discuss the military at home. She didn’t know the name of his unit or what his job entailed. She kept insisting that it was just easier that way. She had a full time job and kids, but their life didn’t need to revolve around the army so she just didn’t see the need to talk about at home. Hey, if that worked for them, more power to ‘em! But, what I’ve found over my short time so far in the military is I want to learn, I want to know what my husband does, and it makes him feel good when I ask questions. Every time my husband uses an acronym I don’t know I ask him what it means. When he talks about a specific unit or training exercise I ask him to explain it. He gets pleasure out of teaching me something and I become a little more invested in this career we’ve given our lives to. So, don’t be afraid to ask questions. Learn as much as you can and share in a piece of your spouse’s life. 3. Learn to love and respect the unexpected. I will say this about the military, it keeps things interesting. My entire life I’ve been a planner. I plan nights out with the girls, vacations with the fam, and to-the-minute what my day looks like. The military is not conducive to this. You won’t know if you’ll be able to plan a summer getaway, your spouse may have to work late on your planned date night, and asking for time off is not something that comes easily in this line of work. But, with that being said, there may also be days your hubby will come home at lunch and surprise you with the rest of the afternoon off and you can almost always count on those federal holidays. So, learn to bend and flow, appreciate the time you do have together and plan as best as possible, but don’t sweat it if he gets called in. You’ll make that time up somewhere else, I promise.   4. Listen and support him. My husband is often asked if he’s going to be in the Army for life. His answer is always the same, “We’ll see.” There are days when he comes home with dreams of getting out, talks of putting my career first, and what those days would look like. Then, there are the days when he loves his job and we talk about the different paths we could go down and all of the different places we could still live on the Army’s dime. At first, this back and forth was hard for me. He would say something along the lines of, “I think I want to get out.” I would then spend a few hours looking for jobs he was qualified for in places I thought would be great to live, only to hear him say, “Oh, I’m not ready for this yet.” WTH! It took a few of these fights for me to realize he just wants me to listen. Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m not insinuating I don’t have a say in what I want, but for the time being I always tell him I’m here to support his career and one day it will be my turn and that’s MY decision.  I have to remind myself that I entered into this relationship with my eyes wide open. I knew what the Army meant and hopefully you did too. Hopefully, the two of you made that decision together. If so, be there to listen. Listen to him complain about some other soldier, listen to him gripe about his day, but in the end when he says he love his job and wouldn’t change a thing, support that. Listen and support are a two-way street. We can’t expect them to listen and support us if we aren’t showing them what it looks like. 5. Make time and find yourself. This may not be the case for everyone, but when my relationship with my husband started to get serious I picked up my life and moved to be with him. I left behind my job and my family to be with a man I knew was the one. It was fantastic. We lived in the honeymoon phase where we wanted to spend every waking minute with each other. Our lives revolved around what the other wanted to do. As you can imagine this wasn’t sustainable. He had friends he wanted, needed to spend time with and I needed to find friends of my own, outside of spouses of other soldiers, that I could relate to. It probably took me until the last few months of my first duty station with him to realize this, but since our move I’ve motivated myself to take time to find my own self. I joined The Milspo Project, I volunteered, I made an extra effort to find like-minded women who encouraged me on my entrepreneurial path, challenged me to professionally grow, and felt like friends, not just spouses of people my husband worked with. What I’m saying is, find a life you love. You don’t have to be home every night when your husband walks through the door (if you like to then you go girl!). Meets some women, plan a girls night once a month, go grab wine with the woman you’ve been chatting with in your Facebook group. Make time and find you. It will make you happier as a human and that’s good for everyone!      
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Lacey is a military wife, mom to baby Luna, and motherhood/lifestyle blogger.
What is your go-to wardrobe staple?
Leggings! I love that you can dress them up or down and I'm all about comfort :)
What advice would you give to military spouses who are struggling to find or maintain their own identity outside of being a military spouse?
At the end of the day, the military isn't your life ... it's just your husband's job! Wherever you go, focus on meeting new friends and doing things that genuinely make you happy. And when you do talk to other spouses, try to steer the conversation away from military talk and towards other things ... a new recipe you tried, how much you love her outfit, or something interesting you saw on the news recently. And just remember that everything gets easier with time!
What is your favorite dinner when your spouse is away at training or deployed?
Now that I'm a mom, I try to keep things (mostly) healthy .... pre-washed steamable veggies, pan-seared chicken, anything quick and easy!
What is one trend that you would never try or never do again?
Probably knee-high boots ... they must take forever to put on!
What do you wear to feel confident?
A summer dress ... and mascara :)
What is your guilty pleasure?
The Bachelor - It's the one show I can ALWAYS find time for!
What do you wear when you are at home?
Leggings and a comfy tee
What is your favorite happy hour drink?
I usually skip the drink and go straight for the brownie :)
What trait do you think someone needs to survive as a military spouse?
You definitely have to be adaptable ... things are constantly changing!
Instagram: @laceandlu Facebook: @laceandlublog Website: www.laceandlu.com Pinterest: @laceandlu
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WhiteGold Boutique by Lisa Aguado - 6M ago
   When you ask most people about why they decided to start a boutique they can go on and on about their loves of clothes and fashion and helping people. That’s partially me. WhiteGold was started out of half a love of clothes and half necessity. It’s true! Growing up I always had a love for putting outfits together, daring to wear something standout before it was cool, and dreaming of being a fashion designer. Those dreams came to a screeching halt around the same time I showed my parents the bill to attend the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising in Southern California. It was a mere $40K a year, not including room and board. Needless to say I needed to set my sights on a more realistic goal. I ended up going to a four-year university and studying for a degree in Public Relations. This type of work came easy to me. Public speaking, writing, and planning these were all traits that somewhat came naturally, so I used my time in college to refine them. All the while still loving clothes. My friends would joke with me because I would know the names of all of the styles or types of clothing. What can I say? I love clothes! After college I pursued a career in PR and did okay for a college graduate. I worked for a couple years in the business building up a small reputation, but that again came to a screeching halt when I met my husband. Our relationship was a whirlwind romance. We went from meeting, to dating, to moving in together all within about 6 months. Moving in with him meant leaving behind my small reputation that I was working on, but I just had this feeling it was the right thing to do.  Now, as many of know well, finding a job, especially a career job like public relations can be next to impossible when you tell people you’re associated with the military. “Hey hire me I’m a hard worker, but… I’m also going to be leaving in a year.” Job commitment and husband in the military just don’t always work well together. So, there I was. Young, still wanting to work, but needing something a little more challenging than retail and still wanting to enjoy my new life with my husband. What did I do next? I thought, “Yeah start a business. Work for yourself! You’ll be great at it!”  I’ll say this, even with my love of fashion, and PR experience, starting and running a business is hard. I hit a lot of bumps when starting up. Hell, I’m still hitting a lot of bumps, but I wouldn’t change a thing.  I started WhiteGold half out of necessity and half out of a love for fashion. What keeps me working hard with WhiteGold is the joy I get when I see a woman find a fabulous dress at a great price. The empowerment when I see a woman’s confidence bloom wearing the perfect romper. The chance to help women find the pieces of who they are in the clothes that I sell and see how they put together to express the strong, resilient, stunning women they are. So, that’s why I started and why I stayed with this business. To bring affordable fashion, supportive advice, and a sense of community to the women I meet every day. Thank you!

 

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I was born and raised in Pensacola, FL by my two amazing parents who just celebrated their 35th wedding anniversary. I have a degree in Public Relations from the University of South Alabama where I was also a member of Alpha Omicron Pi. I have a severe love for the beach, southern California, and my fur baby Sookie who is 8 this year. My Husband Jason and I were married in February of 2016. I knew he was the one when we spent our first full weekend together sipping Coronas on the beach and stuffing our faces with pizza.    What is your go-to wardrobe staple? Wide leg jeans. If it's not 100 degrees outside.    What advice would you give to military spouses who are struggling to find or maintain their own identity outside of being a military spouse? Make friends outside of your husbands co-workers spouses. You can do this by joining a group, volunteering, or Facebook socializing!   What is your favorite dinner when your spouse is away at training or deployed? Big dinner box from Pizza Hut :)    What is one trend that you would never try or never do again? I'm not a big fan of Birkenstock sandals... I know I know, but I'm just not a fan for me.   What do you wear to feel confident? Lipstick!   What is your guilty pleasure? Pizza! How many times can I answer pizza on this and it be acceptable?   What do you wear when you are at home? A baggy tee shirt and boy shorts.... Who wears pants at home?    What is your favorite happy hour drink? Margs!!! Who's in?   What trait do you think someone needs to survive as a military spouse? Tenacity.
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WhiteGold Boutique by Lisa Aguado - 6M ago
Someone told me that I needed to put a little more of me into my business. Share more personal anecdotes, Facebook Live my hair routine, Insta Story my dinner recipes. That is just not me.  Don’t get me wrong, I want my business to be successful, and I LOVE building relationships, but I’ve always been a way better face to face relationship builder than all online. For instance, I suck at texting people, I never answer my Facebook messages, and I’m way funnier in person. So, yes, I’m going to make an effort to start putting a few more personal items on social media, but not too personal because you know, the military, and people are crazy. In lieu of that let me tell you a little bit about myself here in short answer blog form. Where are you from: I’m from a small town in Florida near the Alabama border. I grew up on the water, spending every summer at the beach. It was paradise. Growing up in such a beautiful place definitely had an everlasting effect on where I want to live and where my happy place is. If I could choose to be anywhere in the world it would be beach side with my husband, my fur baby Sookie, reading a book, and sipping a corona. Who do you love: Mostly, I love people who make me laugh. My family is notorious for sitting around on a Saturday night joking around and doing anything for a laugh (especially my brother, who is the comedian of the family). We always laugh at inappropriate times, but with the best of intentions. My family is the core of my heart. They support me unconditionally. I remember on numerous occasions my mom and brother boasting about me to anyone and everyone who would listen. They’re my personal agents.  My dad is the silent strong type. He quietly holds the family together while making a dad joke or two along the way. His commitment to his faith is something I greatly admire and am so thankful he found his way to the Lord. My mom is the rock of our family. She would do anything, and I mean anything for her family. She’s the strongest woman I’ll ever know and my best friend. My brother and sister-in-law are easily the friendliest people you’ll ever meet. My brother knows everyone in our small town and if he doesn’t he’s going to make friends quick. I’m so thankful to him for always supporting me and making me laugh. They recently had a baby boy and he has definitely stolen my heart. He’s a little crazy, but his little laugh brightens every day.

I also love spending time with my Sookie girl. She’s super needy and loves to be petted. I’ve had her for almost 8 years and I’m thankful every day for her unconditional love.

Now, my husband. He’s everything I never knew I needed in a companion. Neither of us were looking for each other, but from the moment we met we knew this was something special. He makes me laugh, he holds me when I cry, he supports my professional goals, and wholly loves me for who I am. I honestly would not want to do this life with anyone else. Thank you Jason. What I love to do: I think I already explained my love of the beach and all things water. I also love taking Sookie to the park or for walks. I love shopping, like most girls do, and trying every restaurant I can. Eating and drinking are probably two of my most favorite past times. Netflix and Hulu are also things I love to do. I watch A LOT of shows. At one point I think I was following 38 shows! Oh man. Why are you where you are: As you know my husband is in the military. We were stationed in Fort Bragg, N.C. in the fall of 2016. It was our first military move together and our first time buying a house. We purchased a little 3 bedroom 2 bath ranch style home near the downtown area which we love being near. We spend our weekends doing yard work and fixing the old bones of the house, but we’re so excited to be living in our first home together. Where do you see yourself in 10 years? In 10 years I hope to be living a little closer to the beach, with a couple of kids, and running a thriving boutique.  I’m not quite sure what life has in store for me up ahead, but I’m sure it will be nothing less than exciting.

 

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