Episode 11 - Danielle Keech: Staying Positive When Military Life Keeps You Guessing

Danielle Keech

CLICK THE PLAYER ABOVE TO LISTEN OR LISTEN TO THIS WEEK’S EPISODE OF MILSPOUSE MATTERS ON ONE OF THE FOLLOWING PODCAST PLATFORMS:

Apple Podcasts

Stitcher

Spotify

Google Play

What do you do when you're not sure where you'll be living a month from now? You face it head on, that's what!

Since she's already moved 6 times in the 4 years of her husband's Marine Corps career, you could say Danielle Keech is something of an expert on short-notice PCS moves!

On this episode, we talk about the perspective she's already gained as a new military spouse, military spouse employment issues and difficulties keeping a career afloat with the constant changes inherent in military life, how she got into freelance writing and content creation, and how staying organized and positive has helped her navigate so many moves--most of them DITY ("do it yourself") moves! Also that one time they had two weeks' notice to get to a new duty station and they moved themselves...

Danielle is also a new mama. You'll be encouraged by her words about choosing to be stay-at-home/work from home mom and her outlook about managing expectations as a military wife and mom. Listen in for her top tips for tackling a short-notice PCS (which will help with any move!).

Mentioned in this episode: 

Danielle's posts on MilitaryByOwner

3 Things NOT to Tell a Military Spouse

MBO Minute Videos

PCS Checklists

Get Jen's book You Are Not Alone: Encouragement for the Heart of a Military Spouse

Learn more about Milspouse Matters, get show notes, and more content at jenmcdonald.net.

*contains affiliate links

Episode 10 - Meet Jen

CLICK THE PLAYER ABOVE TO LISTEN OR LISTEN TO THIS WEEK’S EPISODE OF MILSPOUSE MATTERS ON ONE OF THE FOLLOWING PODCAST PLATFORMS:

Apple Podcasts

Stitcher

Spotify

Google Play

In this episode, we're turning the tables and Jen is being interviewed! Find out more about Jen's story as a military spouse of three decades, which led to her writing a book for other spouses and starting the Milspouse Matters podcast. Lana Simmons, cohost of the Reinventing Midlife podcast, puts Jen on the hot seat. 

We'll talk about feeling like a fish out of water as a new military spouse, adapting to the quirks of military culture, all the moves, living overseas, raising military kids, deployments, her family's homeschooling journey, and the second career she’s found.

You'll want to tune in to this fun episode, where Lana does her own "quick 5" questions and we talk about that one time Jen met Chris Hemsworth and her brief (and of course, embarrassing) encounter with legendary "Stormin' Norman" General Schwarzkopf.

Mentioned in this episode: 

Jen's book You Are Not Alone: Encouragement for the Heart of a Military Spouse

Jen's blog

Jen on FacebookTwitter, Instagram, and Pinterest

Strengthening Your Military Marriage

MilitaryByOwner Advertising

Steve Lambert/Five in a Row

This American Life

Mike Roe: The Way I Heard It

Copyblogger

Reinventing Midlife

Connect with Lana Simmons!

Learn more about Milspouse Matters, get show notes, and more content at jenmcdonald.net.

*contains affiliate links

Jen McDonald

Episode 9 - Wendi Iacobello: You Are More Than a Milspouse

CLICK THE PLAYER ABOVE TO LISTEN OR LISTEN TO THIS WEEK’S EPISODE OF MILSPOUSE MATTERS OR ON ONE OF THE FOLLOWING PODCAST PLATFORMS:

Apple Podcasts

Stitcher

Spotify

Google Play

In this episode, Jen's talking to Wendi Iacobello, who shares her message of support, empowerment, and encouragement for military spouses. Through her hashtag #morethanamilspouse, her hope is to remind other military spouses that it's ok to create a life for you, too! 

As we recorded this episode, Hurricane Florence was headed her way, but she was undeterred in her mission to express her support for other military families. As a fairly new spouse who came into this life a little later than some, Wendi also talks about pregnancy loss, what helped her after the loss of her unborn baby, how to reach out to others experiencing grief, how the military can do better about focusing on childless couples as well as those with children, and her work with her Strength4Spouses blog. She has so many great ideas for military spouses to build their identity outside of the military space.

What's her favorite Southern food and who was her favorite celebrity sighting? Listen in to find out!

Mentioned in this episode: 

Military OneSource confidential counseling

Steven A. Cohen Military Family Clinics

#morethanamilspouse

Strength4Spouses Blog

Strength4Spouses on FacebookInstagram, and Pinterest

Learn more about Milspouse Matters, get show notes, and more content at jenmcdonald.net.

Get Jen's book, You Are Not Alone: Encouragement for the Heart of a Military Spouse.  

Wendi Iacabello

Episode 8 - Meg Flanagan: Advocating for Military Kids' Education

CLICK THE PLAYER ABOVE TO LISTEN OR LISTEN ON ONE OF THE FOLLOWING PODCAST PLATFORMS:

Apple Podcasts

Stitcher

Spotify

Google Play

Meg Flanagan MilKidsEd

This week, Jen's talking to Meg Flanagan of MilKidsEd, who shares with us her passion for education, especially as it relates to military kids. 

Originally a classroom teacher, Meg has taken her expertise and uses it now to address common school problems and advocate for military families, whether it's help with taming the homework beast, working with homeschooling families, helping families navigate the school system, or providing insight for families with special needs or gifted learners.

Meg also discusses the learning gaps that are common with kids that move often and practical ways to connect with your child's teachers. Learn more about her book, Talk to the Teacher, and how it can help any parent with ideas to set up their child for success in school.  

Find out more about Meg's background, what services she offers to military families, AND hear her best "scar stories"! She also shares about life in Okinawa where she's currently stationed and her family's experiences with the Marine Corps--and how every assignment is a favorite so far. 

Mentioned in this episode:  

FREE Stress Free Homework Help Download

Meg's book, Talk to the Teacher

MilKidsEd

Mike Rowe's podcast, The Way I Heard It 

John Green's podcasts

Find MilKidsEd on FacebookTwitterInstagram, and Pinterest  

*Contains affiliate links.

Episode 7 - Lauren Cecora: Hope for Military Spouses Dealing with Postpartum Depression

Lauren Cecora

Lauren Cecora is a go-getter!

But after giving birth to her first child, her world was rocked by postpartum depression. In this real and honest episode, you’ll hear about Lauren’s journey through PPD while her husband was deployed. Realizing quickly that something was off more than the typical postpartum “baby blues,” Lauren reached out for help, made the necessary changes in her life to get well and healthy, and then through her experience became an advocate for other new moms.

If you’re a new mom, know one, or find yourself in a fog after having a new baby, you’ll want to listen to this episode. Lauren is here to remind you that you’re not alone, gives you practical tips for finding your way through, and most of all extends hope that you CAN make it through your darkest days.

Also in this episode—find out what’s so special about Beale AFB, get her tips for any new mom trying to make sense of life after giving birth, and what she considers her worst job ever!

Mentioned in this episode:

Lauren’s book: Past-Partum: From Shattered to Sane

Rachel Hollis

Connect with Lauren on her website, Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest

Learn more about the show, get show notes, and more content at jenmcdonald.net.

Get Jen's book, You Are Not Alone: Encouragement for the Heart of a Military Spouse. 

*Contains affiliate links. 

CLICK THE PLAYER ABOVE TO LISTEN OR LISTEN HERE:

Apple podcasts/iTunes

Spotify

Stitcher

Google Play

Episode 6 - Dawn M. Smith: Making Your Military House a Home

Dawn M. Smith

Dawn M. Smith is an Army spouse of nearly two decades, a freelance writer with a talent for creating real estate and home design content, and a mom living in the D.C. area. She's rebelling against the description of "seasoned spouse," though we still haven't landed on a better term!

Dawn shares her tips for creating a home wherever the Army sends her family (and gives you permission to shop!), as well as provides her hard-won wisdom for spouses navigating military life. 

Making use of the resources provided by the military and educating yourself, blooming where you're planted, and parenting an (almost) middle schooler are all topics we touch on in this fun episode! Wondering how to style your rental or military housing? Listen in for some great info!

Mentioned in this show: 

Dawn's home decor posts on MilitaryByOwner

Home Decorating, Military Family Style!

Military OneSource

Find Dawn:

Dawn M. Smith

Dawn on Pinterest

Learn more about the show, get show notes and more content at jenmcdonald.net.

Get Jen's book, You Are Not Alone: Encouragement for the Heart of a Military Spouse. 

*Contains affiliate links. 

Episode 5 - Lana Simmons: Finding Your Identity as a Military Spouse

Lana Beyond thescale Favorites-0003.jpg

Lana Simmons is a retired military spouse now living in Virginia. Through the years of her husband's military career, she grappled with the common questions many milspouses face: How do I keep a career going with constant moves, especially overseas? What if I decide to stay home with my kids? Should I volunteer? Where do I find friends?

Lana came to terms with the best answers for her family, and talks with honesty about choices she made and even where she realizes she went wrong! Learn more about her military spouse journey and hear the advice she would have given her younger self, had she only known better. Maybe you can relate!

A woman of varied talents and interests, her projects include launching and hosting several podasts and starting a family farm! She's working through the process to become a certified Master Gardener and she's also a homeschooling parent, herbalist, Usui Reiki Master Teacher, and yoga instructor. Listen in and be inspired to carve out your own identity, without apology. 

Mentioned in this show: 

wellFULL Podcast

Reinventing Midlife

Blue Star Families Survey

Find Lana:

Lana's site lanasimmons.com

Facebook

Instagram

Learn more about the show, get show notes and more content at jenmcdonald.net.

Get Jen's book, You Are Not Alone: Encouragement for the Heart of a Military Spouse. 

*Contains affiliate links. 

Episode 4 - Christina Youngblood: Journey Through PTSD

Christina Youngblood Journey Through PTSD

Christina Youngblood is an Army veteran and Air Force spouse. At the age of 20, she was sent on a 15-month deployment to Iraq and went through experiences that later culminated in a diagnosis of PTSD. Christina is very open about her journey dealing with PTSD and how she has gotten to the point where it doesn't control her anymore. 

Along with resources and advice for military members and family dealing with the fallout of PTSD, we chat about her family's recent return from an overseas tour in Belgium, "reverse culture shock," how veteran and active duty military spouses are viewed in the milspouse community, and her upcoming projects for military families. 

Mentioned in this show:

Military OneSource (free confidential counseling) 1-800-342-9647

The PTSD Breakthrough

Find more from Christina at Heart & Stripes

Learn more about the show, get shownotes and more content at jenmcdonald.net.

Download your free 5-day deployment devotional. 

Get Jen's book, You Are Not Alone: Encouragement for the Heart of a Military Spouse. 

*Contains affiliate links. 

Click on the player at the top of this post to listen to Christina's episode or you can also listen:

Listen on iTunes

Listen on Spotify

Listen on Stitcher Radio

Episode 3 - Christine Barker Anderson: Finding Joy After Tragedy

Christine Barker Anderson on Milspouse Matters

Christine Barker Anderson ("Chris") is one of those people who lights up a room with her smile and warmth. She shares with us about her family's military life of over two decades, including moving around the world with her husband and four children and going through several deployments, until her husband Air Force Chaplain Lonnie Barker's unexpected death while still on active duty.  

Candid and humorous, Chris always points us to faith and family as the answer to get us through the hard times of sorrow and loss, while providing hope and encouragement to those going through their own dark times. You won't want to miss her wise words and will also appreciate her practical advice about how best to reach out to families going through tragedy. 

Mentioned in this show: 

Don't Sing Songs to a Heavy Heart

One Fit Widow

A Single Rose

Christine's daughter's song: "Fire" by Fáire

Find more from Christine at Notes By Christine

*Contains affiliate links. 

Episode 2 - Tara Howes: Overseas and Back Again

Tara Howes episode Milspouse Matters

This week Jen's chatting with Tara Howes, a retired Army spouse who's gotten through military life with lots of laughs and facing challenges with flexibility. Tara is the mother of four and the cohost of My Military Life Radio.

Over the years of her husband's Army career, she’s become in her words, a "professional volunteer," supporting military families in numerous capacities, including as a parent trainer for Military Child Education Coalition, an Army Community Service Master Trainer, an Army Family Team Building instructor, and as a volunteer for PWOC, the FRG, and more.

She says she's loving life post-military and currently resides in Arizona with her husband Dino and four kids. 

Tara's advice? "Take the overseas assignments!"

Connect with Tara: 

Tara on Twitter

My Military Life Radio

Reinventing Midlife Podcast

Episode 1 - Milspouse Matters Trailer

Milspouse Matters podcast

Join Jen McDonald as she shares the stories of military spouses, both past and present. With less than 1% of our country serving on active duty, we're highlighting the stories of military families so you can hear from them firsthand.

We’re going to talk about it all: getting through the separations that go along with training and deployments, moving around the world, seeing the one you love leave for war, raising kids in the military, finding your own place as a military spouse, and strengthening your military marriage.

Grab a cup of coffee or glass of wine and tune in every week for a new personal journey!

Find out more about the show, get shownotes and more content at jenmcdonald.net.

Download your free 5-day deployment devotional. 

Get Jen's book, You Are Not Alone: Encouragement for the Heart of a Military Spouse. 

*Contains affiliate links.