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About The Author

“M” and I in 10th grade

Where to begin? First, let me thank you for stopping by my blog. I have truly been astounded at the response I’ve gotten from people all over the world that are a part of this military family. Please leave comments when you read. I love to hear everyone’s thoughts and feelings.

I am a 25 year old Army wife, married on New Years Eve 2009, currently living near Fort Hood Texas. Stay Cav! Myhusband and I met in high school, back in 9th grade. We never dated and I never once looked at him as anything more than a good friend all those years ago. We lost touch after we graduated in 2003 and shortly before he deployed in 2008, we re-connected through Facebook. We spent the next year of his first deployment in constant communication and our romance blossomed. We have an unusual story, but one that is for the ages. We saw each other again for the first time in 6 years when he came home for R&R on September 27th, 2009. It’s a day neither of us will ever be able to forget. We re-live it often. That day also happened to be the 9 year anniversary of a dear friend of ours passing. It’s incredible how things come together.

This blog represents my feelings and emotions as an army friend turned girlfriend turned fiance…and eventually turned wife. My hope is that I am able to help those of you who find yourselves in my shoes. I know I was confused when I stepped into this life, coming from no military background…I had no idea what to expect. With that said, this is my disclaimer: This is a blog. It’s a personal space to vent, express, and discuss. You don’t have to agree with me, but be respectful. I won’t tolerate spiteful comments.
They won’t get approved, so don’t waste your time trying to post them.

Finally, the fun stuff. I am a Florida girl, having spent 24 years of my life there before moving to DC for a bit. I’m both city and country. I love Manhattan like there is no tomorrow, but…I’d love to be on a farm and ride horses all day long too. Sweet tea and mojitos are my faves. I’m a huge wine girl. Grilled cheese and anything Greek are my faves. I can’t wait to have a family. He wants three girls…I say that’s too much estrogen for one house. None the less, we can’t wait to have our Emma Sophia, our Ava Grace, & our Anthony Michael. ❤ I love scrapbooking, reading, classic movies, Church, shopping, anything pink, blogging, and volunteering as often as I can.

I can be reached at ShanPando at yahoo.com

Live Strong!

11 Comments leave one →
  1. Hayley permalink
    October 22, 2009 10:57 PM

    Hey. I saw your website posted on a friends FB page and had to go to it. I was only considering commenting, but since you said you like comments, hey what the heck. I must say, it is verry nice to finally see something about a girlfriend, rather than just the wives and fiances. Yes they are married to them, but what were they before they got married? Girlfriends. Like us. I love your blog. I have never been a huge blog reader, and definitely not a blogger. But I really enjoy your blog because it is something I can truly relate you. My boyfriend is an apache pilot for 1-101st, stationed at Fort Campbell, KY, and I am in Tallahassee Florida (yes, a Seminole…lol), so it is already long distance. Which I guess a little like what you were saying in your blog, is God’s way of preparing me for his deployment in March–which by the way scares that crap out of me! I am glad he is a pilot and that he does what he has always known he would and he loves it; but the idea of him being in the air, in his vulnerable helicopter (albeit an attack helicopter-but still), in plain view, getting shot at is the scariest thought to ever cross my mind.
    We are going to get married eventually, after he gets back from deployment. I, like you, am new to the military life- my Pop was in the Vietnam War, my uncle in the airforce reserves for 20 years; but that does not directly correlate to me, nor give me any background on the army life. I just really appreciate your posts, and the information you provide. I do intend to get involved in USO- I am already a fan on FB.
    Also, I am from Orlando as well. And as weird as it sounds, you and your boyfriend look familiar. I know a guy that looks a lot like him. Does he have a younger brother named Jodie? I am younger than you, but what high school did you go to? Well it would be great to keep in touch. It’s hard being in an army relationship, in a town where no one knows what it is like and the dedication it takes to have a great relationship. Even though it comes to my boyfriend and me quite easily. It’s always nice to find someone who is going through the same thing. Find me on Facebook if you’d like. My name is Hayley Hammonds. Don’t let me being a seminole push you away lol. After all, we are army girlfriends. We got to stick together. Hope all is well and you have talked to your soldier since he left. Have a great night.
    Respectfully,
    Hayley Hammonds

  2. November 25, 2009 8:41 PM

    I am a webmaster at miliatryspousescholarships.com and proud of providing every useful resources for military spouses.

    I came across your blog and thought you might be interested in exchange a link with us? I will be glad placing your link on our bloglist.

    Please email me if you are interested in. Thanks

  3. December 19, 2009 11:31 AM

    Hey! Just wanted to say thanks for linking to me on your blog! I look forward to reading your blog! Hang in there during the deployment — they are rough, but it will be over before you know it! See you around the blogosphere 🙂

    Brittany (myarmywifelife.com)

  4. January 5, 2010 12:09 AM

    Though we didnt talk much in high school, glad to see we finally have something in common. LOL !!! I believe supporting your soldier is the number one thing in a military marriage. I always try to remember when I get stressed during deployments my husband is probebly 10 times more stressed. Congrats on your new marriage. I will link your blog to mine. I sometimes post military info on there but its mostly scrapbooking stuff … since thats my main hobby that gets me threw these long months with my DH !!!

  5. Dee permalink
    April 5, 2010 4:45 PM

    My boyfriend that I have been dating for three years and he is coming home from Iraq in a few weeks and I was wondering what I should get for him. I have all the personal gifts down, like the foods he likes to eat his favorite beer and all that stuff. I am looking more for sexy/romantic gift ideas. Any suggestions??

    • welcometothelife permalink*
      April 6, 2010 12:23 AM

      Hi Dee! Thanks for the comment.

      Hmm. I asked my husband and he just said he wanted to come home and see family and friends and be normal. I think what you’ve done with remembering his favorite foods, treats, and drinks are great. I’m sure you already have tons of pictures of the two of you around or of just him. Perhaps making one into an 8×10 or larger and displaying it for him or giving it to him? I’m a huge fan of scrapbooks and such. I know men don’t tend to tap into their emotional side often, but perhaps a mini book of your favorite pictures, things you love about him, etc. You could also just make a list of all the reasons you are proud of him and proud to be his girlfriend. Men can never hear those words enough. As far as sexy goes, perhaps turn that part to yourself. Pick up a sexy outfit (nothing too crazy), some candles, and the like. More than likely, he’ll be EXHAUSTED upon return so don’t expect much or over-do the romance factor…but a little something extra is nice. I’m sure he’d LOVE a good massage so grab some massage oil while you’re at it. 🙂

  6. July 16, 2010 4:26 PM

    Hey. I saw your website posted on a friends FB page and had to go to it. I was only considering commenting, but since you said you like comments, hey what the heck. I must say, it is verry nice to finally see something about a girlfriend, rather than just the wives and fiances. Yes they are married to them, but what were they before they got married? Girlfriends. Like us. I love your blog. I have never been a huge blog reader, and definitely not a blogger. But I really enjoy your blog because it is something I can truly relate you. My boyfriend is an apache pilot for 1-101st, stationed at Fort Campbell, KY, and I am in Tallahassee Florida (yes, a Seminole…lol), so it is already long distance. Which I guess a little like what you were saying in your blog, is God’s way of preparing me for his deployment in March–which by the way scares that crap out of me! I am glad he is a pilot and that he does what he has always known he would and he loves it; but the idea of him being in the air, in his vulnerable helicopter (albeit an attack helicopter-but still), in plain view, getting shot at is the scariest thought to ever cross my mind.We are going to get married eventually, after he gets back from deployment. I, like you, am new to the military life- my Pop was in the Vietnam War, my uncle in the airforce reserves for 20 years; but that does not directly correlate to me, nor give me any background on the army life. I just really appreciate your posts, and the information you provide. I do intend to get involved in USO- I am already a fan on FB.Also, I am from Orlando as well. And as weird as it sounds, you and your boyfriend look familiar. I know a guy that looks a lot like him. Does he have a younger brother named Jodie? I am younger than you, but what high school did you go to? Well it would be great to keep in touch. It’s hard being in an army relationship, in a town where no one knows what it is like and the dedication it takes to have a great relationship. Even though it comes to my boyfriend and me quite easily. It’s always nice to find someone who is going through the same thing. Find me on Facebook if you’d like. My name is Hayley Hammonds. Don’t let me being a seminole push you away lol. After all, we are army girlfriends. We got to stick together. Hope all is well and you have talked to your soldier since he left. Have a great night.Respectfully,Hayley Hammonds
    +1

  7. March 21, 2011 9:59 PM

    who knows better than us? 🙂
    even though we’re from a different country, race and religion.. but we still share the same feeling.
    i’m an army officer’s fiancee.. i’d known him since primary school. LOL. however it was later after being separated that we realized we’re in love with each other.
    he is in airborne, i pray hard whenever i know that he is going to jump in the air.

    i couldn’t react good when people say ‘u know i haven’t seen my bf/gf for a week already’. because for us military’s partner, not meeting our loved ones for weeks and months is something that we should adapt ourselves with.

    keep writing… love to hear from you.. 🙂

    faithfully,
    shasha

  8. Annie permalink
    June 3, 2011 9:07 PM

    Wow…deployment. I met him thru a site on line (not a dating site 🙂 )…and we’ve been hip to hip ever since. I’m lucky that he can talk to me a lot…really a lot. In the last 4 months he’s had …. I’m trying to count…. at least10 deployments….always a new op. Now…he’s from one to the next…really short ops but each one brings their brand of danger.

    Positivity.

    That’s my thing.

    I send it to him with every breath.

    Like you, I have NO military experience…or background. It’s all new to me. I’m so glad to find this site (and I’ll go to your new site as well)….to maybe learn, blog, learn learn learn.

    Thank you for this.

    XX
    Annie

  9. Tycie permalink
    August 21, 2011 5:22 PM

    I’d like to personally thank you for taking time out of your life to write this blog. I am new to Military (specifically Army) life, as my Soldier and I have only been together for about 6 months. The best 6 months of my life. Since we started seeing each other, we have been physically apart more than we have been together – thanks to my job and his deployments (SLC, and now JRTC). I have to tell you though, our relationship seems to get stronger and we get closer, despite the distance. I’m not going to pretend that I don’t miss him terribly with each passing minute of everyday, but I’ve somehow managed to make sure that I don’t nosedive into depression and wallow in sadness! 🙂 Here’s the kicker though. He’s deploying to Afghanistan at the end of the year, and of course there is no workshop, no classes, no nothing for girlfriends of deploying Soldiers. No support to help me learn to be what HE needs be to be for him (before, during and after), and nothing out there to help ME learn what to expect or how to deal. That is, until I found your blog. I’ve been desperately searching for something – a book, an article, a class, a website.. and until today, have been disappointed with what is out there for GIRLFRIENDS.

    Thank you from the bottom of my heart for helping us through this new life.

    Tycie

  10. January 31, 2012 9:50 PM

    Hi! i just started my new social network for military loved ones! My man is deployed and I want to connect with those who know what we go through! I was wondering if you could link me to your blog! You have an amazing blog and I’d love to link to yours. Here is my blog on Valentine’s Day ideas while your man is gone. Thank you 🙂

    http://camoconnect.ning.com/profiles/blogs/5-sweet-and-simple-v-day-ideas-to-do-for-your-sweetie-for-while-h

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