I feel refreshed, well rested, and just a little bit more tan! J and I returned home from our honeymoon and we had a blast! Okay, not the whole time (we got super sick for a few days!). We really enjoyed catching up on some sleep, seeing beautiful destinations, and had a great time on the cruise ship!
We decided to go on a 10 day cruise to the caribbean. We used Princess Cruises and I highly recommend! We ported out of Ft. Lauderdale and they were sweet enough to shuttle us from the Miami airport to the port, leaving us with less to stress about. But, we pulled an all nighter and flew to Miami at 11 pm, arrived about 5 am there and had to wait for the shuttle which didn't leave till noon. We ended up getting very acquainted with the Miami airport, and if you have ever been there it's literally the worst airport we have ever been to! (but that's a whole other story!)
The cruise ship was fun, and we participated in several games and 'Princess Live!' shows and James ended up winning one of them which was so fun! haha Since it was live, it ended up being a show on our tv and we watched it that night and it was so cool to see him on there! We also won bingo twice in a row which was super fun and we decided to end on a good note and not play again.
As for the actual islands, we opted out of doing excursions. I haven't really been feeling up to strenuous activity and we more so wanted to just relax and do our own thing on our vacation! We did get off on every island though, and had a fun time seeing the different buildings and exploring. In this post I'll be showcasing my two favorite spots we went to.
Princess Cays is an island owned by Princess Cruises. You would think this would be the most boring since it's the most uncultured, but it had the nicest beach and we enjoyed relaxing in the chairs and eating burgers! It was a common theme for the rest of the islands we visited that the beaches were not nearby and you had to take a taxi to them which was kind of a bummer! But Princess Cays was all beach and we had a great time there.
Curacao was one of the last spots to dock at, and it was by far our favorite! It has such a rich history and it was a beautiful island! It was also one of the few that didn't have people berating you to buy things as soon as you got off the ship. Curacao has the largest pontoon bridge and when a ship needs to go by, it will swing itself to the other side of the water. It was the coolest thing to watch, but be prepared to wait for a long time to get back to the other side! haha They have a ferry to transport people while its moved, but we decided to wait it out and the ferry really didn't save a ton of time.
Here is the Queen Emma bridge swinging back, it is seriously so cool! We went down the shopping center shown above and it was a dream. Cobblestone roads, nice people, and I found a MAC store and treated myself haha!
When we were on our way back to the ship, I realized out loud to J that we had yet to see any animals! I was bummed and right after I finished that sentence we saw this huge guy scurrying by! It was so hilarious and I'm so glad we got to see one cool animal before leaving.
I hope y'all enjoyed our vacation pics and lived vicariously through them! We had so much fun celebrating our two year anniversary and having a honeymoon! I cannot wait to go on more vacations like this and share it with you all!
Where was your favorite place to vacation?
"This is the first day of my life | I'm glad I didn't die before I met you | But now I don't care, I could go anywhere with you | And I'd probably be happy"- Bright Eyes
The First Day of my Life was our wedding song and holds a special place in both of our hearts. Right now e are on vacation celebrating our honeymoon + I am reminded just how blessed with this man I truly am.
Two years ago my forever began and we started on our journey together. We were just two people who fell in love, and now here we are celebrating our two year anniversary and I am so humbled by our journey.
Three years ago, I fell head over heels for a soldier who I thought was way out of my league. He was leaving for a deployment, and I was left wondering if that was a once in a lifetime love or if I would get to see him again.
Thank goodness it was the latter. Our relationship began with much heartache with long distance and soon after we took on the roles of husband and wife. I could not imagine a future without him in it, and luckily he felt the same.
We shared our vows and then started school two days later.
We then formed into broke college students, eating frozen dinners and ramen, and doing our math homework together... And let's not forget learning how to live with another person who doesn't know how you function and what your quirks are.
Then, we got the great opportunity to move to Colorado and I became a stay at home wife while he went to work. We got our puppy before the move and that was our life! About halfway through the year, we got word of another deployment, so I went home to Texas instead of being up here alone. Our homecoming reunion was so special and sweet and I'm so happy he's back home.
Fast forward to a year after that and we finally bought our first home together. We are know settled in our forever home and have grown so close over these few years of marriage together.
My current full time job is being a wife. Granted, with James away I have less duties (and a whole lot less laundry!) but I have felt myself thriving in this position. I have already wrote about why I chose to be a stay at home wife, but I would like to explain further what exactly I do throughout my normal days, aka when James is home.
When I stopped working and going to school, I would be fibbing if I didn't say I would sleep in and not do any of these things. Transitioning into this lifestyle was hard on me, but after reevaluating myself I realized I wasn't getting any fulfillment out of my days & not accomplishing anything.
So, I stepped up my game.
You've heard the saying that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, right? Well, mornings are the same for a stay at home wife like myself. If I sleep in and don't do anything in my mornings, the whole day drags on and feels like a waste.
Since mornings are so important, and I have a knack for routines, I decided to put together a quick routine that gets me the most fulfillment out of my mornings.
I got married at 18 years old.
Being married so young in the military, meant that we had double the statistics of the divorce rates thrown at us. 60% of marriages from 20-25 end in divorce. Army divorce rate is at 3.9%, but keep in mind the military only makes up 4% of the population.
I have been told about all sorts of disadvantages to marrying young in the military, but why is it so hard to believe there are so many perks? There is a bright side to this whole younger generation living the military life.
I knew that getting married at 18 would mean a lot of hardships and obstacles we would have to overcome. Moving out of my family home and moving to a completely new state had me thinking, 'what the heck did I get myself into?'
But the thing is, I knew that I wanted to get married to J. I knew things would be hard and I knew that above anything this would be one heck of a rollercoaster! Any marriage can have issues, but the plus about being young is you usually have less baggage. You are both just starting out in life and get to grow up together in a sense.
J was already well established in his military career, so I felt like I had a ton of learning to do on my own. It was an advantage though, because he already built his career and knew the Army life pretty well, that I could learn from him and any questions I had, he could answer!
So, here are a few things that young military couples get to experience and the perks that come.
Becoming an Adult.
I know it is common to think that when someone turns 18, they are an adult. Wrong! I have heard, and met, so many people 18 and older that still do not show they are adults. There are kids doing awful things, living off their parents, having zero responsibilities… Then, you take a young military couple. Some girls are just fresh out of high school and are waiting for their man to finish basic, or are even planning a huge move across the country with their husband. It is so not a normal thing to do in your early adult years, but with this lifestyle, you learn to be an adult so much sooner. You become more responsible for yourself, both financially and physically. There is nothing wrong with either scenario, but as a young military wife I have found myself becoming more and more of an adult, the more and more I receive responsibilities.
Because most girls marry their significant other when they are just starting their military career, you get to be there for progressions and promotions. You get to be there for their basic & AIT graduations, when they have any promotions, you get to watch your man grow in his military career. Being there from the beginning allows the two of you to celebrate together! You have the sense of pride for your significant other, and he gets to have you there by his side through it all.
"I get to adjust to the life as he progresses in the military. Like when we started dating he was a PFC. Now we've been married for little over a year he's a SPC about to be a SGT." - Samantha Bills
Flexible & Adjustable
Because I was just out of high school, I didn't already have any prior commitments. I didn't have a full time job or school I had commitments to, so I was flexible to move whenever and wherever. Us young military wives are a certain breed of easy going, because we can just pick up and move with ease. I'm not saying being an older wife is impossible, it is just easier because we are just now building our lives. We can adjust to changes a lot easier, like adjusting to a new area and building our lives from there. Having fewer life commitments allows us to be more flexible with schedules and whatever the military throws at us.
We make do.
Because we are young, we don't really care, and sometimes can't afford, to have a huge extravagant wedding. Most of the time, we have a year or less to plan a wedding, which can be a good or bad thing haha. We got married by a Justice of the Peace and that was that. So many young military couples get married in courthouses and just can make do, because that is the least of priorities.
We also make do with living in new states, finding new jobs, and doing our best to get through school. With young military wives, we have low expectations when getting into this, so we are more room and optimism in making do with our situations. This allows us to always look on the bright side of things, because with lower expectations, we can find the good and happy side to all of this.
Building Marriage & Trust
An additional perk to this, is you are their for your soldier. Because they are younger as well, don't think they never feel afraid when going into basic or a deployment. You are there for them every step of the way, and serve as their best friend. You, in a sense, are the only stable thing in their life and they will have a mountain of fears, but with you by their side; anything is possible. You weren't the only one who left your family home and moved to a new state. Your soldier is facing fear head on, but because you are both young and are going through similar emotions, you can conquer fears together. This military lifestyle will be new to the both of you, so relying on each other to get through it is a huge marriage and relationship builder.
What is something you have realized or found out about being married young in the military?
Things will be crazy for the two of you. You won't have everything together, things don't go as planned, and this is a huge learning process. But, you are not alone! Getting married young in the military is a huge blessing. If you really feel you are ready and can take on being married, I say follow your heart and pray. This lifestyle isn't for everyone, but there are so many perks to it! I would love to hear your thoughts & your marriage story down below if you would be open to sharing!
Because we are young, it is nice knowing we aren't alone and have other girls we can befriend and relate to. So, there are my 5 advantages to being married younger in the military.
Thank you for stopping by The Strattons blog! This is where I share snippets of my life as a new mom to be, beauty + fashion lover, and overall lover of life's tender mercies!