Thanksgiving, a day to reflect on what we are grateful for and to abide by time-honored traditions — whether it be mom’s apple pie, grandpa’s inappropriate jokes or an after-dinner football game — has come and gone.

Autumn has always been a time of change, bringing with it a feeling of fleeting beauty and transience. As I settle firmly into adulthood in my thirties, I have often found this pattern of evolving change to be true of life, as well.

Autumn, the season of pumpkins, turkeys and Halloween candy galore, has always been my favorite time of the year. This is probably because some of my best memories are tied into this season — raking leaves with my family as a kid, visiting apple orchards and decorating the house for Halloween.

Today, like many days, has been way too long AND too short. My back hurts from lifting a heavy toddler all day, I feel like I didn’t get enough accomplished and I’m tired. I want chocolate and a hot bath, but fear drowning when I pass out from exhaustion.

While preparing for an upcoming trip home — just me and my little one — I have been making a mental list of all the things that I will need to bring with us. You know the list: Clothes, toys, snacks, everyday parts of our life that will be packed up and dragged along for yet another “adventure.”

When I was a newlywed 25 years ago, a lady in my garden club gave me some advice for being married to my soldier. She told me to make sure I had a life of my own, so that I had something to fall back on when my husband wasn’t around. She advised me to have a couple hobbies that I could do on…

Two months from now, a moving truck will be hauling our household goods up to our new duty station. While I’m busy with my boys’ medical and educational needs, I’m taking time to sort out our house before this next move. My goal is for this move to be our smoothest one in 25 years.

We just had a wonderful time with family members who flew to Texas for a quick weekend visit. We love it when family visits us, no matter where we’re living. More often we are the ones to drive or fly back to see them in New Jersey or Wisconsin, which is always nice, too.

Years ago I damaged our little Honda Civic. My husband and I decided to do the body work on the vehicle ourselves. A member of our Bible study at the time said he could help us, and soon the car was looking like new. We were so thankful to our friend for his help, as he saved us a bunch of money.

As often as I’ve moved around these last few decades, I’ve been blessed to meet some great people who’ve become lifelong friends. Some of these friends have known me since before I was married to my soldier, while other great battle buddies I’ve only met in the past couple years.

Twenty years ago, while my husband was on a one-year tour in South Korea, I landed a job as an historical interpreter at Heritage Hill State Historical Park in my hometown of Allouez, Wis. There, I found myself working as a “pretend” lieutenant’s wife, and as a schoolmarm, in 1836 Fort Howard.

Sometimes I wake up in the middle of the night and have to remind myself where we are currently living. Since marrying my soldier, I’ve celebrated the new year in 13 different duty stations. For some of those celebrations, my soldier was celebrating with other soldiers thousands of miles awa…

I remember a Christmas many years ago when I woke up and found wrapped presents in the hallway. I left my room and followed the trail of presents all the way to the Christmas tree. Santa had even left a couple wrapped packages in the fireplace!

I have been a military spouse for nearly 25 years. We have three boys, two of whom have disabilities and are enrolled in the Army’s Exceptional Family Member Program. Since being diagnosed as profoundly deaf at 2 years old, our oldest son will graduate from high school this year. He has atte…

The theme of a spouse club I had joined several years ago was “bloom where you are planted.” In theory, we were meant to take advantage of what was available at our current location, and to grow and blossom from all of the wonderful opportunities found around us.

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