Our new page is up and running. With this BIG change, we are able to better tell the story of MilitaryMamaNetwork, what we do and who we are. I am the founder of MilitaryMamaNetwork, and for years I said “I’m just a mama who threw a backyard BBQ. I didn’t mean to launch a network” But I did, and here we are. Let me tell you a little about me.
The fact of the matter is, that is the truth. I didn’t mean to launch a network. I MEANT to say thanks to 50 people who had been impactful in my life. I MEANT to help one soldier and his dog. I MEANT to keep living the life I was living the day before. But in the days, weeks, and months since I’ve worked my tail off. I’ve (too often) neglected my family, my personal time and the need for balance. I’ve resigned my beloved job at the church I attend and now run MMN full time. Sometimes I miss the day to day silliness there, but I can’t argue that it was the right decision!
I’m an Accountant by trade, although I’ve had several other jobs I love. My ideal job (before MMN) was a cubicle with numbers and financial statements that needed to be prepared and reviewed. I created an award winning budget document the first year the award was available and we won every year I was at the Village. I’ve also run Youth Groups and been administrator for a church. My most loved season of life was when I stayed home and homeschooled my two kids. We laughed, cried, and read together. Sometimes I get a glimpse of that with my grandsons.
I come from a family of veterans. Recently I dabbled in genealogy research and discovered we are a Navy family dating back to the Ireland in the late 1800s; the other side of my family was Army and dates back to the Mayflower. I had family members who fought on both sides of the Revolutionary War as well as the Civil War.
I come from a big family: two older sisters and two younger brothers. One of each served: my Navy sister and Marine brother make flank me in age. The oldest and youngest of my siblings, like me, are civilian supporters who love our country and service members fiercely. We were raised to believe in the American system and to love and serve our country. We have all done it in our own way.
I married the boy I crushed on in 7th grade. I still think he’s the most amazing guy. Still admire him for more reasons than this post will allow. Still love spending time with him. One of my favorite things to do is run away with him for the week, day or afternoon.
We always thought we would have a big family (we both came from big families) but we only had two kids. I am SUPER close to my grown nieces and nephew and wish I was able to spend more time with the three little ones. When my peeps are free, I try to drop everything to spend time with them. I am a better person for having the privilege of loving them.
I knew Navy and Marine jargon (see previous family statement LOL) when my son gave me the surprise of my life and signed up for the Army National Guard. I didn’t speak Army, as indicated by the scolding I received when I said Oorah to an Army mama. But I’ve learned and I am so proud of my son’s pursuit of his education at West Point. When West Point comes knocking and asks you to apply, it’s hard to say no. I now speak English, Navy, Marine, Army and West Point fairly fluently. My son will tell you I still haven’t mastered the ranks, like when I say “I got an email from a MSG xxx”, then refer to him by his first name. My son has a heart attack and I realize I need to continue learn ranks. Incidentally, there’s an app for that.
I am a HUGE HUGE HUGE Bears fan. Sometimes it is difficult. But I always am.
I cry. A lot. At commercials. When I meet veterans. When they share their stories. I cry when my son goes back to school and my peeps go back home. I cry when I feel God near me; when I pray; when I hear songs I love. I cry when my feelings are hurt and when I’m angry.
I’m painfully shy and a complete introvert but I’ve learned to fake it well. After networking events, speaking engagements, or outreach programs I almost always need a nap. And to be left alone. LOL
I love to read, make cards and papercraft. I don’t have time to do any of it any more but I have hope I will again some day. I collect quotes and cool graphics of quotes. Feel free to send me some if you find one! I love technology and am amazed all the time by the difference it makes in our daily lives.
I’m baffled, often, as to why this amazing network was entrusted to me. I often feel overwhelmed with gratitude and responsibility. I’m so proud of the work we do and the difference we make, one mama at a time.
And I never say “I’m just a mama…” anymore. I’m a woman on a mission walking alongside many others on the same mission. Men, women, children. Civilians, service members, scouts, veterans. People who love America like me.