2019.1.18 (Ashley Carlisle Ledford)

Happy, Happy, Friday, Warriors!!
Today is going to be a great day, because we have the power, strength, and support to make it happen. Some days are much more difficult than others. but that’s ok. Don’t get caught up in negative thoughts. Yes, we will have them at times, but that’s where MMN’s encouragement, patience, respect, and understanding kick in. Why do we join and come to this group page so often? Because we are part of an incredibly strong, motivated, caring, generous and empathetic group of Military Mamas, Dads, Spouses, etc…When we visit “our” page, we are surrounded by thousands of other Military families that, “GET IT”! That’s just one of the reasons we are here. But when I am struggling, I can choose whether or not to talk to someone who has never been in my shoes, versus our 13,000 plus member group who also live in my shoes. Whew! That’s one heck of a ginormous pair of shoes! But I am excited to be able to help others when they need it and I know, in turn, that when I need it, YOU will be here. So today we wear our RED, because we “get it” and we head on out to live our Warrior lives, with the confidence that we have a safety net in place for the times we need to be understood and supported. Thank you for being those people in my life


2019.1.15 (Ashley Carlisle Ledford)

Good Morning, Warriors!!
I chose this quote today for each of us. Self-confidence is an amazingly powerful trait. Some of us may not have many problems in this area, but I am willing to bet that a LOT of us do. It’s that little nagging voice inside your head that causes you to question what you are wearing, doing, planning, attempting, and the list goes on and on.
πŸ™„ As a member of MMN, you are already a warrior, a giver, a parent of a hero, a slayer of all that is bad to protect our Family, and that is one heck of an accomplishment!! So each and everyday, remember this as you face the world; put on your self-confidence like a suit of armor and …”ROCK IT AND OWN IT”. When you feel strong and confident about what you are doing, it makes a ginormous difference by the day’s end. You will surprise yourself, the people around you, and the next thing you know, others will be asking you how you did it. BELIEVE IN YOURSELVES! YOU ARE AMAZING AND HAVE SO MUCH TO OFFER ! If you haven’t already, put it on now and go “Rock it and Own it”
πŸ’ͺπŸ‡ΊπŸ‡Έβ€ Warrior on, my Military Family❣


2019.1.13 (Ashley Carlisle Ledford)

Good Morning, Mamas,
How is everyone today? I woke up this morning to a cold rainy day; but I am blessed to have a warm cozy home and a working coffee maker. It was a bit prophetic, however, because my thoughts for this morning’s mail have to do with water. More specifically, I have been thinking about the flow of water and it’s forward momentum. You hear and read about “going with the flow” and/or letting your thoughts remain fluid, like moving water. As we encounter the daily obstacles that life has a way of presenting, all too often at the most inopportune times, we make a conscious decision about how we are going to respond to them. I know one of my personal challenges is not letting the obstacle control my thoughts and actions. I work very hard to acknowledge the obstacle, without allowing it to derail the journey to my desired destination. I imagine I am not the only Mama that faces this challenge. As Military Mamas we get a multitude of obstacles thrown in our path. And these involve our children, our heroes, our loved ones, who we will protect at all costs. Because of this, one of our self preservation techniques, is to keep moving…just like flowing water. We might flow under, over, or even through cracks in the obstacle, but the key is to keep going forward. If you are feeling overwhelmed or too exhausted, remember that you can come to us, your Military Family. We will secure you to us, like intertubes tied together as we journey wildly through the rough waters. We can hang on to our tightly woven rope, known as MMN, connecting this phenomenal group of Mamas as one. We never leave one behind. We are always here for each other. Thanks to all 14,000 plus Mamas for taking this plunge with me. Have a wonderful Sunday and continue to Warrior On!


2019.1.12 (Ashley Carlisle Ledford)

Happy Weekend, Mamas!
To everyone in our ginormous Military Mama Family who reads this, Thanks for Showing Up. Like the quote says, “The world needs you to show up today…what you believe changes the world.” Think about how profound the actions of one individual can be to others in the course of just one day. Mamas, then multiply that times the many members we have; and this is exactly why we accomplish wonderous, life changing, positive, change(s) to situations daily. Each and everyone one of YOU alone are awesome, amazing, powerful, valuable, and capable of making epic size changes to our world. It might be starting or supporting a local chapter, sending cards and boxes, or even just making a comment on someone’s post, that turns their day around. When we show up together, and channel all the collective power, value, and belief systems that we stand for, we are absolutely capable of making changes in the world! Just look at what a difference we make in so many lives continually. Be proud of yourself; you deserve it! Have a wonderful day and let’s go do what we do best…Warrior On, My Family!


2019.1.8 (Ashley Carlisle Ledford)

Good Morning, fellow Warriors,
Monday is behind us, so Tuesday, here we come! I hope the world is ready, because we have a phenomenal, game changing, determined group of Military Mamas ready to take on this new day. Ok, we might not actually feel that excited about it yet, depending on the amount of caffeine we have consumed
πŸ˜ƒ; but we will β˜•and when you combine all of us in this group, we are unstoppable. We aren’t judgemental, and we appreciate and embrace all of the many different traits and talents that each member brings. Think about how boring life would be if we were all the same!! It is all of the individual ideas, experiences, personalities, quirks, coping skills, etc…that make our MMN Family who we are today. Noone has to fit into the exact same mold. Sure, our overall purpose for being here is similar to each others, but we in NO WAY, have to abandon our own beautiful selves. And that is the magic of us all coming together. We create a force to be reckoned with as an empowered group of individuals. I think today’s quote is fun…,” Just be yourself…imperfect, flawed, quirky, weird, beautiful and magical…”. That’s who we are and that’s what makes us so strong and versatile as a group. Embrace yourself individually and as a group and let’s go make some magic today. πŸ’•πŸ‡ΊπŸ‡ΈπŸ’ͺ I hope it’s an awesome day. Step out into this world and Warrior on!!


2019.1.5 (Ashley Carlisle Ledford)

Good Morning, Mamas!!
I hope you are waking up to a day that is filled with gratitude, success, joy, hope, and love.
❀ If it’s one of those days, when you are thinking, “Seriously…all of that with everything I have going on??”, then just focus on one. If nothing else, we can all start our day with gratitude. We awoke to a new day, we have each other, we have our cup of coffee or tea, and we know that we can come to our group, our tribe, our safety net, regardless of what the day brings. And when you read the quote about “Success”, let those thoughts really sink in…success doesn’t equal money or how many things we have. Success is measured by, “…the number of lives we impact.” Just by that definition alone, we are some of the most successful people I know. Think about how many lives we impact!! The numbers are almost too enormous to even fathom or count, and that, my Warrior family is what sets us apart from so many others. Even trying to break it down into small pieces is overwhelming: each post we comment on, each new member we welcome, each member we encourage, every single card we send, every box we send, every family we help, the Christmas train, our Local Chapters reaching communities, every active duty member or veteran we help…I could keep going, but I am sure you have the idea by now. 😁 So at the very least, take a few minutes to bask in the glow of your success. Have a “feel good” moment. Each and every one of us can do that, and I don’t mean that we are boastful or expect anything in return. Just know how very special you are to so many. Warriors, I want you to know it, feel it, and believe it; we are some exceptionally successful Mamas. I am so proud to be a part of this phenomenal, ever growing family.
Have a great day!!!


2019.1.4 (Ashley Carlisle Ledford)

Good Morning on this wonderful Friday!!! The week is almost over…see, the first positive event of the day has already occurred❣ I don’t know about ya’ll, but some days are way more frustrating than others. This brings me to my quote for the day. “When something goes wrong in your life, just yell, ‘Plot Twist’, and move on.” Let’s face it, how many times do we have to laugh at our situations to keep from crying. Life just happens. For the most part, we don’t get to make many plans that just come together without some last minute creative changes and/or emotional upheavals. This happens in everyones’ lives and we, as Military Families, get just a few extra special surprises πŸ˜‚. “Wait, your approved leave is unapproved; you can’t actually attend your sister’s graduation; your deployment has been moved to when; they postponed your training indefinitely?” Any of those sound familiar, Mamas??? I am a Marine Mom and they teach us from the very beginning that our version of “Plot Twist” is “Semper Gumby”. We have to be completely flexible, knowing that any sort of plan can be changed in a heartbeat, and we don’t have one single bit of control over it. You accept it, make the best of it, and figure out plans B, C, D, etc…If you read our posts, not a single day goes by, without a Mama talking about how she is disappointed, because, The Plan Has Changed…again.πŸ˜€ We come to our extended MMN family, pour out our frustrations, and get the support and encouragement we needed so badly. Virtual tissues are given out in abundance as we help dry each others’ tears. Do me a favor, if you can. Tell me if your branch of the Military has a synonym for “Plot Twist”. I hope noone has to face any of these changes today, but if you do, we are here for you. As always, have a magical day and Warrior On!


2019.1.1 (Ashley Carlisle Ledford)

Happy New Year, to my ginormous, ever- growing Military Mama Family! We have endless opportunities as we begin 2019, to help and support others, as well as succeeding in self growth. I don’t know about ya’ll, but I spend more time with THIS family than anyone else. Why? For me, a big part of “Why” is a product of geography. Another overriding reason is that I have a son in the Marines…yes, the force that binds us all. I am a Military Mama, just like all of you. As Mamas, do we just inherently know how to be a Military Mama? If you grew up in a Military Family, you may have a good idea of the changes headed your way. Or you might have been like I was and felt completely overwhelmed, lost, and empty. Joining Military Mama Network was like coming home to a house with the light on, where there was previously just darkness.
This is my 3rd year as a member and I am forever grateful for the knowledge, companionship, support, encouragement, and opportunities to help others. I have
Geriann Hanley Wiesbrook and each and everyone of you, to thank for those blessings. Today we start 2019. That’s 365 new days coming our way filled with every possible emotion on the “feelings” spectrum. But I have decided this will be a very good year. It will bring my first experience with deployment, something admittedly I am terrified of facing. But I know with all of you to support and encourage me, validate my feelings, and remind me I am not alone, that I will survive whatever 2019 holds in store for me. And in turn, we will all be here for each other. You will grow. You will learn. You will teach. You will lead. You will succeed. All you have to do is show up with an open mind and the opportunities are endless. Start this year feeling strong and empowered! And as always, “Warrior On”!β€πŸ‡ΊπŸ‡ΈπŸ’ͺ
Happy New Year, Everyone!


2018.12.30 (Ashley Carlisle Ledford)

Good Morning, my favorite extended family members! My wish for you today, is that regardless of what is going on in your lives… the difficulties and pain, or just even the craziness that can be there, is to find amazement in even one little thing. It is sooooo easy to get caught up in the challenges, “to do” lists, the disappointments, as well as taking everyday things for granted. Try living in the moment, and let your heart and mind be open to something new. It only takes one seemingly insignificant act or thing to flood your senses with amazement. For me it’s usually nature. I never tire of it and when I get home from work after having a bad day, just stepping out of the car and looking around brings me such delight. It may be the sunset, a new flower bloom, the moon peeking through clouds…but in that moment I am filled with gratitude and thankful for the opportunity. I remember a time towards the end of this summer, that wasn’t a particularly good day for me; but when I pulled into my driveway and got out of the car, hummingbirds were flying all around like little fighter jets. They were buzzing around my head, dive bombing their feeders, and darting around with their little motors just a humming. I couldn’t help but smile and start laughing. I felt like they were welcoming me home. I could have easily kept my head down, grumbling to myself about my less than great day and walked in the house. But instead I chose to look up and take notice. Let me know if you find something that lights up your thoughts or makes you smile today. It truly is the little things in life that can turn your whole day around.β€πŸ˜ŠπŸ¦‹πŸΏπŸŒ» Have a great Sunday and Warrior On!


2018.12.29 (Ashley Carlisle Ledford)

Good morning, My Military family,

How many times do we read where one of us (myself included) says, “How will I do this?” or “I don’t think I can do this.”? It’s perfectly normal and understandable as an individual to feel that way. It even compounds itself, because we are Military Mamas, which comes with it’s own special set of obstacles and learning curves. Sometimes the challenges we face, whether it’s sending our children to basic training, watching them deploy, running a 5K, figuring out how to Skype, or even launching a MMN Chapter seems daunting and/or terrifying. The best way to deal with those feelings is to meet them head on, acknowledge them, and then kick those life draining suckers firmly in the behind, and begin working towards our goal. We are all here to support, encourage, and make believers out of each other, regardless of the task at hand.
So start this weekend in a Warrior State of Mind, and believe in yourself. We will help you if you stumble or just need to vent. We believe in each other. But like the post says, “I CAN AND I WILL…WATCH ME.” Have a great day, Everyone!


2018.12.28 (Ashley Carlisle Ledford)

Good Morning Everyone,
I hope you all have a wonderful day! Today I am a very rich woman. Not by any measure of money, but if measured by gratitude, I am one of the wealthiest women alive. Beginning a new day filled with gratitude is a gift to yourself. We all have something to be grateful for, even though some days we might have to look a little harder. Once we find it, not only does it enrich our lives, but it becomes so much easier in turn, to enrich the lives of others. And the feelings that come with helping another see a little sunshine are fantastic, incomparable feelings. Thanks to each if you who have helped me search high and low on those days I was struggling. I am so very grateful to have each of you in my life.
❀

Have a great Friday, Warriors!!


2018.12.25 (Ashley Carlisle Ledford)

Merry Christmas, Warrior Mamas,

I hope each of you gets to experience something today that makes you smile. You deserve it. Yes, YOU deserve it. Today I want to remind each of you, individually and collectively as MMN, that what we do is nothing short of astonishing. As Maya Angelou said in her quote, “…continue to be who you are, to astonish a mean world with your acts of kindness.” What a powerful statement! It reminded me of who we are and what we do every single day. We perform so many different acts of kindness: to each other, to mamas looking for a home like MMN, to our troops, veterans, their families, and to complete strangers that we will never see or meet. That’s our core and Geriann protects and ensures the integrity of our amazing group. When Mayo Angelou refers to a “…mean world”, yes, it can be very mean and ugly. Yet our family members have committed to fight, and save us from enemies that embody those very principles of meaness and ugliness. We know how bad it can get, yet we CHOOSE to continue performing acts of kindness in a very harsh environment, every chance we get. That makes us pretty darn amazing from my perspective. So yes, feel great about what you do, day in and day out. Let’s continue to astonish this world and Warrior on my MMN family


2018.12.23 (Ashley Carlisle Ledford)

Happy Sunday, Everyone,
How is my MMN family doing today? For the most part, when someone asks one of us how we are doing, we respond with, “I AM….(fill in the blank)”. We also know that our answers may be completely different, depending on who asked the question. And quite honestly, there are usually multiple words that can fit truthfully into that blank. We are devoted, loving, multi-tasking individuals; so it wouldn’t make any sense if we could explain ourselves with just one word. The graphic I chose contains 41 POSITIVE AFFIRMATIONS. Today I challenge each one of you to choose at least one, two, or more of these affirmations to fill in the blank of , “I am…”, when thinking about ourselves. It may be a great day full of joyous anticipations or a tough day full of a myriad of trepidations. Either way, how we feel about ourselves, plays a large role in how we respond to whatever life throws at us. If it’s one of those days that you need help identifying one of the POSITIVE 41, come to us, your extended family and we will help you.
❀ That’s why our group is 13,500 plus strong and growing. Today I am feeling inspired. How are you this morning? Have a fantastical day and Warrior On!


2018.12.22 (Ashley Carlisle Ledford)

Happy Saturday, MMN Warriors!
All individuals, although in our case, mainly Military Mamas, are created with a tremendous array of traits and emotions. They span from one end of the spectrum to the other, and all in between. I see this as a gift. We don’t often (I try never to say never) start our day on one point of this spectrum and just stay there for the duration of the day. Depending on the circumstances, we can move with lightning speed from one end to the other, and even jump right into the middle if necessary. Because we have this gift, we are innately capable of being caught up in our own lives, but then immediately changing gears to defend, protect, and fight for our loved ones. This also works in reverse. Our day may have started with us in a fierce Warrior mode, but something changed with ours’ or others’ circumstances, that moved us over to a fragile, soft and/or gentle supportive role. That’s what makes us uniquely qualified to meet the needs of each other, friends, and family in whatever capacity is needed at that moment. My graphic says we can be all of these things in one day…from experience I know we can be all of these things in an hour. Who knows how much area we will cover today? Come to us regardless of your problems or concerns, and someone will meet you…and do everything in their power to get you back where you belong! GO OUT INTO THE DAY AND WARRIOR ON


2018.12.21 (Ashley Carlisle Ledford)

Happy Friday, Warriors!!

If you ask Piglet what day it is, he says, “It’s today”, and Pooh answers him with, “My favourite day.” These two characters beloved by so many children and adults alike, knew the answer to having a good day, everyday. Of course, most of us will have some days, where neither Pooh nor anyone else can change our mind.( those are my Eyeore days) But for the most part, if we try to think like dear, old Pooh Bear, then EVERYDAY can be our FAVORITE DAYπŸ™‚ So no matter how long the “to do” list, or the event we dread going to, or disappointments we may face, let’s try to think about our day in a positive light. As I mentioned in an earlier post, a LOT (not all), but a lot of days can be steered into the “Happy Lane”, by beginning with a positive attitude and a feeling of gratitude for all that we do have. I hope you all have the best day possible, and if you can cheer up any Eyeore’s along the way…then add that to your happiness bucket. Go do great things today, my MMN family! Remember, great things can be the tiniest of actions


2018.12.20 (Ashley Carlisle Ledford)

Good Morning, Everyone!

When I read through our hundreds and hundreds of posts, there is common interwoven thread. We all want to know, “Does anyone else feel this way?”, ” Is it normal to be scared or worried about this set of circumstances?”, “Did you have this happen and how did you manage?”, etc… We are seeking validation for feeling like we do. We don’t want to feel alone, weak, or strange in our messy, chaotic, and often very challenging thoughts and worries. That’s why we are here as members of MMN. That’s a driving force behind Geriann ‘s unending efforts to constantly add new ways for us to connect, guide, encourage, and learn. We don’t all experience the exact same things or handle them the exact same way. One of the constants that keeps us here, however, is knowing our feelings will be validated and someone else in this ginormous group will be able to relate, share, and walk you through it. Have a fantastic day, and by the way, you got this!


2018.12.18 (Ashley Carlisle Ledford)

Good Morning, MMN Warriors!
I love this quote and it describes what we do everyday. “For our own success to be real, it must contribute to the success of others”. Truly successful, kind, leaders are always looking for a way to lift others in the process of what they are doing. We all do that, whether it’s through one of our small groups that focuses on a certain area, or just our daily making sure we are all making it through the day. There is no “size ” attached to these successes. The importance is that this group of phenomenal Mamas, led by Geriann is always striving to succeed, but that also always includes contributing to the success of all of our members. Ya’ll are a fantastic group who succeeds at your own levels, depending on where you are in this crazy, wonderful life. But everything you do inside of MMN also is helping another Mama attain her goal. Congratulations to you all! You have a LOT to be proud of every single day. Now go forth as always and Warrior On!!! You make me proud everyday! I hope it’s a great day for you!

Β 


2018.12.16 (Ashley Carlisle Ledford)

Good Morning, Warriors,
I hope you have a wonderful Sunday! Thank you all for being a part of our Military family. Without YOU we wouldn’t have this phenomenal group that does move mountains to take care of each other and our ginormous extended family. We may be just a tiny sliver of the general population, yet we have the strength, compassion, and determination to make a profound difference in our families’ lives. Thank you,
Geriann Hanley Wiesbrook, for having the foresight to see the possibilities, and for your tenacity to keep pushing us to the next level. And as always, go forth and warrior on…


2018.12.15 (Ashley Carlisle Ledford)

Good Morning,
I hope you are feeling great this morning. Unfortunately, sometimes we feel disconnected from everything…like we have lost our direction or purpose. Many times the reason may simply be, because we feel the pain of being separated from our loved one(s). Part of overcoming that feeling is being able to connect with someone or something. Other times it may be by throwing out an anchor for stability. Well, guess what??? The good news is that you are already connected to this amazing group of 13,500 plus members. There are a LOT us of out here ready to hold that anchor steady and be there for each other not just on the tough days, but everyday!! That’s a pretty great feeling to know that you can reach out…grab on to…and allow yourself the grace to be steadied by each other for as long as it takes. For many of us Mamas and Dads our children are that anchor, regardless of their age. So when they are gone on their mission to protect our nation’s freedoms, we sometimes need a little help staying anchored ourselves. Whenever that happens, take comfort in knowing we will be here to steady you and keep you upright as many times or for as long as you need it. Military Mamas are here for each other and collectively we can be one heck of a ginormous anchor for each other. There are plenty of us to go around. NEVER forget that it is okay to ask us for help and/or encouragement. We are Warriors and we leave noone behind. Have a great day as you prepare for the new week ahead!


2018.12.14 (Ashley Carlisle Ledford

Good Morning All,
It’s Friday and what does that mean? Well, it actually means something different to each one of us, depending on our own set of circumstances. But what does each day mean, regardless of our individual circumstances? Everyday is truly a gift, even though it may not always feel that way. Some days we may think, really…this is a gift??? Then we take a deep breath, look around, and realize, yes it is, just by the fact we are here, able to think about it, and read our Morning Mail. We need to gently remind ourselves every single day, how grateful we are for this gift. Then take it one step further, and remember that along with our outside family and friends, we have more than 13,700 awesome MMN members that have our backs on any given day, 24/7. That’s one powerful reason to be grateful. Some days we are the encouragers and others we are the encouragees. Think about how blessed we are to have this in our lives. So take today’s gift, make the most of it you can, and as always, Warrior On
!


2018.12.11 (Ashley Carlisle Ledford)

Good Morning, Warriors,
As we wake up and begin our day, I imagine some of us already have some thoughts about what’s going to happen. We may be feeling blah about something we have to do, or maybe we are excited and happy with anticipation of a life event. But most importantly, we need to focus on this one day.
Live in the moment and squeeze every bit of life you can, out of every minute of every day. We are so fortunate to have these minutes, let’s try to make the most of each one. Just reading the posts on our page each day, we see how quickly lives can change in the blink of an eye. So let’s make the most and best of everything we do. Love yourself and love each other
❀ We are MMN Warriors…Live the Life/Love the Life(and when the need arises, talk to each other, encourage each other, and eat chocolate or anything decadent that makes you smile ?) Warrior On, My Military Family!!!


2018.12.09 (Ashley Carlisle Ledford)

Good Morning, Warriors, it’s Sunday, our day of rest…unless you are scheduled to work. lol ? Our Military children work 24/7, 365, for the most part. That’s also a reminder that WE are here supporting each other…24/7, 365. That takes true dedication. So we bond together to listen, encourage, and comfort each other all hours of the day and night. That’s what we do, so go forth and Warrior on…


2018.12.08 (Ashley Carlisle Ledford)

Happy Saturday, Warriors,
As we embark on this new day, remember that we are such a tiny part of the population, and yet we are strong, caring, loyal, “get it done” types of individuals and collectively. We are here for each other, our families, and anyone who needs us. We believe in solidarity, patriotism, and loving someone so much that we proudly send them off to protect our nation.
?? We are a different breed of Moms and Dads, who raised heroes. Don’t ever forget that; even in a weak moment…and if you do, we will pick you right back up and we will continue to Warrior On!! Have a fantastic day, my MMN family!


2018.12.07 (Ashley Carlisle Ledford)

Happy Friday, Military Mama and Dad Warriors! We have almost made it through another week. I know several of you have had some really big challenges, tragedies, and obstacles to overcome. Yet many of you have had some fantastic heart warming stories and were reunited with your families. There is one common thread woven into all of these events…Military Mama Network??❀ We were all here to share, support, celebrate, and take care of each other. I know Janelle has mentioned this before, but every single one of you adds value to all of our lives. That is a remarkable thing to do each and everyday. Be proud of what you have accomplished. You are all amazing individuals!! Have a wonderful day, Warriors


2018.12.04 (Ashley Carlisle Ledford)

Good Morning, Beautiful and Brave, Mamas!
Most people are afraid of something; while others may be afraid of a whole lot of things. There is nothing wrong with being scared. As Military Mamas, we not only face the fears that are common for the average person, we have a huge, additional chunk of looming fears. There is the sometimes overwhelming fear of what is happening in today’s world. Each day that we read or watch the news, (many of us don’t) there is a new scenario playing out in another country, that our children may get called to go handle. If you begin to dwell on it, the mind can get caught in a continuous cycle of fear and worry. Today’s quote says, “Being brave isn’t the absence of fear. Being brave is having that fear but finding a way through it.” It’s not always easy to do, but you are strong, resilient Warriors. And during the times that we feel weak and need some help calming the fears and powering through, we have each other. We can always come to our Military Mama Family, and count on the fact that we will get the encouragement and support we need to steer us back on the right path. Even the strongest person needs a little help at times. We then create a powerful force of being there for each other, and encouraging each other to grow and stretch our boundaries. As a result we grow stronger, and then we are able to help the next Mama who needs it. I think of it as a giant force field that continues to get stronger, bigger, and all encompassing. We become wrapped amd empowered in this force field.
We help each other find a way through the fear and that is an awesome feeling. Thank you, Mamas, for being here and keeping us on track. Have a phenomenal day!


2018.12.03 (Janelle Swenson France)

Good morning Mamas! Happy Monday to all ? I hope you found time to relax this weekend and recharge your batteries. I asked a friend if I could use her picture for today’s post as it really spoke to my heart. Thank you Lisa Baney-Koch for the pic. Each one of you Mama’s has what the quote from Harriet Tubman says “You have within you the strength, the patience and the passion to reach for the stars and to change the world”. How do we do this? We start with making a difference for one person at a time. It doesn’t take a huge gesture, sometimes just a smile and kind word can change someone’s day. We have all been there ourselves, having a rough day, and a person’s smile and support makes us smile as well. We change the lives for our heroes when cards are sent to them, honoring and remembering their service and sacrifice. We make a difference when we send a piece of home to our service members who are deployed far from home. We change each other’s lives as we say me too when a Mama needs support. Each one of you amazing Mamas does have what it takes to change the world. You hold a tremendous amount of courage and strength. You have an empathetic, compassionate and caring heart. You have a fire within you that cannot be extinguished. Find your passion, use those traits to change the world. Start small, make a spark that starts a wildfire of change. You can and do make a difference. You are amazing Mamas! I hope each of you have a wonderful day!


2018.12.02 (Ashley Carlisle Ledford)

Good Morning, my fellow Military Mamas! How is everyone doing today? I so hope each of you has something to celebrate. Remember there is always a reason to feel grateful…if nothing else it’s because you woke up this morning to a new day. If you woke up or couldn’t sleep, because you are struggling with your current situation, remind yourself that it is temporary. Circumstances change daily. I know it can be a challenge; believe me, I have been there. Today’s quote by Socrates says, “The secret of change is to focus all of your energy, not on fighting the old, but on building the new.” It sounds so simple, yet it is so easy to get caught in a trap of being unhappy or dissatisfied, and to continue fighting against your current situation, which is a waste of precious time and energy. We have to accept what has happened and move forward to make progress. I didn’t understand how to do this until approximately 5 or 6 years ago, and it’s still a work in progress. I always argued that it wasn’t fair, or right and I wanted to keep fighting it. Finally someone told me that acceptance does not mean you like it. I was so stubborn that all I wanted to do was keep dwelling on it, as if that was going to change anything. Every fiber of your being may despise it, but you have to accept it, put it behind you, and move forward. Only then can we start “building the new”. Once you stop dwelling on the past and focus on the new, you will find new energy, a new attitude, and reignite your passion for life. I know that ya’ll can do this. For some it comes naturally; for others like myself, it takes intention, practice, and persistence. But I can tell you from experience, that once you rewire your thinking, the frustration level drops significantly and you will see things in a different light. It is yet one more tool to add to your Warrior toolbox. Go forth, Mamas, and continue doing the amazing things that you do each and every day!


2018.12.01 (Ashley Carlisle Ledford)

Good Morning, Mamas,
My wish for you today is that you have the opportunity to rest(even if it’s just a little), reflect on anything that may be troubling your soul, and restore whatever missing piece you need to feel grounded. I am heading into work this morning. It’s the first day of December, so let the reindeer games begin! Yesterday in the Gift Shoppe, I waited on several customers who were trying to get their Christmas shopping done, yet it was obvious they were struggling with adversity in their lives. A genuine smile, a listening ear, and a kind word, has the ability to allow those individuals a few moments when they feel cared about and understood. Even if it’s just a few moments for them to drop the facade and feel the emotions; it can truly be cathartic for them. They realize that they aren’t alone and there are people who care in this chaotic world we live in.

This same type of scenario is what all of you do daily…here at MMN and in your personal lives. Never forget the significance of even the smallest gesture, like a smile, to generate positivity and healing. And it doesn’t cost a single dime to make that impact. Sometimes the greatest gifts come in the smallest packages. Go forth, Warrior Mamas, and continue making the immeasurable difference you make each and every day!


2018.11.30 (Ashley Carlisle Ledford)

Happy Friday to all of my favorite Mamas! It’s time to start a new day and with that comes the opportunity to wipe the slate clean. We all have many different responsibilities pulling us in so many directions, day in and day out. This isn’t necessarily a problem; responsibilities can be positive and rewarding. The point is, however, that even when everything is going great, we still need to take a moment, clear our minds, and focus or refocus if needed. It’s coincidental that I had already chosen this quote, when I watched the video that Cynthia Valenta posted in the Local Chapter Leaders group, this evening for us on the East Coast and afternoon for you Central and West coast dwellers. It explains the same ideas and philosophy about leaders in general. It is exactly what our leader, Geriann Hanley Wiesbrook, strives to do for all of us. She tries to empower each of us, to live our lives in such a way, that we realize and maximize our respective capabilities. As a strong, caring, and influential leader, she knows that, “You don’t inspire your teammates by showing them how amazing you are. You inspire them by showing them how amazing they are.” Everyone she empowers, goes on to empower others. It’s like the ripple effect we have talked about before…the smallest of ripples just keeps getting bigger and bigger, as it encompasses all of the new energy and individual growth. It’s pretty phenomenal when you think about it. As we continue to watch the transformation in each other, it pushes all of us out of our comfort zones. But then that is where we make the most progress. Can it be scary? UH, HUH. Is there a chance we will fail? UH, HUH. Does it diminish your goal and/or your attempt? NO! Is there a chance you will be wildly successful? YES! And regardless of the end result, you have us, your mega-family, who will be here to give you courage, encouragement, and congratulations. Putting yourself “out there” is half the battle. Many, many succesful people failed not once, but multiple times before they got it just right. Perseverance is the key. And as Military Mamas, we certainly know a thing or two about perseverance. That is part of what makes each of you a Warrior. You know how to persevere, just like the Warriors you raised. Keep moving forward, because you are doing a great job just by being here. You can do absolutely anything you set your mind to…and then some. Ya’ll are amazing every single day just by showing up. Thanks for being you!


2018.11.27 (Ashley Carlisle Ledford)

Good Morning, Mamas,
I trust that everyone made it through Monday and now we begin Day 2 of our week. In this group or family, as we call ourselves, there is always a wide range of emotions and circumstances that we deal with daily. We deal with grief, sadness, anger, happiness, excitement, and frustration, just to name a few. I know one of the reasons I turn to MMN when “crazy” seems to be the word of the day, is because ya’ll will give me support, advice, and encouragement. We have so many role models within our group. Mamas that have endured the worst of the worst, and yet still carry on with grace and a tender heart. “Your greatest gift will be the example You become for Others.” Whenever my situation feels overwhelming, I simply come to our group and start reading. When you see what others are experiencing, while continuing to lift other Mamas, you can’t help but feel empowered and stronger. We have so many extraordinary Mamas here, who do set the example and raise the bar for us all. It gives us something to strive for as we grow along this journey. Never forget how important your role is in our group. Everyone contributes something that the rest of us can learn from; so hold your head high, remember not only can you learn, but you can also be a mentor, a trail blazer, and an example for everyone else. Have a great day, Warriors!


2018.11.26 (Ashley Carlisle Ledford)

Good morning Mamas! I hope with all my heart, that each of you had the chance to make happy memories with those you love and also had some time to relax this Thanksgiving weekend. Hold onto those memories as you say your goodbyes, and head back to your regularly scheduled life today. I pray all our fellow Mamas being covered in snow are safe, including our amazing leader Geriann Hanley Wiesbrook.

I read so many happy posts over the holiday weekend that made me cry happy tears for the Mamas and their heroes. The videos of heroes surprising their loved ones touch my heart deeply. I also read the opposite posts of families having to say “see you laters” and send their heroes back to their Military home, which also bring tears to my eyes. I am confident I am not the only Mama who feels this way reading the posts on MMN. We read posts from fellow Mamas looking for reassurance when they are worried, support when they are sad, strength when they are feeling scared, and hugs when feeling lonely. We jump in and help one another without hesitation, opening our hearts and sharing our deepest feelings. We do this knowing we probably will never actually meet the Mama who needs our support or is supporting us. However, the Mamas we meet on MMN understand how we feel more than the person right next to us everyday. It’s the commonality of being a Military Mama that brings us together and gives us the empathy and understanding of one another. We can relate to how a fellow Mama is feeling, better than any other person, as we walk the same path. Just like our heroes know their fellow heroes have their back, we too have each other’s back here. Like the pic below says ” There are some people who could hear you speak a thousand words, and still not understand you. And there are others who will understand you- without you even speaking a word”. This is one of the many, many blessings of MMN, the thousand of Mamas who understand you. What an incredible comfort and gift to us all to have each other who understands. Always know there is support and understanding here even if you don’t speak a word. We have each other’s backs. I hope each one of you has a wonderful day today!


2018.11.25 (Ashley Carlisle Ledford)

Good Morning, Warrior Family,
Today wraps up the last of what has been a long holiday weekend for many of you. Along with that comes precious new memories to cherish, the warmth and light brought in by the comfort of family, and new family photos used to add or update frames and photo albums. And finally, yes, it also involves the, “See ya laters” and the flood of emotions that come with them. That’s when each of you individually and all of you collectively, rise to the occasion. For we are family too, a sprawling huge family known as MMN, and we take care of each other. We understand each others’ roller coaster of emotions and the intensity of the feelings. You can pour out your heart and soul and know it won’t be brushed aside or trampled on…this family understands and has walked in your shoes. I am so grateful to be a part of this extended family. Sometimes our circumstances leave us feeling extremely challenged and mentally exhausted. Don’t ever lose hope, because those feelings will pass. Today’s quote says, “…all things can be mended. Not with time as they say, but with intention. So go. Love intentionally, extravagantly, unconditionally. The broken world waits in darkness for the light that is you.” YOU ARE THE LIGHT. I see it everyday in your posts, and your caring, inspirational words to each other. You make it happen instead of just waiting for it to happen. That is a gift that knows no boundaries. Today as you prepare to get back into your regular routine, remember these words and feel empowered by them, ” …the light that is you.” Thank you for bringing the light into my life. Be the Warriors that I know you to be and illuminate the dark.


2018.11.24 (Ashley Carlisle Ledford)

Good Morning, Warrior Mamas!!
How is everyone this Saturday? Yep, the countdown to Christmas is here and the race is on. There is no shortage of “to do” lists and they vary anywhere from your Christmas shopping list, to the Christmas card list, to the finish decorating list, what are we cooking list, the grocery list…oh my, this looks just a bit overwhelming.
πŸ˜’πŸ€” So, let’s just take a deep breath, slow down, and focus.πŸ§˜β€β™€οΈ Do all of the things I listed above, have to be perfect? Will the Christmas season completely fall apart, if I don’t get it all done? I will give you a subtle hint, “NO”! Going back to my days in the world of ballet, today’s quote is by a famous choreographer, Martha Graham. She says, “Nobody cares if you can’t dance well. Just get up and dance. Great dancers are not great because of their technique, they are great because of their passion.” Use this as an analogy for everything you do. When we are passionate about something, we give it the most time and attention, and our passion continues driving us forward. All of us here do that for our MMN family. We don’t have to be the best at everything, because our emotions, drive, and passion propel us forward, and it’s contagious. Think back on the times you have seen someone doing what they love, and you thought or said aloud, “Great job! You are an inspiration to us all.” Was it because of the skill level, or the passion and enthusiasm you could see and feel? My guess is that you were motivated by their willingness to put themselves “out there” and give it their all. We feel a tremendous respect for that person. We can all do this; just get out there and try. Feel secure in knowing that you have an army of Mamas ready to help you see and believe in the wonderful, powerful, inspirational “YOU”!❀ Go conquer something today, Warriors. πŸ’ͺ You never know how many others you might inspire, just by being yourself.


2018.11.18 (Ashley Carlisle Ledford)

Good morning to all of my extended Family Members!😍
I hope each of you is starting your day knowing you are good enough, you are worthy, you are amazing, and you make a difference in peoples’ lives every single day. Whew! That’s a lot to take in, but let it sink in. (more caffeine allowed if needed). My quote today is from the Wild Women Sisterhood Facebook page. I love this, “more alike than different, connected in the circle of life, women, mothers, daughters, sisters and friends standing tall together”. This is so true, because we are different, but in so many ways we are so much alike. This is what increases our ability to be empathetic to one another. Like I have written about before, our perspectives and life experiences mold our everchanging, even if subtle, outlook on the world around us. As Military Mamas, there are certain things that we all go through…the events that truly bind our hearts and souls together. The things that elicit the “Me Too” and the “Yes!” responses. Receiving that type of validation and understanding is often what gets us through the toughest of times. We do stand together. We catch each other and help get you back upright if you fall. We want to see each other succeed and thrive in this often daily chaos filled wave of emotions and change. We also want the same results for our family and loved ones. Being a super-sized group, means that there is always someone who can relate and guide us. So I am more than grateful to be a part of this awesome family. You make it that way; so feel good about your contributions. Have a peaceful Sunday, and take some time to recharge as we transition into a new week. May today’s Warrioring( I think I made that word up) begin! Congratulations, on slaying another week!


2018.11.17 (Ashley Carlisle Ledford)

Happy Saturday, Everyone,
Guess what?? YOU MATTER-every single one of you matters!! Well, what exactly does that mean? Matter starts sounding like a strange word, once you repeat it a couple of times. One definition is “Be of importance, have significance.” Is that you? You’re darn skippy that’s you! When you read today’s quote by Angela Maiers, really let it sink in, because every word is true. Every member of our MMN family possesses these assets.
“You are enough. You have influence. You are a genius. You have a contribution to make. You have a gift that others need. You are the change. Your actions define your impact. You matter.” Don’t for one minute doubt you have these attributes. This list is indicative of the reasons you are here in this amazing group. Without these qualities, MMN would not be the force for spreading all of the Mama love that we currently spread each and every day. Do not ever let anyone cause you to feel inferior. You are Warriors! Embrace yourself and all of the good that you do. When you look at everything you accomplish daily, it’s pretty amazing. I hope you have a fantastical day! Go forth into the craziness of life and continue making a difference every single day!!
You got this. ,Warriors!!


2018.11.16 (Ashley Carlisle Ledford)

Good Morning, Warrior Mamas,
I can’t believe another week is almost behind us. Isn’t crazy that during the same “chunk” of time, the minutes and hours can pass in the blink of an eye; and yet those same minutes and hours can drag on and on, almost painfully? It’s all a matter of perspective. When we are trying to get our neverending “to do” list done, there is not enough time in the day. But when we are waiting for something we really want, like the return of our loved ones, time seems to almost stand still at every second that passes. We all view everything that happens from our own perspectives, which is why each of us can experience the same set of circumstances and feel differently about the outcome. Our perspectives are shaped by our life experiences and our beliefs. When we disagree with someone, it’s important to keep that in mind. It allows us to respect the individual’s different response, even if we disagree. This leads me to today’s quote, “Questioner: How do we treat others? Ramana Marharshi: There are no others.”
When I first read this, I was instantly intrigued by this manner of thinking. What if we all embraced this idea in the course of our daily lives? Within our Military Mama Network family, we do approach our actions this way. That’s probably one of the biggest reasons we feel safe here. The culture that
Geriann Hanley Wiesbrook started and continues to nurture, has no room for being mean or judgemental. Yes, we are all the same, and yet different at the same time. We respect each other’s opinions, while continuing to love, support, and encourage each other. Think about all of the posts we read daily that start out with, ” I can’t share this with anyone else or on my own page.” So they come to MMN knowing it is a safe place and they won’t be treated like some “other” type of person. We embrace each other with open minds and hearts, while sharing these ideals with the people we meet. That is something pretty remarkable and often may seem at odds with our current culture. But each time we live by and spread this way of thinking, we are opening someone else’s eyes. Try to keep this in mind during the course of your day, and see if you don’t view your daily interactions in a different light. Have a wonderful day, Mamas. Go forth and continue being the light in a too often dim world. You are Warriors!!


2018.11.13 (Ashley Carlisle Ledford)

Good Morning, Warrior Mamas,
How is everyone today? Wouldn’t it be wonderful if every morning we could all answer that question with a resounding, “Great!, Fantastic!, Better than Ever!” ?
πŸ˜ƒπŸ˜πŸ‘ We all know that a positive attitude, choosing to be happy each morning, and a dose of gratitude are the recommended best practices for providing those answers every single day. For those who have mastered this ability, I have nothing but respect and awe. Some of us keep practicing. There are days we have setbacks, but we keep forging ahead, determined to see the silver lining, regardless of the circumstances around us. The message I really want you to hear today as you read, is that on the days you are really struggling with this and feel like you failed…DON’T BEAT YOURSELF UP! You are still a caring, loving Mama, who is doing the best that you can. Nobody is perfect. BELIEVE IN YOURSELF! Love yourself and all of your quirks, weaknesses, and, yes, even the failures. Because that is how we learn. If we falter, we pick ourselves back up and try again. Where does MMN fit into this puzzle? We are blessed to have over 12,000 Mamas who are here to help us on the tough days. We lift each other by giving out words of encouragement, and get each other back on course. Sometimes all we need is for someone to listen and recognize that we are struggling. We validate each other’s feelings, and do whatever we can to get each other over the hump. There is nothing wrong with asking for help. We are here for each other. You are here for a reason. Some days you may sprinkle the “happy dust” on everyone, and on other days you may need a ginormous barrel or two of that dust poured on you.❀ Never give up. Believe in yourself. I believe in you. Go take on the day like the Warriors you are and if you can throw a little happy dust around…GO FOR IT!


2018.11.11

Good Morning, Beautiful Mamas,
Today is Veteran’s Day. A day when we honor all those who have served. As Military Mamas, Veteran’s Day has a huge significance for us. We know and have seen first hand the extent of how much Veterans have sacrificed and continue to sacrifice. Today, we will embrace our Veterans and remember all they gave to protect our Freedoms. There is no limit on how much we owe them, so the least we can do is honor them openly and passionately. As Military Mama Network, we strive to spread awareness regarding our Veterans and their needs. Thank you,
Sue Ellen, for everything you do to make that happen as our specialized advocate and educator. Today’s quote echoes my feelings regarding Freedom today and everyday. “May we think of freedom, not as the right to do as we please, but as the opportunity to do what is right.” And a special thanks to each of you, who either individually or with your local chapters took the time and/or are making the effort to do something out of the ordinary to show your respect. That’s who we are and what we do. Today let’s focus on our Veterans…those Warriors and Heroes who are so deserving of our upmost respect today and every single day. Have a wonderful Sunday, fellow Mamas!


2018.11.10 (Ashley Carlisle Ledford)

Good Morning, Warrior Sisters,
It’s Saturday, so I am guessing a lot of us will be running here, there, and yonder trying to finish our never ending “To Do” list. My day should prove to be very interesting. My best friend’s brand new daughter-in- law is having a bridal shower today. I was asked to take pictures…ok, no biggie, I always take pictures. So it was all good, until I was asked to take them with my “real camera”
😟. Yes, I have a real camera with special lenses, flash attachments, tripod, etc…, but I don’t know how to use it! Yikes!! Needless to say, this will be a true test of my abilities to “wing it”. Wish me luck; I will need it. Okay, sorry for the transgression and back to the task at hand. I love today’s quote❣ The last line says, “When one feels seen and appreciated in their own essence, one is instantly empowered.” Being loved and accepted for who you are, without feeling pressured to change, is like having a heavy weight lifted from your shoulders. We don’t all fit in the same box. We are unique in our own way. Everyone has their own perspective to share that can profoundly affect each other. Every single one of you is a true gift. Our group is made of thousands of individuals who share a common bond, yet we accept, support, and welcome the differences that each member brings with them. I believe that is one of the reasons that our group is so extraordinary and continues to grow and strengthen. Our leader, Geriann Hanley Wiesbrook, definitely wants us to transform into the greatest, truest versions of ourselves. Being Military Mamas is the common thread that brought us together, but acceptance, encouragement, and empowerment are just some of the reasons we stay. Keep forging ahead in your journey as a Military Mama. You are loved and accepted just for being yourselves. Don’t ever think otherwise. Now go out there beautiful Warriors and OWN THIS DAY, like only you πŸ‘‰ can do!


2018.11.09 (Ashley Carlisle Ledford)

Good Morning to all my favorite Military Mamas!!
It’s Friday (don’t forget to wear R.E.D.), and I want to give a huge “Shout Out” to every single one of you here with me! Today’s quote is short and sweet, yet it perfectly describes how I feel… “I thank you for your part in my journey”. And I really do thank each one of you
❣ What is my journey??? Well, that just all depends on when I am asked. Think about it; we are all on a journey. But that journey may be the story of your life including your ultimate goals or it might be the what, why, where, and how you are spending this morning or the rest of your day. I know for me, especially if I am overwhelmed with life, my journey might just be, how I am going to survive the day. We can plan our life’s journey, but there is no guarantee that it will evolve that way. It’s all subject to change in the blink of an eye. How we handle these changes or disruptions, regardless of whether they are good or bad, sets the tone for your morning, your day, or the rest of your life. Each one of you is a part of my journey. Your posts, your comments, your experiences are ALL part of my journey. I learn from you. I get advice from you. I get the “Me toos!” and the “Been there, done that” from you when I thought I was alone in my journey. And all of these things have a positive impact on me. Having a child in the Military has redefined my life, my feelings, and my expectations. From the day my Marine enlisted, my journey changed drastically. Thank goodness for MMN! Thank you again for your part in my journey. You are each amazing, strong, caring, determined Mamas. And while you get encouragement and support from our awesome group, you give it daily as well. It takes a village, right? I am so thankful to have you as a part of mine. Get out there today, live your journey and Warrior On!


2018.11.06 (Ashley Carlisle Ledford)

Happy Tuesday, my MMN family,
Whew, we survived Monday…the first Monday after turning our clocks back an hour. I don’t know about ya’ll, but I was ready to go to bed around 7 p.m.
😴 And wouldn’t it be nice if someone could explain the time change to our furbabies?? Mine know exactly when they get fed, morning and evening. Except for now they think morning is 5 a.m. and evening is 4:30 p.m., ughhh😲 They will adjust…about the time we change our clocks again🀣. This morning I want each of you to read the quote and let the last sentence really sink in, “…The once in a lifetime kind of people.” Ya’ll ARE those once in a lifetime type of people. You make each other “…see the sun where you once saw clouds. The people that believe in you so much, you start to believe in you too.” As Military Mamas we are different from the others; our perspective of the world and our Military is viewed through the eyes of our loved ones who serve. That fact alone creates a bond between us that we don’t have with others. We truly feel the celebrations, the worries, the complicated family issues, the pride, and the sadness that we all live with daily. Each of you plays such an important role in all of our lives, just by being here. We are welcomed, accepted, and encouraged from the day we join this wonderful family full of Warriors. You are those people…”the once in a lifetime kind of people.” So today, hold your head high, know you are uniquely gifted with big open hearts, and smile knowing that you always have family right here. Warrior on and have a great day, everyone!!


2018.11.04 (Ashley Carlisle Ledford)

How is everyone today? As always, I hope that you are having a great weekend. I hope you have had reasons to smile, laugh, and see light in a world that often seems dark. We are told and encouraged to be grateful everyday, if for no other reason, than to have the opportunity to see a new day. We are unique. We all cope with and handle things differently. For some, gratitude comes easily; for others, it is a daily challenge to train the mind to think and feel that way. Knowing something and actually putting it to practice are two totally different things. Why do we have groups whose main purpose is to support and encourage? Because life is hard and most of us need to be reminded occasionally, that we are not alone in our thoughts and emotions. I can’t begin to count the number of posts I have read (or even written myself), that start out with the question, ” How will I…”. As Military Mamas the last part of that question can be filled with as many responses as we have members. But then life goes on, and like the quote says, “There are all those moments you don’t think you will survive…and then you survive.” I truly believe that for so many of us, having thousands and thousands of Mamas to connect with, takes up a ginormous spot in our survival toolbox. Each new situation or phase of our loved ones’ journey in the Military can lead us to that same question again and again, “How will I survive…?” You will survive because we have each other, you are stronger than you ever realized, and you are Warriors. If you have a specific time you remember thinking, “How will I survive?”, and you received encouragement, comment below. Let’s tell each other how grateful we are for each member and this group as a whole. Your survival rate during tough times is pretty amazing and a true testimony to your strengths. Have a wonderful day, my extended family, and as always, WARRIOR ON!


2018.11.03 (Ashley Carlisle Ledford)

Good Morning, Military Mamas!!
Here we are on the first Saturday in November already. Tonight, in most of our states, we set our clocks back an hour for Daylight Savings Time. It’s hard to believe that Christmas is only 54 days away. It will be here in the blink of an eye. I imagine a lot of you feel like I do…how in the world am I going to get everything done that needs to be completed by then?? Or you may be emotional because Thanksgiving and/or Christmas are going to be very different this year, depending on your Military loved ones’ situation. Everyone has days, weeks, even months, when you feel like, “How will I get through this…how will I survive?” We will survive in part by relying on our network of extended family members here at MMN. We are incredibly blessed to have so many members ready to help each other and be there for comfort, moral support, advice, etc…and NOBODY else understands us like another Military Mom does!!! We manage to survive situations that we never before thought were possible. “Strength doesn’t come from what you can do. It comes from overcoming the things you once thought you couldn’t.” , quoted by Rikki Rogers. We have members doing that every single day. We make huge impacts in each others’ lives. We gain strength and courage everytime we are faced with a new challenge. Without each other, and MMN, we would be lost so many times. Thank you for being my extended family and for pushing me to Be a Believer in Myself. You are all Awesome, my Warrior sisters! Have a terrific Saturday and as always, Warrior On!!


2018.10.30 (Ashley Carlisle Ledford)

Good Morning, to all my favorite Military Mamas!! I hope everyones’ Tuesday morning is off to a great start. If it’s not great yet, try some more caffeine, meditation, positive self talk, pretending until it feels real, or whatever works as the catalyst you need to get over that initial hump. I know some days are harder than others, but I have absolute faith in your abilities to get through anything thrown in your path. You can and you will conquer it. Today’s quote is pretty straightforward ( author unknown), “Here’s to those who inspire us and don’t even know it.” I want all of our members, my Warrior sisters, the behind the scenes heroes, those of you that may not post or comment a lot, to know that YOU, yes, YOU, Inspire Us, even if you don’t know it or no one has told you. By virtue of you being here, sitting on “ready” if we need help, maybe posting something if you really need encouragement, by commenting on someone else’s post, or just taking it all in until you feel comfortable sharing, you are inspiring others. You took the initial step of joining a very large and at times, a bit overwhelming group of Warrior Mamas. That action alone may encourage another Military Mama who is in need of some of the best Mama encouragement and advice, to join our amazing, constantly evolving, and growing group. So to all of our members, vocal or not, stand proud, be yourself, and thank you for being an inspiration to others. Go out, own this day, and Warrior On!!!


2018.10.28 (Ashley Carlisle Ledford)

Good Morning to all of our phenomenal Military Mamas!
Yep, it’s Sunday again, so we refuel and recharge to meet whatever new challenges come our way. We never know what the new week will bring; heck, we never know what the new day will bring. But that takes us to today’s quote that begins with, “The world needs strong women.” Well, guess what?? The world is getting strong women and our MMN family just happens to be one huge group filled with them. They are YOU! Every single one of you is a strong woman: “We lift and build others.” We love and allow ourselves to be loved. “…Women who live bravely, both tender and fierce. Women of indomitable will.” You can’t survive this Military life if your aren’t strong. Sure, we all have days that we don’t feel very strong. That is perfectly normal. That’s why we love and allow ourselves to be loved. Some days we need a lot of support to get through, and other days, we are the champs of giving support. That’s how it’s supposed to work, especially when you are surrounded by amazing Warriors like yourselves. We are such a small piece of the population, yet our children are the heroes of this nation. That’s a pretty big deal and nothing that is truly worth having comes without a cost. That cost is tragically at times, at the expense of our families. And yet you are still here…you are “women of indomitable will.” Indomitable is defined as impossible to subdue or defeat. That’s an incredibly powerful word. And that word describes the very essence of our group, as well as each and every one of you individually. How do I know that you may ask? I know it because YOU ARE HERE. You have taken on the role of being there for all of our members and our families. You have been there for families you have never met or heard of, but yet they still belong to this extended Military family. I love what
Tina Beecham said the other day in response to a post. She said something to the effect that not only do our children never leave a brother or sister behind, but we never leave another Mama behind. What a wonderful way to describe a huge part of what we do! So let that sink in, recognize how remarkable you are, and keep Warrioring On!


2018.10.27 (Ashley Carlisle Ledford)

Happy, Happy, Saturday, Mamas,
How is everyone today? I am at work where we are hosting an event called Hallopalooza. That means I will be wearing a Unicorn wig with a big horn on the top, looking totally ridiculous all day. But we will have 8 or 9 games set up outside along with face painting, hopscotch, hot dogs, and candy galore for hundreds of young children to come racing through as many times as they can or until Mom says it’s time to leave. Looking at today’s quote, I think back to all the gabillion holiday events, football games, cheer competitions, choir performances, band exhibitions, track meets, birthday parties, etc…( I am sure you have the idea), that I and I imagine MOST of you drove your children to daily. We laughed about it, called ourselves taxi services, swapped stories with the other Mamas, found carpools, and sometimes some of us may have been just a teeny weeny bit excited if something got cancelled.(sshhh
🀫) But as the quote says, “Moms are as relentless as the tides. They just don’t drive us to practice, they drive us to greatness.” Think about that for a minute. We Mamas drive our children to greatness. That’s HUGE!! I tell ya’ll all the time that you are Warriors. Look at everything you did, sacrificed, and still sacrifice along the way to raise a hero…to greatness and beyond…to be part of the .5 percent of our population who serves in our Military to protect all of us and our freedoms. That’s a pretty big deal, not just for our families, but for our entire Nation and other places in the world. Don’t ever doubt the profound impact you made on your sons and daughters lives. That’s what pulls us together as MMN. We all have that in common and many days, we desperately need the encouragement, support, advice, or just a listening ear to calm, cheer up, educate, acknowledge, and/or validate our feelings. We are relentless. We are Mama Bears. We are Warriors who helped create more Warriors, our children. Never minimize the overall impact you have made directly or indirectly on this rollercoaster ride of life. Go forth and slay everything you are dealing with or working on; even if that means just getting out of bed today. You can slay something bigger tomorrow. Take care of yourselves, always. You are the backbone of so many types of greatness ! Be proud of yourselves everyday.


2018.10.26 (Ashley Carlisle Ledford)

Happy Friday, Mamas!
I hope everyone is feeling awesome this morning as you are putting on your R.E.D. shirt, Remembering our Fallen, and starting another day representing Military Mamas everywhere. MMN is an amazing entity of Mamas, continuing to evolve as our group grows larger each and every day. We are learning and perfecting how to have the most powerful and far reaching positive impact, how to live this Military life with as much grace as possible, how to let our babies be the Heroes they have become, and how to take care of ourselves and each other, throughout this seemingly at times, relentless task. And all of this is in addition to just being a Mama, “A Real Mom”, as the quote refers to today. I think I may have posted this quote before, but it us definitely worth repeating. Read what it says. This quote describes every single one of you.
1)”Emotional, yet the rock.”
2)”Tired but keeps going.”
3)”Worried, but full of hope.”
4)”Impatient, yet patient.”
5)”Overwhelmed, but never quits.”
6)”Amazing, even though doubted.”
7)”Wonderful, even in the chaos.”
8)”Life changer, every single day.”
Are all of us pros at every single one of these characteristics? Honestly, probably not…we all have our stengths and weaknesses. That’s why being this huge cohesive group is one of our strongest assets. We all contribute and build on each others’ strengths and help each other with the weaknesses. Noone is great at EVERYTHING. That’s unrealistic, so DO NOT look at this list and feel any less than the phenomenal Mama that you are; even if you struggle in some of these areas. That’s the beauty of our Military family. Where one of us falls short, there are hundreds of others ready to step in, handle it, and teach by example. We are always here for each other, we understand each other, and we will do everything possible to ensure another Mama and her family are surviving the current challenge. You are brave, beautiful, loving, Mamas, who deserve the best. Never forget that as you head out into the world and Warrior On!


2018.10.22 (Ashley Carlisle Ledford)

Happy Monday, Warrior Mamas,
Today we start a new week. Yep, that means it’s Monday. I know I am late this morning and I apologize. Janelle and I switched who was writing today and tomorrow, so today is my responsibility…And I am late. But this morning, I couldn’t think of anything that seemed just right. So today is a perfect example of my own self sabotage by overthinking and telling myself that whatever I wrote wouldn’t be good enough. I am guilty as charged of doing the very things we try to encourage others not to do. Can I blame it on Monday? Nope, it was all me. Should I punish myself all day, because I faltered? Okay, this is what we are learning and practicing. The correct answer is “No”. Will I worry about it? Probably, but aren’t we learning to be Warriors, not Worriers? So I definitely need to take some of the advice I give to others for myself. When I was young, I loved Pippi Longstocking, her fearlessness, her positivity, and her red braids that stuck straight out from the sides of her head. She would try to do anything that came to her mind. I loved her self confidence and complete freedom from any self imposed restraints. Like she said in this quote, ” I have never tried that before, so I think I should definitely be able to do that.” We should all try to think more like Pippi ( even if she isn’t a real person). In my mind she was real as I immersed myself and my imagination into her books. If we need a little boost of confidence, we can always come here, to MMN, where there are thousands of us to encourage each other, share stories, and give us that little nudge we need sometimes. For that I am so very thankful. Have a great day, everyone! I will take some of my own advice this morning by seizing the day, not giving up, and most definitely by being a Warrior! Who else is with me? Today and everyday,
you got this !


2018.10.21 (Ashley Carlisle Ledford)

Good Morning, Mamas!!
Sunday is already here…some weekends it really does seem like it appears in the blink of an eye. Then I think, where did Saturday go? And of course when I look back at the weekend, I remind myself of everything I have done since Friday night. Good grief, no wonder it’s already Sunday. We all stay so busy whether it’s taking care of the family, helping a friend, going to work, exercising, cooking, pursuing a dream, worrying (yes, we need to work on doing less of that), focusing on a hobby, and the list goes on…See, I told you that you are AMAZING WARRIORS!!
πŸ’ͺπŸ’ͺ But amidst the craziness, the survival, and the leaps of faith, remember this, “A smile is the most beautiful curve on a woman’s body.” The great thing about smiles is they don’t cost any money, or take up time in the day, and in general they typically make at least two people feel better, yourself and the receiver of the smile. In some situations, our smile affects a large group of people at one time and the response is pretty much a guaranteed positive one.πŸ˜€ Another plus regarding smiles, is that we don’t have to do any extra workout or dieting to maintain that curve and it doesn’t deteriorate with age. It’s there for you to use 24/7, 365 a year. Remember this today and as we start our new week tomorrow. Smile, smile, smile, and then smile some more. It truly is your most beautiful curve and if nothing else be a Smile Warrior as you head out today to finish out your weekend. If you are feeling a bit adventurous, post a picture of smiling in the comments. You will be making a positive impact on thousands of people today, just by doing that one thing. Have a great day, Warriors!!! Say, cheese!!



2018.10.20 (Ashley Carlisle Ledford)

Good Morning, Warrior Mamas,
Today’s post is about an area of our lives that I think a LOT of us struggle with on a regular basis. Why, I wonder? Why do we question and doubt ourselves so much, when it is so clear to everyone else, the beauty, kindness, strength, and determination we possess and demonstrate daily? We are all in this phenomenal group, not just because we need support and encouragement; because we all feel we have something to offer and we have many of the same core beliefs. Think about it…would we have 13,000 members and counting, if we were a group of inept, non- motivated women who were content to just sit on the sidelines and let life just happen? Absolutely not! WE are the reason (This is a perfect example of demonstrating self confidence. It is hard to include myself in this statement) that under
Geriann ‘s leadership, Military Mama Network and a Few Good Men is an example for others to emulate when they are starting a group or trying to expand. There is no reason in the world that we shouldn’t, “Let us LOVE ourselves so fiercely, that when others see us, they know exactly how it should be done.” I want to be that person. Will it be easy to change my mindset? No, it won’t, but the end result will be the greatest reward. And if my actions and/or words can help someone else learn to love themselves, then I definitely want to love myself that fiercely. Who else is coming with me on this journey? Have an awesome day, be the Warrior that you are, and go fearlessly into the world knowing you are and have accomplished far more than you ever thought possible.


2018.10.19 (Ashley Carlisle Ledford)

Good Friday Morning to all, my amazing Military Family,
Being here for each other and each others’ families is definitely the key.
The key that unlocks our hearts, minds, and souls, we may have locked up so tight,
Through this process, we share those feelings keeping us up all hours of the night.
The huge unknowns, the worries, the very real pain of missing our loved one(s),
Because we all “Get It”, for us, helping each other is easily done.
We definitely want to share the moments that make us all so very proud,
If we could hear each others’ cheers in person, I bet no others are quite as loud.
A wonderful band of Sisters we become, from everything that we share,
We will do all we can to help each other, everytime and everywhere.
Compared to the rest of the population, our numbers are actually really very small,
But the Military’s mission carried out is there to protect us, one and all.
For those who have never been a part of anything that is a strong force quite like this,
They can’t possibly understand the incredible bonds built from all that we miss.
But we have
#BlueMondays, #FallenFridays, #OCT , surviving deployments to name just a few,
None of these would be possible, if not for the unity and strength of each of you.
Extraordinary, committed, and driven are just some of the words to describe,
Our Military Mama Network that I am proud to call My Tribe.
A.C.L./ 10.19.18

Happy Friday, Warriors! Have a great day!



2018.10.16 (Ashley Carlisle Ledford)

Happy Tuesday, Warrior Sisters!
If you are here, then you survived Monday, and that’s a BIG step in the right direction. Maybe you had a wondermous (<–made up word ) day and how great is that feeling?!! Perhaps your day was slightly less than wondermous, but you made it through, and that is the most important part. We are Mamas, grandmas, daughters, sisters, aunts, cousins, friends, Veterans, and mentors, just to name a few… We do live different lives, because we have family members in the Military. We don’t take our freedoms for granted, because we have seen, sacrificed, and lived through what it takes to have those freedoms. We feel, not just listen to, recite, or watch the Pledge of Allegiance, the raising of our Flag, the National Anthem, and everything that embodies those freedoms. Watching the news can be heartbreaking and unbearable. We see everything differently from those who have never been in our shoes. That’s not their fault, it is just a fact. But all of that is what brings us together into this tightly woven, impenetrable group known as MMN and a Few Good Men. We are here for each other and each other’s families, while continuing to evolve and grow in our ability to impact others. We are a combination of strength, confidence, empathy, inspiration, and leadership as well as fear, doubt, moments of weakness, and tears. Today’s quote is the perfect description of us as a group. Adrienne Rich said, “There must be those among whom we can sit down and weep, and still be counted as warriors.” We ARE “…those among we can sit down…”. We can come here and ask for help, weep, vent, struggle, and not be judged. We will still consider you a Warrior and then some! That is just one of the many reasons I feel so grateful to have all of you in my life. Thank you MMN Warriors for sharing your lives with me and allowing me to share mine. You are my Warrior Sisters, so go out there today and own it!


2018.10.14 (Ashley Carlisle Ledford)

Good Morning, Warrior Sisters,
Today is slow down Sunday; meaning I hope you have some moments of peace today. They may be quiet moments or loud moments filled with family and activities. The important thing is that you have the opportunity to refill your heart and soul to the level you need to start a new week feeling hopeful, optimistic and full of purpose. If I asked each one of you individually, what it takes, I might get 13,000 different responses. Is that a bad thing? Heck no! All of our different beliefs, future plans, current coping mechanisms, etc…make us the Military Mama Network we are today. If we all thought, did, and believed everything the same way, there would be no catalyst for new ideas or change. We would remain stagnant and cease to progress as the dynamic group we are currently. Like today’s picture exemplifies, we all see things differently, from our own perspectives. We are born with certain attributes, and then we are molded by our life experiences. Look at the two dogs. They both just walked the same path, however, if we were able to ask them about the walk, I am guessing that we would hear two vastly different descriptions. I imagine it was much more difficult for the small dog to cross through the mud and the taller dog probably thought nothing of it. The important thing is this is applicable to everything we encounter in life. We all see and experiences things differently. That doesn’t make any of us wrong, right, or better than anyone else. It means we are unique individuals and we should welcome, embrace, and try to understand all different point of views. So when one Mama handles a situation so effortlessly and another is barely getting by, while dealing with the same situation, remember this about each other, “We all go through the same stuff differently.” And in our MMN group, we have each other who possess countless, priceless ways of making it through the tough times. Have a wonderful Sunday, Warriors, and be roud of yourselves as individuals!! I love my Military Family.
You got this!!


2018.10.13 (Ashley Carlisle Ledford)

Happy Saturday, Everyone! We all know that our hard charging, loved and respected leader, Geriann, is back from her “once in a lifetime” opportunity at the FB conference. Our group was one of the chosen few… only 115 were picked out of 6,000 entries. This is the “Big One”…the one that most of our members can identify with when we say, “We got the grant!” As I read today’s quote, it was one of those lightbulb moments when I immediately thought, my gosh, this could have been written about Geriann. And we are the group we are today, because of her vision, dreams, goals, tenacity, ability to lead, and unwillingness to let anything get in her way or stop her. Military Mama Network has grown so quickly in numbers and in the areas and/or people we impact. Geriann, the Board, the Admins, the Chapter Leaders, the Moderators, Special Project/Team Leaders, along with each and every one of you, made this happen. Think about that for a minute; this isn’t just national, it’s global (meaning other countries are involved). Talk about being Warriors and giving everything you can for the cause…that’s who we are and will continue to be. Part of the quote says, “…She can feel it down to her very core-this is her time. She will not only climb mountains- she will move them too.” Isn’t that exactly what we talk about doing? At the risk of sounding cliche, “It takes a village.” Indeed it does and we are the village. Geriann is incredibly strong, but she does need our village to maximize MMN’s ability to impact others. As she continues to lead us and make us stronger, we can see on a daily basis the impact we have on each other and all of our Military loved ones. This is, “Her Time”, which in turn means it’s our time to keep following her lead. We will continue supporting, encouraging, educating, promoting awareness, and providing funds for transportation, places to stay, basic necessities, and safe areas, just to name a few of the goals we work on daily. I am very proud to be part of this group with all of it’s extraordinary members, and of course our leader, Geriann, who is the ginormous bottle of glue that keeps us all together as “One”. Have a fantastical day, Warriors!


2018.10.12 (Ashley Carlisle Ledford)

How is everyone today? I know we have members who were affected by the destructive Hurricane Michael, meanwhile, some of you probably hadn’t recovered from Hurricane Florence. My thoughts are with you today as many are still assessing the damage. And today we also wear our R.E.D. and Remember our Fallen. That’s a lot to think about already, and I am sure you have other things/issues to deal with and handle today. Well, I have good news for you! Each of you is a Strong Woman (remember, you are Warriors), and today’s quote says, “Strong women stand together when things are rough, hold each other up when they need support, and laugh together when there’s no reason to.” So we are ALL together in this messy, at times crazy thing we call life. Where else are you going to find 13,000 plus women to stand beside you and help hold you up when the hits keep coming? We are all here to be that Strong Woman for each other. Sometimes you will be the one who needs us and other times you will be that Strong Woman supporting others. There is strength in numbers and we definitely have the ability to accomplish this need everyday. I love the last line where it says we laugh together, even if there is no reason to. That’s when we can relax and share something funny or even just enjoy the company of all of our Mamas. I believe that’s why so often on our “Live Talks”, we sometimes wander off topic. Because that is our opportunity to connect in real time with each other and we can say or ask things that get immediate responses. We are having a conversation and we get to chime in, back and forth with each other. Remember the old saying, “Laughter is the best medicine.” How sweet and true that is…even if we can just put a smile on someone’s face. It is like putting medicine on a wound. So as you are out there being your awesome Warrior selves, see how many smiles you can give away today. They don’t cost a thing and they have the ability to completely turn someone’s day around. Go forth Strong Women Warriors and have the best day ever!!!


2018.10.9 (Ashley Carlisle Ledford)

Happy, Happy, Tuesday, Everyone!!
I trust we all survived our Mondays or we wouldn’t be here reading this morning. How many of you are ever hard on yourselves? How many of you find yourself saying or thinking things like, “I am not as strong, or as pretty, or as smart, or as skinny, as all of these other women I know?” The list can go on and on. I know I am guilty, without a doubt, of thinking and saying these things to and about myself. One of many things I have learned is that when we constantly criticize ourselves, it becomes a self fulfilling prophecy. And it is one heck of a cycle to break if you have been on that merry-go- round. But the good news is that we can get off and start over in a positive way. Is it easy? Heck no! Is is worth it? Absolutely! I sort of picture myself flinging my body off that merry-go-round. It won’t be graceful. I’ll eat some dirt as I roll to a stop. And, yes, it will be a sight to behold…and I’m sure SOMEONE will be nearby recording it on their phone, just waiting to post it on YouTube or FB. (the world we live in
😁) Part of today’s quote says, “…For the Warrior within hears your words and is lessened by them.” We have already established that everyone here is a Warrior, so why would we want to do anything to diminish those traits? We don’t do it on purpose…setting out to diminish the Warrior mindset. It can happen all at once when we experience a failure or the feelings can slowly build up over time. The important thing is to recognize it when it happens and then fight with all you have to change it. We are Military Mamas who have made it this far, so that should tell you something. We joined this group for support and encouragement. We give it and we receive it. Just by doing that demonstrates our Warrior mindsets. We want to contribute and be bigger and better than we can as individuals. When we read about a Mama who is struggling and doubting herself, we all try to get her off that merry-go-round, one way or another. And our amazing MMN is pretty dang good at bringing our lost souls back into the fold. Then we must practice over and over saying and thinking positive thoughts to and about ourselves. We will not lose our Warrior status. Give yourself the encouragement and pep talk, just as you would to another member. You are amazing, loving, giving, exceptionally strong women. Keep telling yourself that today. Practice affirming your wonderful qualities and go conquer this day as the Warriors you are!


2018.10.6 (Ashley Carlisle Ledford)

Good Morning, Sunshines! Yep, I am talking about all of you wonderful Military Mamas, who fit into MMN like the pieces of a puzzle. Everyone has their own individual space where you connect perfectly with all of our other pieces. We are one ginormous group, where every individual has her own niche. Be proud of your place in the puzzle…OWN IT…and keep in mind that without you, we would be missing a piece. And it’s extremely difficult, if not impossible to look at the empty space and feel complete. We need all of our pieces and parts. So, yes, I am speaking to all of you. I believe in this quote by Winston Churchill and I also believe we actively live this philosophy. “We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.” How many of you feel this way? I know for me personally, that nothing makes me feel more accomplished than being able to give to others. What we give is irrelevant. It can be encouragement, strength, love, money, items, time, acknowledgement, etc…Everything we give serves a valuable, even priceless, purpose. And if you are reading this post, then identify yourself as a “giver”, because it means you are here with us and that’s what we do…give of ourselves, each and every day. Warriors, we are living, but we are also making a life with everything that we have to give. Feel proud of what you do; no good deed is too small or inconsequential. It’s just like the puzzle analogy. Just as you fit perfectly into your place, the things you give fulfill a need that is just waiting on you. Have a great day everyone!! I am so happy to be part of this family.


2018.10.4 (Janelle Swenson France)

Good morning Mamas! I hope each of you is doing awesome today 😊 I can relate completely to the quote I posted today. We spend too much time wrapped up in an idea of what we think life or people should be like. We have an image in our mind of how things should be, or how people will act, or how things will turn out. Sometimes we get let down, as life is full of curve balls, and people are human. It’s how we react to the disappointment that counts. I wish I could somedays have the “Hollywood” scripted family life, that is always happy and never struggles financially and everyday is sunny and warm. But, that’s not really life. Real quality life involves struggle, and pain and sadness. Through those things comes growth, strength and wisdom. We need the struggles to become stronger and smarter. We need to fail to learn the lesson. We need to fall and pick ourselves back up. Without the rain, we don’t appreciate the sun. So, like the image below says “life may not be the party we hoped for. But while we’re here we should dance”. Look for a positive in every situation, laugh when you want to cry, but let yourself cry a bit too sometimes, don’t be afraid to make the changes needed to make yourself happy. Only you can do this Mamas, and I have faith in each of you that you can. You are the strongest, smartest, most compassionate people I have the privilege of knowing. So, get up and dance 😊😊 Have a wonderful day Mamas!


2018.10.3 (Janelle Swenson France)

Good morning Mamas! How is everyone this fine Wednesday morning? We all have a fire in us, something we have a passion for or feel strongly about. For Geriann Hanley Wiesbrook, it’s very obvious what her passions are…MMN and supporting our military members and women everywhere. You see the fire she has in her through all she does and how she does it. Ashley Carlisle Ledford has a real passion she emanates for helping others, you read the Morning Mail posts she does and you can feel the passion and drive she has. What is your passion or fire that burns inside? What drives you? No matter what the passion is, you have the spark to ignite that fire. Nobody else holds that for you. Sometimes it’s fear of failure that holds us back. Other times we may not know where to feed our passion. However, everything you need to spark that fire…is in YOU. You have what it takes, you are good enough and you are smart enough. You WILL make a difference. Look inside yourself and find that fire, then ignite it. You have the ability to move mountains Mamas, but we have to start pushing first. So, find your fire and feed that flame. Let it burn bright and hot, and keep feeding it. Let yourself be proud of all the amazing things that you can accomplish once your fire is burning. You have all the tools inside of YOU. Don’t wait for anyone else to spark your fire…YOU got this Mamas! I hope each of you has a wonderful day!


2018.10.2 (Ashley Carlisle Ledford)

Happy Tuesday, Mamas!!
I love today’s post from Elizabeth Gilbert, because it is so true. All of you are superheroes, whether you recognize it or not.
β€πŸ‡ΊπŸ‡Έ Starting with the day my son (in high school at that time)called me and asked me to meet him at the Marine Recruiting Office, I knew life would never be quite the same. Not that there hadn’t already been some recent life altering events, like a divorce, early police retirement due to medical, and some significant health issues; this was entirely new territory. I had to accept that my son now belonged to the United States Military. He couldn’t make his own decisions about where to go or what to do. Our lives became learning about “Semper Gumby”, “Embrace the suck”, “Where is Waldo”, hurry up postman, please let that phone ring, 72’s, 96’s, MOS’s, just closing his bedroom door at the house, and constant uncertainty. Does any of this sound familiar??? I read your posts and I think to myself, “Wow! How did they survive all of that along with family crises, unexpected travel needs, unplanned expenses, and just everyday life curve balls. They handled it like Champs, Warriors, and Superheroes! Some of you may have needed answers to questions, reassurance, suggestions, or just a virtual shoulder to cry on. Guess what? That’s why we are here…you can come to our extended family and get all of the moral support, advice, and encouragement you may need. You have survived unthinkable losses, fought for specific changes, and lived through LOONNGG periods of time with no communication with your loved one. And you did it all with “strength and grace.” That doesn’t mean you didn’t need help occasionally, or a big messy, mascara running down your face cry; but you made it. You didn’t give up. You are still here with us. You are now stronger and better equipped to maneuver this wonderful, yet sometimes, oh, so frustrating life. You are a Superhero who can help guide all the new Mamas, and us old ones when we meet yet another new challenge. Thank you for being here and being part of our team of Warriors and Superheroes!! I know I would be lost without you on so many levels. Have a wonderful day!!! β€πŸ‡ΊπŸ‡ΈπŸ’ͺ You are a force to be reckoned with…don’t ever doubt that, my Warrior Family!!


2018.9.30 (Ashley Carlisle Ledford)

Good Morning, to all my favorite Mamas!! It’s Sunday, a day that for many, has wonderful family traditions connected with it. For some it’s Church, family meals, downtime with loved ones, and a chance to refuel. For others, it can mean having to say “See you later”, apprehension about the coming week, or even time to be more introspective, which, depending on your circumstances, can lead to self doubt and/or worry. Any and all of these feelings are perfectly normal and even expected. What I want to remind each one of you (my blanket fort roomiesπŸ™‚), you will get the reference if you read yesterday’s mail, is that there is no right or wrong way to feel. Don’t put pressure on yourself by thinking you are supposed to think and feel a certain way. Just like we have talked about so many times, we are each unique, with our own set of strengths and weaknesses. Being yourself and celebrating who you are is a gift you deserve. Don’t compare yourself to others. We need to be comfortable, confident, and willing to let our light shine, whether or not it’s different from everyone elses’. Each one of us brings our unique self and perspective to the group. That’s part of what makes us so dynamic and well rounded. It’s one of the reasons that we can pretty much always find someone to connect with in the group, when we most need it. Read today’s quote,
“Just because you are struggling does not mean you are failing.” Most of us struggle with something on a daily basis. That is not a weakness or failure. In fact, it’s just the opposite. Struggling means we are trying, fighting, and not giving up on ourselves. We ALL struggle, but the key is not giving up. ACCEPT that it is a part of peronal growth and allow ourselves to work through it. REMIND ourselves that approximately 16,000 plus Mamas have our backs. CELEBRATE our growth and determination. It doesn’t matter if we fall, as long as we get back up and keep going. Our group is the perfect place to be, because MMN is amazing, inspiring, empathetic, and understanding. Never feel like you owe an apology for needing each other. That is one of our purposes as a group. Keep fighting, loving, caring, sharing, and wanting to make a difference. That is our superpower, so keep this in mind as you once again, go forth and Warrior On!!! Hugs for all today and everyday.


2018.9.29 (Ashley Carlisle Ledford)

Good morning Warrior Sisters! I hope each of you is waking up this morning with something to look forward to this weekend. It can be as simple as, allowing yourself to actually sit and relax with that first (2nd, 3rd, or fourthβ˜•β˜•β˜•β˜•)cup of coffee or tea 😁; or as exciting as seeing your Military loved one after what seems like an eternity. I am willing to bet that regardless of what your plans are, the rest of us, “Get it.” We have been there, done that, or possibly preparing to do the same thing. Why is that? By being Military Mamas, we possess our special unique bond, that others can not completely understand. We are spread far and wide, but our lives are intricately bound together by the commonality of the Military. I think about all of the times, prior to my becoming a Military Mama, I heard others talking about their situations, but the words didn’t truly impact me…until I became a Military Mama myself. I wish I could have a “re-do” and listen to those Mamas and other loved ones, and say, “I get it” or “I understand completely.” Because now it is part of my identity…a force so strong that I would do anything within my power to assist another Military family. Today’s quote by an unknown author is, “If you want to know who your tribe is, speak your truth. Then see who sticks around. Those are the people who get a spot in your blanket fort.” Well, we better have one heck of a ginormous blanket, because MMN is my tribe and all of you have a spot in my blanket fort. ❀ You speak my language, you understand my feelings, and you share my experiences. How cool is that, to be a part of something that is so much bigger than we can ever imagine!! You are each so very special! Do not ever forget that, especially on a really difficult day. We are Family, we “get” each other, and I would venture to say, that we are the best group around when it comes to cyber hugs and long distance support. I can’t express in words, how grateful I am to be a part of this group of extraordinary women. Thank you blanket fort roomies.❀ Have a great day and continue to Warrior On!


2018.9.28 (Ashley Carlisle Ledford)

Sorry to be late today. We had a bad storm last night that knocked the power off, so I overslept.

Good Morning, Everyone,
Happy Friday to all that are off on the weekend! Ya’ll are probably doing the Friday morning happy dance.
πŸ’ƒπŸ˜For all who work the weekends, your dance may be slightly less animatedπŸ™„, but it’s Friday, so we wear our R.E.D., remember “Our Fallen”, and we are grateful to begin another day. We are Military Mamas and that sets us apart…we are a special breed. We carry on with our lives every single day, just like all of the other Mamas. We work, we clean house, we bake cookies, we are here for our friends, we multitask, we make mistakes, and we love and protect our families like fearless Mama Bears. But we also have to handle the thoughts and emotions that are always present, waiting to erupt. Maybe we heard something or maybe we haven’t heard anything, that causes those feelings to start bubbling up to the surface. And whatever one of us feels, we ALL feel! We are ecstatic over any good news and we all hurt when the news is bad. We have this little extra suitcase of knowledge and emotions that we always carry around, because we have a child or loved one in the Military. We are stronger, more resilient, more empathetic, and sometimes more terrified than other mamas. The quote today says, “She may look like a fragile flower, but her stem is made of steel.” Just like a flower, our leaves may wilt, some may fall off, and at times even appear lifeless. But then our family here at MMN gives us some water, a little fertilizer, a whole lot of tender loving care, and guess what?! Our leaves spread back out, they turn green again, and before we know it, we are flourishing again. Our stems are made of steel, and they hold us up when everything else appears to be falling. Each one of you has that stem of steel. Yes, we will go through times when our leaves begin to wilt, but we come drink from the well of MMN, and slowly, but surely, we blossom again. That process is only possible, because of each and every one of you. Be proud of what you accomplish daily, because you are amazing. And if you are the one wilting on any given day, there are about 16,000 of us pouring nourishment into that well. So drink as much as you need…we aren’t going to run out. That is why we are here…to be that nurturer, encourager, sounding board, and yes, even the thirsty flower. YOU HAVE STEMS OF STEEL! Have a great day and continue to Warrior On!


2018.9.26 (JanelleΒ  Swenson France)

Good morning Mamas! We made it to the halfway point of the week already! What an awesome week it has been. Our fearless leader secured an AMAZING grant with FB that changes MMN and all it can accomplish! Way to be amazing Geriann Hanley Wiesbrook! We also have had lots of positive posts from Mama’s on MMN about our heroes doing great things! My soldier graduates Basic Leadership Course today πŸ˜Šβ€πŸ‡ΊπŸ‡Έ Proud Mama moment here too. But behind all of these awesome events is the driving force, YOU! Like my quote below says, “Some women fear the fire, some women simply become it”. Each one of you IS the fire. You raised a hero, you brought your child up to have the morals and values it takes to become a hero. You have them the strength, courage, empathy, and dedication it takes to become a hero and serve this country. You then had the strength to send that hero off for training, and duty stations and deployments far from home. You held your self together to support them, while inside you wanted to fall apart with emotions. You became a slave to your phone, waiting and wishing for calls from your hero. You wore a path to your mailbox waiting anxiously for letters. You cried silent tears alone, as you felt nobody would understand your feelings. You carried on AS the days went by waiting for your hero to be home, if only for a day. You smiled through holidays, birthdays, weddings and family events, even though your heart aches for your family to be complete. We go through all these powerful emotions, but yet we carry on and support others. You give words of encouragement to other Mama’s who are struggling. You send packages to our deployed heroes so they may have a piece of home far away. You remember our past heroes with cards and letters. You rush in to help when others are in crisis, without a second of hesitation. That my fellow Mama’s, makes you the fire. You carry on and stay strong. You don’t fear the fire. You are an incredible piece to this puzzle of military life. When we come together, we make a beautiful and powerful masterpiece. You are special, strong, compassionate and courageous. As I tell my soldier, “Go do good things today”. Remember, you ARE the fire. Have a wonderful day!


2018.9.25 (Ashley Carlisle Ledford)

Happy Tuesday, Warrior Mamas!!
Whew! Monday is in the books and off we go to tackle Tuesday through Sunday. Most of you have probably seen or heard by now about the grant we received.
Geriann poured her heart, soul, energy, tears, and oodles of time into ensuring we had the best possible chance at being one of the chosen few. And all of it paid off in the end…WhooHoo!!! Military Mama Network now has opportunities to make magic happen in areas that we previously couldn’t. And it wasn’t for lack of trying; it was due to a lack of resources. Our Leader has a vision, and she is unstoppable when the going gets tough and the rubber meets the road. I thought today’s quote, from an unknown author, fit the purpose and the goals of this collaboration between FB and MMN perfectly.
“In a world of algorithms hashtags and followers, know the true importance of human connection.” That statement alone embodies the very essence of what Geriann and our leaders have worked so tirelessly to accomplish. The human connection is like the prize in the Cracker Jack box. You dig, sort, and nibble your way through, until you have that prize in your hand. Now we can nurture, build upon, and share this with the thousands of members, heroes and their families in a way that we never could before.
Congratulations Everyone!! If anyone doubted us before, look out world…HERE WE COME!!! Have a fantastical day, Warriors, and never forget who you are and the good you are spreading!


2018.9.24 (Janelle Swenson France)

Good morning Mamas! Happy Monday to all. I hope each of you found some time to relax and recharge over the weekend. We had some AMAZING news from our fearless leader Geriann yesterday! News that will transform MMN and make it even stronger and better than before. Head on over to the MMN page to read about it. I also read about many homecomings over the weekend and they always make my heart happy. I also am so, so touched at how the MMN came together to help a Mama get to Iowa to say goodbye to her hero son. Not only did the Iowa chapter get her there, but stayed with her for support. What an incredible group of women we have here. We are more than a group, we are family. Being part of MMN is truly an opportunity to change lives, your own included. We send a piece of home to our deployed soldiers in care packages and letters/cards. We send love and respect to our Vets. We send holiday cheer with Operation Christmas Train. We support each other and celebrate together with our posts on MMN FB page. We help others out in a crisis in a variety of ways depending on the need. What an incredible group to be a part of, a group that has changed my life. Keep being amazing Mamas! Keep changing lives for the better! I hope each of you has a wonderful day!


2018.9.23 (Ashley Carlisle Ledford)

Good Morning, Mamas!
Today is Sunday and we are preparing for a new week ahead. Keep this is mind regardless of what you are doing; “No one is you and that is your power.” As a group we are an amazing force, but who makes up our group…YOU! Each and every one of you is an individual force. You bring with you a unique set of talents, perspectives, and ideas. Without combining all of our strengths and differences, we wouldn’t be achieving all that we do. It is each of YOU, who make MMN a nationwide organization capable of making magic happen. If you haven’t realized it, we need every single one of you and your “power”, to continue being the group of Warriors we have become. Have a great day, everyone!


2018.9.22 (Ashley Carlisle Ledford)

Happy Saturday Everyone,
I hope each of you has a great day! I don’t know what your yesterday was like, but as the quote says, “Everyday is a new beginning. Take a deep breath, smile, and start again.” I think of it like a big chalkboard(my age is showing, I know
πŸ™ƒ);and every morning when we drink that first cup of coffee or tea, we can erase the board and start out with a big blank space that we can fill in for today. Sometimes life gets so messy, it is beyond overwhelming to keep referring back to or worrying about yesterday’s chalkboard. Sure there will be things that haven’t been completed yet, but look at what you have and prioritize, before making the new lists. Or even better, maybe it is time for a day off…leave that sucker blank for the day. There are usually at least a few things that can be moved over to a different day. And if you greet each morning with a deep breath and fresh eyes, you can often see things with so much clarity. I don’t know what today holds for you, but remember, we have the opportunity to start again. And you never know…yesterday’s messiness may be today’s greatest achievement! Take a deep breath, my Military Family and Warrior OnπŸ‡ΊπŸ‡ΈπŸ˜πŸ’ͺ You got this


2018.9.21 (Ashley Carlisle Ledford)

Happy (Don’t forget to wear R.E.D.)Friday, Mamas! I hope all is well in your little sliver of the world. When I read today’s quote, it was a “lightbulb” moment for me. I thought about the change of future life paths I have tossed around in my mind. Then I thought about all the times I told myself, that there just weren’t enough hours in the day, the week, etc…, so I just packed those different paths into the big suitcase called “Dreams”, and locked them up. Then I ran across this quote, “Never give up on a dream just because of the time it will take to accomplish it. The time will pass anyway.” When you look at it from that perspective, what do you have to lose? “THE TIME WILL PASS ANYWAY.” It’s so simple, yet so profound. If you have any unfulfilled dream(s), and I know how the barriers can pile up until they seem insurmountable; don’t just pack them all up yet. Sure, some of them may be out of reach for a multitude of other reasons, but don’t let time be one of those reasons. I know it still won’t necessarily be easy, but the things worth waiting for rarely are, right? Just keep it in mind. As an example, I am willing to bet some of our Chapter Leaders didn’t think they had enough time to pursue that avenue, but they did it anyway. And look at the contributions they have made to MMN, and the self-satisfaction and confidence they instilled in themselves. Never sell yourself short. You are Military Mamas and Warriors. That alone sets you apart from the crowd. Warrior On, my Military Familyβ€πŸ‡ΊπŸ‡ΈπŸ’ͺ Have a great day😍


2018.9.18 (Ashley Carlisle Ledford)

Good Morning to some of the bravest, most resilient Mamas I know,
As a member of this wonderful ginormous group, I read posts everyday that leave me in awe at the strength, internal peace, and determination that so many of you possess. Sometimes I find that I am comparing myself to one or more of you, getting caught up in the, “if you can do something or think a specific way, why can’t I ?” That’s a topic we have discussed before…don’t compare yourself or your life to others. It can leave you always feeling inadequate or not worthy. Noone should live their life feeling that way. We all possess strengths AND weaknesses. It’s one reason why in any organization, good leaders choose specific people for specific tasks, based on their strengths. It’s a win/win for the member/employee and the leader/organization. This doesn’t mean we stop learning or striving to do more, but it does mean we shouldn’t be so hard on ourselves. As today’s quote says, “There’s no need to be perfect to inspire others. Let people get inspired by how you deal with your imperfections.” That is how one lets the authentic “you” break through any facade you may have built. Others will respect you even more knowing that you struggle too. Admit your weaknesses or challenges, and then be the inspiration that others need so badly to get past their own perceived imperfections. Celebrate yourself!! Stand tall, walk proudly, and remember that you don’t have to be anywhere near perfect to be an inspiration to others…Just be yourself
❀πŸ’ͺπŸ‡ΊπŸ‡Έ
Alright Warriors, let’s take our imperfect selves and have a fantastical day!!


2018.9.16 (Ashley Carlisle Ledford)

Good morning, Mamas,
So here we are again on another Sunday, replenishing our hearts, souls, and minds, while preparing for the week ahead. Let me go ahead and clarify today’s quote, “attention is the rarest and purest form of generosity”. I know that there can be negative connotations connected to the idea that some individuals define themselves by seeking drama and attention. I am not addressing that type of “attention”, however, I will say that those individuals are probably hurting inside and have had their souls damaged in some way that we don’t understand. They may not understand it either. But getting back on topic, what type of attention am I describing? It encompasses a multitude of areas. For us here in MMN, we have members, their loved ones, all of the Military, and an entire host of specific causes and situations that need attention. When we give someone or something the attention it needs, we are being generous. We are giving our time, energy, thoughts, and even material things to those people or areas in need. In my interpretation, attention is a synonym for validation. And if we ignore someones’ life experience, feelings, or thoughts we are not validating them; instead we are in essence, reiterating to that person that they are not important enough to warrant attention. When someone gives you the gift of their “attention”, it validates your existence, your problems, and your place in this big, often scary world we live in. Why does Geriann utilize polls, surveys, as well as ask us for input and/or feedback? She wants to make sure that as a group, we are giving our attention to the people and areas who need it most. The more feedback we give her, the more accurately she can focus on our needs, individually as well as nationally. On a much smaller level, think how many times you have read a member’s post, who started out with “I know this isn’t really military related, but I don’t have anywhere or anyone that I can talk to about this.”? YOU, each one of you, make a difference in someone’s life. You are caring, empathetic, and generous. Whether you meander through your day or accomplish things with bullet like speed, remember you are all Warriors!! If you need anything, we are here for each other!
β€πŸ‡ΊπŸ‡ΈπŸ’ͺ Have an awesome day, Everyone!! πŸ˜€


2018.9.15 (Ashley Carlisle Ledford)

Happy Saturday, Mamas!
How is everyone today? My life has been consumed with the slowest moving Hurricane ever…Miss Florence. Today we are finally getting the wind and rain that we have been waiting on for about 7 days now. North Carolina Mamas, I hope the impact on you was minimal. Today’s quote, “Be the reason someone believes in the goodness of people.”, is especially applicable to what I have been dealing with this week, but it also embodies the spirit of what MMN does everyday. When someone is overwhelmed with their circumstances, feeling like there is no way out, and exhausted to the point of crying just because they don’t know what to do next, what an awesome feeling it is for the Giver and subsequently, the Receiver to rekindle the feeling that there is goodness in people. It gives them hope, and how else do we go on, if it’s not because of faith in something and hope. Realizing you have that ability is pretty darn empowering. And sometimes the action you take may be as small as typing those words of encouragement on someone’s post. Or it may be much bigger and we do a lot of that here: finding transportation for someone who is stranded, getting supplies out to people in need, sending care packages, showering them with cards, providing resources, and the list goes on… Everytime we do any one of those things, we are demonstrating and being an example to others of the goodness in people. Don’t ever forget how much you are doing and the impact you are having on others’ lives. Hold your head high and feel proud of all you do. And if it’s one of those days that you are the Receiver instead of the Giver, do not feel guilty or bad, it all comes back around full circle. And if you have been the Receiver, you will probably realize just how important your contribution is when you are the Giver. Carry on Mama Warriors and smile, because what you do every single day is helping the world become a better place for us all.


2018.9.14 (Ashley Carlisle Ledford)

Good Morning, Mamas!!
Here we are on Friday morning of what has been a long, worrisome week for many. Not only have we been dealing with all of the normal Military Mama unexpected, unknowns, and uncertainties that are part of our daily lives, but we have Hurricane Florence, who decided to visit. She is like an unwanted house guest who WILL NOT LEAVE! After a week of changing her mind hourly in regards to what path she will take, she has finally committed herself to wreaking havoc in several states. This whiplash causing homewrecker named Flo, affects a large number of our members. We have many children and other family who live and/or are stationed in her path. Some of us live in her path, and then there are the new paths she will make as she roars down the Eastern Coast. We have no control over what happens…this is one of the most challenging aspects to deal with, and that aspect is applicable to our daily lives. We have to learn to live and function in a world of uncertainty. Think about the questions we post. Most all of them are due to uncertainty about a certain event, procedure, decision, etc… And all of those uncertainties make for an immeasurable amount of stress, worry, and fear. That’s just one of the reasons we come to this page, so we can ask for support, empathy, encouragement, and answers. Thank goodness we do have each other to lean on and guide us, or sometimes just to be that little voice in the night that says, “I’m checking on you.” Just knowing someone is there helps give us courage when we start to falter. I know without a doubt that we will be checking on each other and posting updates. We will all be here to offer whatever we can to our MMN family. THANK YOU FOR BEING HERE FOR ME! I am not embarassed to admit, I am really scared…there are too many unknowns. So I am going to practice what the post says, “Inhale courage, exhale fear.” And there is also the quote that I need to tattoo on my arm, that says, “Be a Warrior, not a Worrier.” Can anyone else relate? I hope you all have a good day, a safe day, and remember we are all here for each other. Warrior on my Military Family!


2018.9.11 (Ashley Carlisle Ledford)

Good morning, Mamas,
Today I am filled with so many pieces of emotions… like a broken glass sending out little shards all over the floor. We are dealing with the intense emotions of remembering or in some cases probably re-living the anniversary of 9/11. Hurricane Florence has wreaked havoc with so many lives already without even reaching landfall. And it’s Military Mamas Network’s birthday today. Yeah! That’s a happy, fantastic thing to celebrate!
❀ Those are just three big events that I am thinking of at this moment. I know there are far more situations, issues, worries, celebrations, and tragedies occurring within our MMN family today. That’s why today I chose to post about empathy. We have to be empathetic to those we come into contact with everyday. Part of Audrey Hepburn’s quote says, “We have to feel for one another if we’re going to survive with dignity.” I absolutely believe this with my whole heart. And yes, there are times we are facing adversity and tragedy ourselves, but we still need to remember the other people surrounding us. As a group, I think we do an excellent job at this. We all have our own issues, fears, and circumstances to deal with, yet we are still here for each other. We make it a point to have empathy for what others are going through and do our best to help each other. When we lack empathy, any cohesiveness is stripped away. I don’t see that happen within our group, but unfortunately I see it occur all too often in the world we live in today. But we can make a difference and we are filled with Warriors who do make a difference. Every. Single. Day. We will survive with dignity. And we can set the example for others about living with an empathetic heart and soul. We can also raise our children to understand, feel, and realize the important role that empathy plays in our daily lives. We are blessed to have each other, when so many people have nobody. Today let’s walk proudly, knowing that we are doing our best to impact our world. Go forth, Warriors and let’s make it a priority today to show some empathy for others. Thank you for all of the times, you have been empathetic to my plight, while you were dealing with your own. We take care of each other and I love that about our extended Military Family.


2018.9.9 (Ashley Carlisle Ledford)

Hey there, my Military Family,
Yes, it’s Sunday, and if you are anything like me, you probably have a really long “To Do” list, because you didn’t do it yesterday. After 54 years, you would think I might have this figured out by now. But we all love a challenge, right??
πŸ™„ Today’s quote is a reminder of something we all have to do; some of us more than others, but that’s ok; “…you will get through whatever life is presenting you and be bolder, more resilient, and wiser on the other side.” I have no doubt that you can and you will. It doesn’t mean you can’t ask all 13,000 + of us, your family, friends, pets, whoever you need to use as a sounding board. The important thing is that you have someone, and being a member of MMN ensures that you have LOTS of someones. We do a great job of responding to members in crisis. Just last night, a Mama desperately needed some reassurance, and we had Mamas responding like crazy within seconds of her post. (81 comments in 2 1/2 hours.)That’s one of the things that makes us unique. We always have someone watching, reading, posting, and ready to help you get to the point where you do feel bolder, resilient, and wiser. And we can do it as often as you need to get to that point. Try to fit in some time today to relax or some time to do something just for yourself. All of you deserve it…REMEMBER THAT! Have an incredible day and be prepared for an even better Monday. I wish you the best, my Warrior Family!


2018.9.8 (Ashley Carlisle Ledford)

Good Morning, Mamas! How is everyone on this Saturday morning? I hope you have something fun planned or if not having to do anything is your plan, I totally get that too. Most importantly, during the course of the day, I want youπŸ‘‰ to SMILE πŸ™‚πŸ˜„πŸ˜πŸ€ͺ!! When you smile, you automatically feel better or if you were already feeling great, then your smile affirms it. And smiles are contagious…a good kind of contagious! Think about a time when you have been in a group setting and not a single person is smiling. It’s not a very good feeling. But all it takes it one person to smile and others start smiling back at them, and soon everyone has a smile. At that point, the mood completely shifts. You find yourself more at ease, happier, and probably more motivated, depending on the situation. When I was an instructor in my other life as an Investigator at a local Sheriff’s Dept, the worst feeling was standing up in front of a room or auditorium full of adults looking like they would rather be anywhere else but there. So Step 1 was to say something with a big smile on my face that was likely to make them smile. Then I watched it spread. They looked at each other smiling, they smiled back at me, and the attitude of the group made a total shift, making the students much more open to hear what I had to say. Think about Geriann…what does everyone always comment on in her videos and pictures…her great big smile, that makes others feel better about their situation. So spread those smiley faces around today. If the checkout person at the grocery store isn’t smiling, smile at them…it will make you both feel better. Today’s quote is, ” Smile. It’s the key that fits the locks on everyones’ hearts.” I challenge you to smile at someone today and see what happens. Smiles truly are a universal key; it’s the master key to everyone’s heart. So today think of yourselves as the Smiley Face Warriors! Just typing that made me smile, but then again, we know I am easily amusedπŸ˜‚πŸ€£πŸ‡ΊπŸ‡Έβ€πŸ’ͺ!! Have an awesome day!!


2018.9.7 (Ashley Carlisle Ledford)

Good morning, Mamas!!
If you have walked on my slightly crooked path this week, then you are just as excited as I am, because you woke up thinking it was Thursday, but it’s actually Friday…Surprise!(if this makes no sense to you, refer back to Tuesday’s Morning Mail, it still probably won’t make sense, but you can see what I am referring to
πŸ˜„)
As we head into the weekend, I wanted to remind each of you what today’s quote says, “Don’t be so hard on yourself. Dealing with life, everyday stuff and emotions can be tough. You’re a brave soul on a mission. You got this”. I don’t know about all of you, but when referring to life, I could substitute the word “is” for “can” be tough. Life is hard. Period. No one ever said it would be easy, and at times it is much harder and more overwhelming than others. Don’t beat yourself up when you feel weak, scared, slightly unhinged, etc…It happens to all of us at some point. What is important, is that when it happens, as it inevitably does, that we don’t dwell on why it is so hard or why are we struggling so much. You are a brave soul on a mission. Part of that mission is to live the best life we can in such a way that we are comfortable in our own skin. Easier said than done, believe me, I know. So when we are dealing with those struggles, first and foremost, DO NOT think of yourself as a failure. We all handle things differently and some of us pour out our feelings and others keep them inside. There is no right or wrong. It’s figuring out what works for you. One of the most helpful things for me is reading how our other members deal with certain issues. As Military Mamas, our needs can often be very different than a non-Military Mama’s needs. We are blessed to have the gift of this group and the diversity that comes along with it. I may ask a question, or pose a problem and get 100’s of different answers and suggestions. Then I can figure out what works best for my situation, if I have hit a brick wall. It may be a combination of those answers and suggestions or it may spark a brand new idea. Just keep reminding yourself…telling yourself…leaving yourself notes if necessary, that you do not need to be so hard on yourself. Extend the grace we give to each other to ourselves. Alright, brave souls, have a wonderful day and Warrior On!
β€πŸ‡ΊπŸ‡ΈπŸ’ͺ I have total faith in your strengths. Take this day and any messiness in it and OWN IT, as only you warriors can do.


2018.9.4 (Ashley Carlisle Ledford)

Good Morning, Everyone!
Today is Tuesday, but for a lot of people who were off yesterday, it’s really like a Monday. I always thought it was fun to pretend it was a day behind on my short weeks, because then on Thursday, I got so excited when I realized it was really Friday!!! I know, it doesn’t take much to amuse me, but that’s part of my survival method. We all have different ways of getting through the really bad stuff. We can’t avoid it, because everyone is going to deal with frustrations, heartbreak, loss, illness, etc…But having a way to fight through these times and come out stronger on the other side is so important mentally and physically. There are as many different ways of handling the “how will I make it through” times, as there are members in our group. This morning I referenced a quote from Babe Ruth, “It’s hard to beat a person who never gives up.” These words are so very true. Are there times we want to give up? Speaking for myself, I can say, “Heck, yes”, it’s happened more than once. But I did whatever it took to keep going and pushing forward. Was I always successful the first time? Nope. But that’s okay, because the important thing is that I kept trying. For many of us, that survival method is being a part of this great big family of ours. We can bare our thoughts, hearts, and souls, knowing we aren’t going to be judged, misunderstood, or ridiculed. We will be met with thousands of Mamas with open arms, ready to take our hand and help lead us through to the other side. One of the beautiful things about being so big, is that there is a really good chance another member has struggled or dealt with a similar situation. We have a huge wealth of knowledge, empathy, and love to share with one another. That, my Warrior Family, is an invaluable part of being a member of MMN. Thanks as always for being part of my family, that I know I can always count on for moral support. We don’t give up…we may stumble and/or fall, but we don’t give up! Have a wonderful Tuesday or if you walk a slightly different path like I do, have a fantastical Monday!


2018.9.1 (Ashley Carlisle Ledford)

Good Morning, Mamas!
It’s Saturday, which means the beginning of a long Labor Day weekend for some of us. I am headed out the door for work shortly, but for those traveling and/or celebrating this weekend, may you have safe travels and a wonderful break from work. Today’s quote is a no-brainer, but just a good reminder. And for any of my fellow college football fans, notice it’s written in Clemson orange, so I HAD to use it.
πŸ˜€ (the season starts today) I don’t know that we would be members of this huge extended family if we weren’t already aware of this concept, quoted by Helen Keller, “Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.”
That’s about as simplistic as it gets, and it’s how we survive. It doesn’t matter what it is we are doing, whether it’s encouraging, consoling, educating, accomplishing missions, meeting immediate needs (like the one
Cynthia posted this morning), or fundraising, just to name a few, we are much better equipped to meet that need as a cohesive group. The chances of getting these things done successfully, increase exponentially as we continue to grow. So here is a huge “Thank You”, for being a part of MMN. You make our accomplishments and fulfilling our mission possible. Just scroll through the posts…we get hundreds and at times thousands respond to one Mama with a request. We do it as a team and you make it happen. Warrior On my heroes and have an awesome Saturday


2018.8.31 (Ashley Carlisle Ledford)

Good Friday Morning to my Military Family,
I hope your week has been graced by something or someone who made you smile, laugh, cry HAPPY tears, feel loved, or just feel a sense of contentment. We all know that life can be brutal and unfair, but in spite of that, we do our best to look at every single positive as a celebration and we are filled with gratitude. The older I get, ( more than 1/2 a century now, yikes!), the more I truly appreciate and believe that the little things in life are very often our biggest joys and accomplishments. We just have to open our eyes, ears, hearts, souls, and minds, so we can see the good. Does it make us vulnerable at times? Absolutely. But opening ourselves up to let the good shine through the slivers and cracks, is well worth the risk. I am constantly astounded at the amount of positivity and radiant attitudes exemplified by our members almost every single day. The fact that we lift each other up when a fellow member needs us shows we are here for the right reasons. Even when we may be struggling ourselves. Today’s quote is short, yet extremely powerful. Turn off the negative thought switch, which is so easily turned on like cruise control wanting to keep moving at the same pace, and really pay attention to all of the good things you see, hear, smell, etc… Invite and welcome those feelings inside your body and mind. Just think about “…all that you are instead of all that you are not.” Each one of us has things that “we are not.” But nobody can have everything or we would all be perfect. How boring would that be? Our differences make us unique. That’s a great thing! This quote be can be the turning point of your thinking and feeling for the day. And then as focus on “all that you are”, you smile. Your smile will spread like the contagion we know it to be, and that’s how we spread the good. Warrior on my special, wonderful, loving,Family!!!


2018.8.28 (Ashley Carlisle Ledford)

Happy Tuesday, Warriors,
If you are reading this, you made it through Monday, and I know this was a tough Monday for many different members and many different reasons. Last week I posted a quote about being a “Great Mom”, and it listed some attributes. Some of ya’ll commented that you didn’t have this or that particular one. The quotes I choose may use descriptive words like amazing, awesome, and phenomenal when I am talking about everything you do, and I may repeat those same words. I truly believe them, or you wouldn’t be part of this group. As individuals we might be weaker in certain areas than others, but that’s absolutely to be expected. We are human beings. It doesn’t in any way lessen all of the strengths we possess. The common bonds and threads(I call them ropes) that weave us together so tightly, are the same ones that combine those attributes to create our incredible power and ability to get things done. In my mind I visualize a brick layer building a wall. Each brick is put carefully into place and then cemented in to ensure the strongest, most impenetrable wall possible. He bolsters any weak areas with extra cement and is very precise with his placements. Combined we make up a very small portion of the population, and to be a part of that sets us apart from everyone else. I don’t mean that in a negative way at all. There is no blame attached. I am just saying that there is no way for others to understand what we feel, because they haven’t lived it from our perspective. But I thought a lot about ya’lls’ comments last week and I found today’s post to be most fitting. “To make a difference in someone’s world, you don’t have to be amazing, rich, talented, beautiful or perfect. You just have to be you and CARE.” Those words, my Military Family are unequivocally each one of YOU and they also make you great Moms. Remember this as you go about your day, doing what you do…making a difference in peoples’ lives. Warrior on, my Military Family and have a great day!


2018.8.26 (Janelle Swenson France)

Good morning, Mamas,
I know that today many of us are waking up feeling the loss of Senator McCain…the reality of his death is sinking in and we honor McCain and all that he represented. “Nothing in life is more liberating, than to fight for a cause larger than yourself…”. This is what we focus on here in our MMN family. McCain always chose to put our entire Country first as a unified force. We can continue in that mindset, by putting the overall good of our Military Family first, despite any differences in opinion. Go forth, my Warrior Family and continue to spread kindness and unity.


2018.8.25 (Ashley Carlisle Ledford)

Happy Saturday, Everyone!
I hope you are doing well this morning and have something to look forward to over the weekend. Even if the “something” is nothing more than a nap! As toddlers, I sure wish we had known how glorious naps really are and we never would have fought against them so hard. We live and learn as we navigate our crazy, wonderful, and sometimes very messy lives. One thing we all need to be reminded of from time time to time, is the importance of self-care. We are always on the go trying to make sure everyone around us is okay, has what they need, and doing whatever we can to ensure this happens. We are here in this family, because we raised children who care enough to sign on that line, vowing to do whatever it takes to protect our nation. We are doers and nurturers. I read the posts about the incredible things that are accomplished individually and as our MMN group. To get those things done takes an enormous amount of dedication, a lot of sweat and tears, thinking outside the box at times, and sheer willpower. With the size of our group, it is inevitable that someone is going to need some type of help everyday. Fortunately because of the size of our group and the caliber of our members, we are able to accomplish so much during critical situations. Today’s quote gently reminds us that we don’t have to be the strongest one 24/7. We have a beautiful, ever growing family right here. And what do families and friends do for each other? We share in the responsibilities, we pick up a little extra when another member is tapped out, and we (
Geriann)leads by example, showing others what they can do to help. Our admins and moderators, Sue Ellen, Leia, Wendy, Becky, Loralee, Heather, Cynthia, Janelle, and Adam Russo do a phenomenal job working non-stop scanning, reading, and connecting members with the appropriate resource. So after saying all of this, my point is you don’t always have to be the strong one. Everyone needs a break, rest, and downtime. Whether it’s in your personal life or your Military Mama life, and yes, they overlap, don’t ever feel bad or guilty if you are the one who needs to be carried or helped. Even the strongest of Warriors need to rest sometimes. Extend yourself the grace that you so generously extend to others. Feel proud of everything you do accomplish…you are doing the best you can. In closing, Warrior Mamas, go forth, have a wonderful day, take care of yourself, and remember that there is nothing wrong with taking a break to recharge. Thank you for everything you do each and every day.



2018.8.24 (Ashley Carlisle Ledford)

Good Morning, Warrior Mamas!
Yes, it’s Friday already
❣ Why is it that time seems to fly by as far as regular everyday life… yet when it involves seeing or hearing from our children, it seems to come to a grinding halt? I can sum up my response in three words, “We are Mamas!” This morning I wanted to remind all of us of what “A Real Mom” is and by virtue of being a Military Mama, we embody this very definition. I will take it one step further and say that being a member of our MMN family, we are able to be this person even on our worst days. Today’s quote is a wonderful description of us all. I think we can easily identify with being emotional, tired, impatient, and overwhelmed some days. But the characteristics I want to emphasize are the last three in this quote by Rachel Martin, “Amazing, even though doubted. Wonderful, even in chaos. Life changer, every single day.” Mamas, these are without a doubt, extremely powerful words, and they are us…all of us! As we act together to encourage, listen, give advice, love, and move mountains to help each other as a family, we are certainly life changers to someone every single day. Remember this during the times of self doubt and frustration. You are amazing, unique, awesome, and you rock it every single day. Keep telling yourself that, as you head out to take on the world today. Warrior On, my ginormous, fantastical, unbelievably strong family!


2018.8.21 (Ashley Carlisle Ledford)

Good Morning, to all my favorite Mamas,
Today I went a little crazy and posted two pictures/quotes, instead of just one.
😁 The happy Tuesday feet were just too cute to pass up.( I know I am easily amused ) But the one really important word in the red feet picture is the same as what our quote for today is about, and that is the word, “SMILE” πŸ™‚πŸ˜€πŸ˜πŸ˜ƒπŸ˜„!!! It’s OBVIOUSLY a very important word, because just look at how many smile emojis we have to choose from. No worries, I do not plan on typing each one.πŸ˜‚πŸ€£ But as Mother Theresa said, “Everytime you smile at someone, it is an action of love, a gift to that person…”. This is so true and in our crazy stressful lives, what better gift to give and/or receive? We know that smiling, even if it’s kind of a “fake it til you make it” smile, can actually make us feel better. The response of a big smile back from the receiving person automatically triggers a positive feeling, because we made someone else smile. Think about how on your really tough days, when something or someone makes you smile, you take notice of that… we often make a point of saying, “you made me smile and I needed that today.” Smiles are very powerful and very contagious. We may never know what was going on in the mind of the receiver, but when we see the smile emerge and the eyes light up, we know we made an instant connection. That little smile we gave may have turned that person’s entire day around. They are so easy to give and they don’t cost us a thing. A smile is one of the best gifts ever and they hold to power to change the outlook of countless numbers of people in just a single day. Think about the posts with pictures that we read in our group everyday. The ones with the big smiles always make us smile and if you read through the comments, chances are someone mentioned the smile(s). As many stressful things we deal with as individuals, Mamas, Military Mamas, employees, etc…a smile is our easiest weapon to use to combat the negative. And it’s a tremendous force that causes no harm. So today as you go about your daily routine, remember if you have the opportunity, be sure to spread the superpower of a smile. You won’t regret it. Go forth, Mamas and Warrior On!!


2018.8.19 (Ashley Carlisle Ledford)

Good morning, Mamas,
Here we are closing out the end of another week and preparing for a new one. I am sure our weekly “To do” lists are looming in front of us as we cherish this Sunday. My hope for each of you, is that you have a wonderful, fulfilling, soul re-charging day. As you begin the week, I want you to feel confident, accomplished, and worthy of all the love and support coming your way. Because, Mamas, everyone of you, have made at least one amazing accomplishment, (and I am sure the complete list is truly rather long), and incredible contribution to our entire nation/world. You raised a child/children that felt comfortable enough to leave you. And not only did they leave you, but they left to go do one of the most honorable things a person can do. They chose to sign up to protect all of us, the entire nation, and parts of the world. They are willing to make the ultimate sacrifice to ensure all of our rights and freedoms. That my Warrior Family is one of the most valued accomplishments that you can contribute to today’s society. You taught them to “soar on their own”, and boy, have they soared. Even though their courageous acts are often very scary for us Mamas, we did exactly what we were supposed to do. That is why each of you is a member of this incredible group. You did an outstanding job and we are all in this together. That is one very long piece of rope (much to thick to be a thread) that binds us together. Thank you for YOUR contribution to our Nation’s history. Warrior On my family of heroic Mamas!


2018.8.11 (Ashley Carlisle Ledford)

Good Morning, Mamas!!
I hope you are waking up to a day that is filled with gratitude, success, joy, hope, and love.
❀ If it’s one of those days, when you are thinking, “Seriously…all of that with everything I have going on??”, then just focus on one. If nothing else, we can all start our day with gratitude. We awoke to a new day, we have each other, we have our cup of coffee or tea, and we know that we can come to our group, our tribe, our safety net, regardless of what the day brings. And when you read the quote about “Success”, let those thoughts really sink in…success doesn’t equal money or how many things we have. Success is measured by, “…the number of lives we impact.” Just by that definition alone, we are some of the most successful people I know. Think about how many lives we impact!! The numbers are almost too enormous to even fathom or count, and that, my Warrior family is what sets us apart from so many others. Even trying to break it down into small pieces is overwhelming: each post we comment on, each new member we welcome, each member we encourage, every single card we send, every box we send, every family we help, the Christmas train, our Local Chapters reaching communities, every active duty member or veteran we help…I could keep going, but I am sure you have the idea by now. 😁 So at the very least, take a few minutes to bask in the glow of your success. Have a “feel good” moment. Each and every one of us can do that, and I don’t mean that we are boastful or expect anything in return. Just know how very special you are to so many. Warriors, I want you to know it, feel it, and believe it; we are some exceptionally successful Mamas. I am so proud to be a part of this phenomenal, ever growing family. Have a great day!!!


2018.8.5 (Ashley Carlisle Ledford)

Good Morning, Mamas,
How is everyone today? As always, I hope that everyone has had something or someone(s) make you smile, feel content, feel loved, and/or feel grateful, even if you had to dig a little bit to get there. I am sure you have noticed that I always refer to our members as Warriors. When you read today’s quote, think about what it says and how it parallels our lives. We aren’t born as Warriors. It’s a conscious decision we make through our everyday actions. Actions that include joining MMN, standing up for each other, our children, our families, and all of the members of our extended Military family we have never met. We set our minds to accomplish certain goals or tasks, and we don’t back down when it gets hard. We keep fighting for it, until we succeed. And lastly, when it is one of the times we don’t initially succeed, we get right back up, stronger than ever, fighting until we can say, ” We got it done.” That’s what sets us apart. Reading through our posts and learning what each other need and then finding or making the much needed resources, is what we do. Where there is a will, there is a way! This is exactly why I am so proud and feel so fortunate to be part of this group. Have a great day, Warriors and feel good about your accomplishments. Like the quote says, “If not you, then who?”. Warrior on, my family!


2018.8.3 (Ashley Carlisle Ledford)

Good Morning, Mamas,
I hope everyone has had a great week, or at least some fantastical moments that you can look back on, think about, and that put a smile on your face. We know there are going to be ups and downs…the highs and the lows. We all experience them, so remember you are never alone. When you are dealing with a tough moment, decision, or life event, don’t ever forget that we are here for each other. We are often the glue that holds the pieces together for one another, (or extended family) as I like to call us. And we are each other’s safety net, because we understand each other. We have walked in each others’ shoes. There are so many of us here, ready with support, encouragement, or just to read, acknowledge, and validate what we are going through. It doesn’t take a grand gesture…sometimes the smallest of things can help us sort through the difficult times. Like it says in this morning’s quote, “Sometimes we need someone to simply be there…just to let us know we are cared for and supported.” And that, my MMN family, we handle like a pro. That is what we do for each other. I know there are times I would have felt so empty or lost without you. We never need to feel alone with 13,000 plus members who will be there to do just what the quote says we should do. Today, put on your R.E.D. and take on the day, knowing that you are never alone. We are all Warriors and we raised Warriors, so we know what it takes to succeed. Sometimes the best part of succeeding, is in the knowledge of what we have done for others. Happy Fri-yay, Everyone!


2018.7.31 (Ashley Carlisle Ledford)

Good Morning on this wonderful Tuesday!!! Monday is over…see, the first positive event of the day has already occurred❣ I don’t know about ya’ll, but some days are way more frustrating than others. This brings me to my quote for the day. “When something goes wrong in your life, just yell, ‘Plot Twist’, and move on.” Let’s face it, how many times do we have to laugh at our situations to keep from crying. Life just happens. For the most part, we don’t get to make many plans that just come together without some last minute creative changes and/or emotional upheavals. This happens in everyones’ lives and we, as Military Families, get just a few extra special surprises πŸ˜‚. “Wait, your approved leave is unapproved; you can’t actually attend your sister’s graduation; your deployment has been moved to when; they postponed your training indefinitely?” Any of those sound familiar, Mamas??? I am a Marine Mom and they teach us from the very beginning that our version of “Plot Twist” is “Semper Gumby”. We have to be completely flexible, knowing that any sort of plan can be changed in a heartbeat, and we don’t have one single bit of control over it. You accept it, make the best of it, and figure out plans B, C, D, etc…If you read our posts, not a single day goes by, without a Mama talking about how she is disappointed, because, The Plan Has Changed…again.πŸ˜€ We come to our extended MMN family, pour out our frustrations, and get the support and encouragement we needed so badly. Virtual tissues are given out in abundance as we help dry each others’ tears. Do me a favor, if you can. Tell me if your branch of the Military has a synonym for “Plot Twist”. I hope noone has to face any of these changes today, but if you do, we are here for you. As always, have a magical day and Warrior On!


2018.7.29 (Ashley Carlisle Ledford)

Good Morning, Mamas,
As you begin to wind down the weekend, I hope that you had (or will have) the opportunity to experience some joy in your life. Joy can be small and fleeting, or it can be a constant that is huge and unwavering. What is so beautiful about joy is in my posted quote by Mother Teresa, ” Joy is a net of love by which you can catch souls.” Just reading the quote invokes positive feelings in me. Depending on where we are emotionally in our lives right now, we may be the one casting the net, or we may be one getting caught in the net. Either way is perfect. I think about us as a whole and it can change daily…On the days we are joyous with our feelings, we share them here with each other, catching other souls in our net of love by spreading those feelings far and wide. If we are struggling to find joy right now, coming to our page, our group, our tribe, of the thousands that “Get it”, our souls can easily be caught in someone elses’ net. So either way it’s a positive outcome, and you never know how many souls you might be catching, protecting, and healing, just by casting your joyous net of love, far and wide. And when we look at the size of our Military family here, there is no doubt that your net will be filled with souls who needed you right at that time. Have a great day and enjoy your Sunday. Keep casting those nets of love that literally make a profound difference in someone elses’ life and Warrior On, my Military family!


2018.7.28 (Ashley Carlisle Ledford)

Good Morning, Warrior Family,
It’s Saturday!!! For some us that means having some “me” time, or family time, or maybe even just some naptime.
😍 Then there are some of us who are going to work just like any other day or jumping on the “to do” list. The good news is this, like my whimsical quote says today, “Think Positive”. Sure, some days it is harder to do this than others depending on what else you have going on in your life. Other than the obvious…my child or loved one is in the Military, being deployed, going through a rough time, not communicating with me, cancelled our plans, etc…πŸ™„(isnt that enough?), you might have other difficult issues you are facing. When my world feels like that, I try to find the positive in something, even the smallest little thing, because it makes me smile. And we know smiles are contagious, so let’s spread as many of those smile germs as we can today! My posted quote is a bit extreme and a little sarcastic, but I used it to prove a point. You can find the positive in anything if you look hard enough. ( I really hope none of you fall down any stairs today) I didn’t say it would always be easy. The quote made me laugh out loud, because it sounds like me. I often manage to find myself in these situations. Other examples might be, I didn’t stick my mascara wand in my eye, or I remembered to bring my lunch, or by golly I actually found TWO matching socks!! You get the idea. But it is also a matter of perspective. Remember the big picture, and try not to dwell on the negative. And if you find yourself having a difficult time doing that, come here to our awesome extended family and simply ask for some cheering up, encouragement, prayer, good vibes, or whatever it takes. So Warriors, get your game faces on to tackle the day, and let’s go find and spread those smiles!! Have a FANTASTICAL Saturday!


2018.7.27 (Ashley Carlisle Ledford)

Happy, Happy, Friday, Warriors!!
Today is going to be a great day, because we have the power, strength, and support to make it happen. Some days are much more difficult than others. but that’s ok. Don’t get caught up in negative thoughts. Yes, we will have them at times, but that’s where MMN’s encouragement, patience, respect, and understanding kick in. Why do we join and come to this group page so often? Because we are part of an incredibly strong, motivated, caring, generous and empathetic group of Military Mamas, Dads, Spouses, etc…When we visit “our” page, we are surrounded by thousands of other Military families that, “GET IT”! That’s just one of the reasons we are here. But when I am struggling, I can choose whether or not to talk to someone who has never been in my shoes, versus our 13,000 plus member group who also live in my shoes. Whew! That’s one heck of a ginormous pair of shoes! But I am excited to be able to help others when they need it and I know, in turn, that when I need it, YOU will be here. So today we wear our RED, because we “get it” and we head on out to live our Warrior lives, with the confidence that we have a safety net in place for the times we need to be understood and supported. Thank you for being those people in my life.


2018.7.24 (Ashley Carlisle Ledford)

Good Morning, Warriors! Hopefully everyone survived Monday fairly unscathed and is ready to begin anew. Yesterday was a rather “Mondayish” Monday, so I was happy to close that door. But it made me think about so many of the “Not okay” things that occur daily in our world. And I was struck by the numbers of people who seem to be okay with following these examples or just going along. The light that clicked on in my mind was today’s quote that I had seen before, ” Be the exception”. It’s very short and to the point, but very powerful. I believe it describes our members’ individually as well as collectively. We are the exception! When others trash talk, we don’t respond. When others want to be mean girls, we move along and they may no longer be with us. While others talk about helping those in need, we actually do it. When we reach a seemingly unsurmountable challenge, we rise to the occasion. We face frightening unknowns every single day. Some days we feel like we just can’t do it, but then we come to each other and we lift each other up. We are the exception. YOU ARE THE EXCEPTION. Between us, we raised heroes, married heroes, or might even be the heros. We don’t look for accolades or anything in return. We do it and continue doing it, because, yep, you guessed it, we are the exception! By being such a small part of the overall United States’ population, already sets us apart from the average person. In today’s society, where we are shocked daily by others’ behavior; I know that I can come to our Exceptional MMN Family and either read or post something that results in restoring my faith in humanity. That makes me very proud to call each of you family. Thank you for being here. Have a great day everyone! Stay the course and let’s continue to be the exception. Who knows, we may inspire more people to do the same. Warrior on my Military Family!

2018.7.22 (Ashley Carlisle Ledford)

Good Morning, my Warrior Family,
Here we are again…it’s already Sunday, right? The day we prepare for a new week with strong resolve about all we will accomplish. We review and make our “To Do” lists OR add to the “Not Done” list like I often do, lol.
😟 Hopefully you will spend some quality time at Church, with family and friends, or whatever it is that you do to calm, recharge, and strengthen your mind and soul to face the world again. The main thing I want you to remember is that regardless of any lists, worries, or challenges you are facing, you can still be helping someone else with their problems with just the tiniest bit of action. It may not be the week for grand gestures or huge accomplishments; but with that teeny click of the mouse on one of our members’ posts, you have the ability to bring light and love to their day. Just by letting someone know you cared enough to read their post and respond, can make all the difference in the world. One of the many great things about being part of our MMN family, is that our individual small actions can be duplicated more than 13,000 times!! Now that small action is a ginormous wave that passes along through our family. Never doubt for a minute, that YOU as an individual, have the ability to make a remarkable impact on others’ lives daily. Your actions are never too small or inconsequential…Like the African Proverb says, ” If you think you’re too small to make a difference, you haven’t spent the night with a mosquito.” πŸ˜‚ Have a wonderful day, and give yourself a pat on the back. You are making a difference in more lives than you may ever realize. Remember that, my Military Family and Warrior On!!


2018.7.21 (Ashley Carlisle Ledford)

Good Morning to all of my favorite Warriors and their families!! I know we have had a lot trying and exciting circumstances going on this past this week, but for the most part, they all worked out with positive endings…successful surgeries, marriages, journeys back home, and the births of beautiful babies. For those who are still needing help and encouragement…guess what?? We are still here for you! What is the four letter word that is the driving force behind all of these different actions and scenarios? The beautiful word is “LOVE”. That one simple word that is all encompassing. Think about about it for a minute. Why are we here as members of MMN in the first place? Because we have or have had a family member, who love(d) our country and freedoms enough the put their lives on the line to protect them. And in turn we not only love our country, but we love our family members who are out there protecting our own families by blood or brotherly/sisterly bonds. We love each other, even though most of us have never even met in person. As Maya Angelou says, “Love recognizes no boundaries. It jumps hurdles, leaps fences, penetrates walls to arrive at it’s destination full of hope.” Isn’t that exactly what we do daily? We push ourselves to find ways to help those in need…We continue trying to find more innovative ways to penetrate those walls and arrive at the destination full of hope. HOPE and LOVE are both 4 letter words which without, we would cease to continue our MMN missions and goals. I am so proud of each one of you for setting that example and embodying the meaning of those 2 words. Go forth, enjoy your day, spread the LOVE, and as always, Warrior on!!!


2018.7.20 (Ashley Carlisle Ledford)

Good Morning, Warriors!! Whether you eagerly “jumped up and out” or “dragged yourself” from the bed, I wish you a very Happy and Peaceful Friday. Think about all of the times you have either posted yourself or read a post from one of our Military Mamas. Unless you are brand new, you probably can’t even get close to an accurate count. Now think about all the ones you read, where you can’t actually do anything to fix the problem, other than to offer words of encouragement. If that’s all you do, then you have completed your mission!😍 Most of the time, our member asking for help, just needs the moral support of being heard. And by BEING HEARD, I mean by our family who understands what she is saying. I bet most all of us have been in situations, where we were trying to communicate a problem or concern to someone who wants to help us, but they just don’t quite have our same perspective. It is such a comfort to know that we can come “home” to our page and out of 13,000 members, there is going to be at least one and probably many more, who does understand. When we have our feelings validated, then it makes it so much easier to deal with and process. When we don’t feel like anyone is listening or understands, it is so easy to feel alone and isolated. This is just one of the many fantastic reasons to belong to this empowering group of Military Mamas!!! Today, we wear our RED, go out into the world, and find at least one person to really listen to…you just might be the one that helps that person begin to heal. Let them know that they are worthy and important, just like we do with each other. If you get the opportunity to do it, please share with us, so we can celebrate with you. So head on out to start your day and Warrior On!!


2018.7.17 (Ashley Carlisle Ledford)

Good Morning, fellow Warriors,
Monday is behind us, so Tuesday, here we come! I hope the world is ready, because we have a phenomenal, game changing, determined group of Military Mamas ready to take on this new day. Ok, we might not actually feel that excited about it yet, depending on the amount of caffeine we have consumed
πŸ˜ƒ; but we will β˜•and when you combine all of us in this group, we are unstoppable. We aren’t judgemental, and we appreciate and embrace all of the many different traits and talents that each member brings. Think about how boring life would be if we were all the same!! It is all of the individual ideas, experiences, personalities, quirks, coping skills, etc…that make our MMN Family who we are today. Noone has to fit into the exact same mold. Sure, our overall purpose for being here is similar to each others, but we in NO WAY, have to abandon our own beautiful selves. And that is the magic of us all coming together. We create a force to be reckoned with as an empowered group of individuals. I think today’s quote is fun…,” Just be yourself…imperfect, flawed, quirky, weird, beautiful and magical…”. That’s who we are and that’s what makes us so strong and versatile as a group. Embrace yourself individually and as a group and let’s go make some magic today. πŸ’•πŸ‡ΊπŸ‡ΈπŸ’ͺ I hope it’s an awesome day. Step out into this world and Warrior on!!


2018.7.15 (Ashley Carlisle Ledford)

Good Morning, Warriors!!
It’s Sunday, so we are about to begin a new week. I chose this quote today for each of us. Self-confidence is an amazingly powerful trait. Some of us may not have many problems in this area, but I am willing to bet that a LOT of us do. It’s that little nagging voice inside your head that causes you to question what you are wearing, doing, planning, attempting, and the list goes on and on.
πŸ™„ As a member of MMN, you are already a warrior, a giver, a parent of a hero, a slayer of all that is bad to protect our Family, and that is one heck of an accomplishment!! So each and everyday, remember this as you face the world; put on your self-confidence like a suit of armor and …”ROCK IT AND OWN IT”. When you feel strong and confident about what you are doing, it makes a ginormous difference by the day’s end. You will surprise yourself, the people around you, and the next thing you know, others will be asking you how you did it. BELIEVE IN YOURSELVES! YOU ARE AMAZING AND HAVE SO MUCH TO OFFER ! If you haven’t already, put it on now and go “Rock it and Own it”
πŸ’ͺπŸ‡ΊπŸ‡Έβ€ Warrior on, my Military Family


2018.7.14 (Ashley Carlisle Ledford)

Happy Saturday, MMN WARRIORS!

How is everyone today? I hope you get to do something that brings you contentment, happiness, peace, or at least a feeling of calm if you are in the middle of one of Life’s Challenges. Today’s post from Mother Teresa lists 15 different descriptions of LIFE. Along with these, she gives us, a not so subtle hint, of how to handle each one. As I read through this list, I thought to myself…”this is way easier said than done”. Some of them seem more do-able to me than others. Knowing we are each beautifully unique, I imagine if we took a poll regarding which of these seem the easiest or most difficult, that the responses would be just as diverse as the members of our Military Family. But that’s where being part of this family, can really make a profound difference. We each bring our own perspectives, experiences, strengths, weaknesses, and everything that makes us who we are to the table. Then when any one of us is struggling with a particular area, there is always someone who can step up, because it’s their strength and throw out the lifeline we need at the perfect time. Life has a way of surprising us with many more scenarios than the ones listed here. But we have to remember and believe that each one is to be met head on, and no matter how overwhelming it is at the time, we will rise to the occasion and overcome. A huge contributor to these successes, come from our amazing family mentored by Geriann Hanley Wiesbrook. Thank you for letting me be a part of your lives and thank you for the lifelines you have thrown out to me over the years. Have a fantastical day and Warrior On!


2018.7.13 (Ashley Carlisle Ledford)

Well now it’s lunchtime, so I am going to try again. Thanks to each of you who have made such kind remarks. Today’s quote has a lot of significance to me as I look at it from the standpoint of an individual as well as in connection to our group. When you read the part about casting a stone to create many ripples, I see a comparison to every smile, every kind remark, every member we support, every card we send out, etc…as one of those stones being cast. And then the ripple effect begins to start and continues to spread wider and wider. So if MMN and our 13,000 members, each performed even a small gesture that ripple effect just keeps growing exponentially. So never feel like you aren’t enough or aren’t doing enough, because just by being here, you are creating a ripple…and they all add up. We are part of an amazing group, that as a whole has changed the lives of countless people. The positivity is immeasurable. And it all starts with just one person casting that stone. So be proud of who you are, what you do, and never doubt your value as a member of this awesome group. I challenge you to cast a stone, create a little ripple today, and put it in the comments if you are comfortable. Those of you who were so kind to me this morning, sent those ripples, which in turn helped me cast out more stones. We are unstoppable. Have a fantastic Friday and Warrior On my Military Family!!!


2018.7.10 (Geriann Hanley Wiesbrook)

Good Morning, my huge extended Military family! We made it through Monday…Yeah! I just wanted to remind you that FAMILY is everything. And you know what the neatest part is…we can define our “Family”, however we want. You don’t have to be related by blood or marriage. Our group is one massive family. We all share many of the same values, experiences, and emotions to name a few. We understand and “Get It’. We are here to lean on, motivate, celebrate and get us through the rough days. We may disagree, have different opinions, and handle situations differently. But we show each other the respect and love we would extend to any family member. I know how very proud I am to be a part of this group and I know I can come to ya’ll for pretty much everything. So have an awesome day, with your awesome selves and Warrior On!


2018.7.7 (Ashley Carlisle Ledford)

Happy Weekend, Mamas!
To everyone in our ginormous Military Mama Family who reads this, Thanks for Showing Up. Like the quote says, “The world needs you to show up today…what you believe changes the world.” Think about how profound the actions of one individual can be to others in the course of just one day. Mamas, then multiply that times the many members we have; and this is exactly why we accomplish wonderous, life changing, positive, change(s) to situations daily. Each and everyone one of YOU alone are awesome, amazing, powerful, valuable, and capable of making epic size changes to our world. It might be starting or supporting a local chapter, sending cards and boxes, or even just making a comment on someone’s post, that turns their day around. When we show up together, and channel all the collective power, value, and belief systems that we stand for, we are absolutely capable of making changes in the world! Just look at what a difference we make in so many lives continually. Be proud of yourself; you deserve it! Have a wonderful day and let’s go do what we do best…Warrior On, My Family!


2018.7.6 (Ashley Carlisle Ledford)

Happy Friday, MMN Warriors!
Yes, another Eleanor Roosevelt quote. I love this one and it describes what we do everyday. “For our own success to be real, it must contribute to the success of others”. Truly successful, kind, leaders are always looking for a way to lift others in the process of what they are doing. We all do that, whether it’s through one of our small groups that focuses on a certain area, or just our daily making sure we are all making it through the day. There is no “size ” attached to these successes. The importance is that this group of phenomenal Mamas, led by Geriann is always striving to succeed, but that also always includes contributing to the success of all of our members. Ya’ll are a fantastic group who succeeds at your own levels, depending on where you are in this crazy, wonderful life. But everything you do inside of MMN also is helping another Mama attain her goal.
Congratulations to you all! You have a LOT to be proud of every single day. Now go forth as always and Warrior On!!! You make me proud everyday! I hope it’s a great day for you!


2018.7.4 (Janelle Swenson France)

Good morning Mama’s! Happy Independence Day to each of you πŸ‡ΊπŸ‡Έ You are amazing, remember that. Each one of you amazing, strong, intelligent, kind and compassionate Mama’s, are amazing! Remember that. We carry children, raise them to be wonderful, strong, committed adults, send our hearts with them all over this world, continue to work our jobs, carry on a home, raise other children or grandchildren, take care of our spouse or partner, and find time for ourselves. Not everyone can do what a military mom can do. You are amazing, remember that. So, enjoy this day and every day with your head held high, face the sun and remember how amazing you truly Are!


2018.7.3 (Ashley Carlisle Ledford)

Good Morning, my favorite extended family members! My wish for you today, is that regardless of what is going on in your lives… the difficulties, pain, and craziness that can be there, is to find amazement in even one little thing. It is sooooo easy to get caught up in the challenges and the disappointments, as well as taking everyday things for granted. Try living in the moment, and let your heart and mind be open to something new. It only takes one seemingly insignificant act or thing to flood your senses with amazement. For me it’s usually nature. I never tire of it and when I get home from work after having a bad day, just stepping out of the car and looking around brings me such delight. It may be the sunset, a new flower bloom, the moon peeking through clouds…but in that moment I am filled with gratitude and thankful for the opportunity. Yesterday wasn’t a particularly good day for me, but when I pulled into my driveway and got out of the car, hummingbirds were flying all around like little fighter jets. They were buzzing around my head, dive bombing their feeders, and darting around with their little motors just a humming. I couldn’t help but smile and start laughing. I felt like they were welcoming me home. I could have easily kept my head down, grumbling to myself about my less than great day and walked in the house. But instead I chose to look up and take notice. Let me know if you find something that lights up your thoughts or makes you smile today. It truly is the little things in life that can turn your whole day around.β€πŸ˜ŠπŸ¦‹πŸ¦πŸ₯🐿🌻 Have a great Tuesday and Warrior On!


2018.7.1 (Ashley Carlisle Ledford)

Good Morning, My MMN Family,

It’s Sunday, so hopefully you are getting to have some peace and quiet today as we prepare to start a new week. With each beginning, whether it be for the day, the week, the month, etc…we never know what challenges we may encounter. But most importantly, we have to face the challenges and overcome them. To build your self confidence, follow the below words of wisdom. They have always held a special meaning for me. On any given day, we are tasked with doing something that scares us. The only way to grow internally and feel more confident is to, “Do one thing that scares you every day.” The more we overcome, the more confident we become. It doesn’t matter how small or big that hurdle is, once we make it over, then we add additional courage to our own personal survival kit. And as always, if you need help from your “family” here, do not hesitate to ask. Go forth, conquer the day, and Warrior On!!

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