Hi, I’m Courtney! Veteran, Military Spouse, Mom of two, and Author of theStarSpangledMama.com.
I love my faith, my family, and my country. Always having had a patriot’s heart, I knew at seven years-old that I wanted to serve in our military one day. So after some college and other work experience, I decided it was ‘now or never,’ and went to see a recruiter. Prior to serving in the military, I worked for several years as a Sign Language Interpreter and Teacher for the Deaf at a middle school in my hometown, and loved my job. On Sundays, I would interpret church services. I began learning Sign Language in seventh grade, fell in love with it, and became fluent; the Deaf will always have a special place in my heart. But I up and left it all behind to answer the calling I felt to go ahead and join the service. During my four years in, I was stationed in New Jersey, Oregon, California, North Carolina, and then California again. At one point in the game of Duty Station Ping-Pong, I could fit everything I owned in the trunk of my car. Each place I was stationed was unique, and I wouldn’t change anything about any of it because each place taught me something very different and very valuable.
While serving, I married my husband and best friend, Jesse, who is currently still on Active Duty. We now have two beautiful kids, Maddelyn and Drew, who are 23 months apart, and who keep me on my toes all day, along with our dog, Layla. I’m a crazy list-maker; my lists even have lists (I know, it sounds out of control because it is). I love cold coffee, hot showers, all-things-Outlander, white roses, playing tennis, watching basketball, organizing, teaching, celebrating, and creating memories. Oh, and since I’m a Mom, I also love long walks to the bathroom by myself and any rare moments I get to watch something that isn’t animated.
My favorite Bible verse is Isaiah 52:12.
Jesse & I have been through years of long deployments, duty-standing, being stationed on opposite coasts as a married couple, a miscarriage during a deployment, being separated for holidays and birthdays, and all the rest of the fun monkey wrenches. When he does get to be home and we are lucky enough to find a babysitter, our favorite place to go is The Melting Pot. My husband can always make me laugh. He’s also a great story teller, and a peacemaker by nature. He’s an honest man, and a hard-worker- not to mention a great father. Watching him with our kids is my fave. He kind of does the best puppet voices I’ve ever heard. There’s also just something about a man in a “cape” with his arms straight out in front of him running through the house making flying noises while being chased by a giggling toddler…………. Seven deployments, six duty stations, and two beautiful kids later, I’d do it all over again in a heartbeat. He’s one of the coolest guys you’ll ever meet.
You can read our story here.
Maddelyn is the one that sings at the top of her lungs in the library. She’s a spitfire and has a sense of humor and personality far too big for size 2T clothing. World War III erupts if her blanket has to go into the laundry, and climbing Everest without oxygen seems an easier feat than getting her to finish her dinner plate every evening. She’s a passionate ball of energy that’s either laughing and smiling and scaling our dining room table like she’s conquering Kilomanjaro, or searching for a new decibel of tantrum-style scream while laying on the floor in abject protest over too many strawberries being on her breakfast plate. But let me tell you, this girl is a world-changer. She’s brave, bold, greets everyone in the grocery store and leaves them with a smile, and is always looking to make others laugh. Nevertheless, adjacent to her inner Entertainer is her inner Mother Teresa. When someone is sad, she goes to comfort them. When I get overwhelmed, she makes eye contact and asks me if I’m okay. And she has said prayers for us out loud on her own accord. She’s two. I know God has BIG plans for this girl, and I’m completely humbled every single day that I get to be her mother.
Drew brings the calm and steady in the midst of Maddelyn’s wild and crazy. I’ve always seen an old soul in his eyes, and one look from him makes everything okay. He’s quick to give a smile and loves “talking” back and forth. He’s a champ at sleeping through the night, eating sweet potato baby food, and looking at brightly colored books. He hardly ever cries. For awhile, Jesse was questioning if he even knew how. Yup, that’s my sweetheart boy.
I came off Active Duty to stay at home with our kids. I knew I wanted to instill into them the same patriotism I have always felt. At one year old, Maddelyn knew to put her hand over her heart when she saw the flag. It all starts within our homes: life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. And who runs the homes? We, the mothers, do. It’s why I decided to bring you on the journey with me. As a mom, I’ve come to realize how important it is to celebrate all three of those things, and to model that mentality for our children- to lead them into adventures, memories, and joyful experiences, for, within those things are your freedom.
My husband was deployed through most of my pregnancy with Maddelyn, and then deployed again a week after her birth, so I’m no stranger to having to go at it alone. It made me realize just how important community, support, and encouragement are– especially for Mamas! Military life is hard. Motherhood is hard. Put them both together and you need a special kind of strength on the daily. I’m so glad you’re here. Let me tell you something. No one else can honor your spouse the way you can. And no one can mother your kids like you do– they were meant for you and entrusted to you by a God who created you to do it. And that not only can you do it, you can do it joyfully.. for yourself and for them! It will make your days more meaningful and your heart more full.
I’d love to connect with you! Comment, email, or send your carrier pigeon. I even accept smoke signals and Morse Code. Share your heart! We have a community in place; we’re all Moms trying to juggle, balance, and make the most of it all
while brewing coffee half-asleep and secretly wanting a maid for Christmas.
This blog is intended to encourage your heart, uplift your spirit, inspire your joy, and hopefully give you a laugh here and there.
Know you’re strong, know you’re beyond capable, and know you’re not alone!
Being a mom is not easy. The military life is not easy. Both are incredibly worth it. Both at the same time are a divine privilege!
So, cheers to the frustrating but thrilling, lonely but invigorating, painful but powerfully prideful, crazy ride we’re on!
*champagne glasses clink*
Here’s to you.
Here’s to us.