Surviving Deployment: The Whole FamDamily

Hey friends.
This week's Deployment Survivor is Ms. Hillary from The Whole FamDamily.
I'm not sure if y'all are familiar with the term
web celeb but Hillary is one of them.
She's like a celebrity to me, and she's on the web..get it?
Anyway, she and I are bff' we're friends on facebook and stuff
just so you know..
I'm real excited to have her over to share how she's surviving this deployment
It also just so happens to be her birthday today,
so go wish her a very happy day okay?
Especially since the Hubby is not here to share in the specialness of her day!

Tell us a little about yourself:
Hi! I'm Hillary, born and bred Cali girl through and through.  I'm in my early 30's..ok I'm almost 33yrs.  BUT I don't feel as though I'm much older than 23yrs when I got married.  hahaha!  I love love love to LAUGH and have a good time and be social.  I'm a goofball and very sarcastic and I try not to take myself too seriously, since life is serious enough on it's own.  I love photography and dancing and art and music.  Strangely enough, out of 5 kids in my family I'm the only one with blonde hair, the rest have brown hair/brown eyes.  aaaaand I'm the only middle child, so I guess they needed an "angel" smack dab in the middle. ;p I didn't go into marriage knowing my husband would choose to join the military a year later, but I've always supported him 110% and am so proud of him.  Just within this last year I have found the world of milspouses i the blogging world and what a joy and support it has been for me!

What is your relationship status?
I am married to my hotness BFF, "Bewtcut" as I call him to keep him anonymous.  We will be celebrating 10yrs on June 9th!  Well...we'll celebrate as soon as he gets back from Afghanistan. ;) We've had ups and downs but our marriage has truly gotten better with time!!

Do you have kiddos? If so, how has the transition to "single parenting" affected you?
YES, I have 500!
I have 4 girls ages 9yrs, 6yrs, 3yrs and 18mo. and yes, we're done having chitlins.  You know, Bewtcut has been gone off and on since I had my first baby, so I guess I've adjusted to the way of life cuz that's how our whole marriage has been.  It's been difficult as we add more children into the mix, but I do have all my in-law family here and close and try to take trips to California to see mine, and friends and even bloggy friends help during deployment times for sure!

What branch of service is your spouse/significant other?
He is in the Air National Guard, but his job is full-time so he's considered Active Duty Air Force because of his full time orders.  He's a Cryptologist/Flying Linguist working in the Intelligence Squadron.  I know, if I told you anymore I'd have to kill you. *wink* He just passed his test to become Master Sergeant, so whoot whoot to him!!

What is your duty station?
He works at the Utah Air National Guard base in Salt Lake City, Utah.  We will never have to move because his particular job/squadron is only out of SLC so we will always live here, we don't have to move around. 

How long is this current deployment?
My husband's deployments are a bit different than most.  He usually leaves for 30-45 day rotation deployments, and he does this 4x a year.  SO it's a lot of back and forth, hello/goodbyes instead of getting it done in one long deployment.  We do count our blessings because it is for short amounts of time (if and when they don't extend him to 60-70 days which happens a lot ;)) and coming and going isn't always easy, but we do the best we can and make it work.  I finally got Daddy Dolls for my girls and that is a big help for them to be able to "hug" and "kiss" daddy when they want to.

How often are you guys able to communicate?
On his regular deployments he is usually in South American countires and often in a hotel so we are able to iChat, email, daily!! So we're spoiled that way.  BUT this deployment he is on right now to Afghanistan our communication is very limited and sparse, so it makes me grateful for the ability to "see" and hear from him on a more consistent basis during his normal deployments. 

What kind of support have you found during this deployment?
I find other milspouses through the blogging community are a GREAT help.  and even if I don't speak to them personally, just reading their stories and knowing there are others out there who understand and go through the same things and feel the same way is comforting and puts things in perspective for me.  We've never lived on base, so I don't have a plethora of other women going through the same thing and knowing how I feel, ya know?  I'm kind of alone in my neighborhood and community with my hubby being in the military.  My friends and siblings and family do try to keep in touch and check in on me as much as possible through email, phone calls, facebook, chatting.  And as I mentioned before all of my in-law family s here so they support the best they can as well. 

Does your family support your spouse/significant others' choice to serve?
My family totally does 100%.  His own family supports him, but does give him a hard time about finding a "regular" job and stop leaving his family, which I don't appreciate cuz he tried the regular job and he was meant to be in the field he is in, inside the military.  He even wrote to me once apologizing he couldn't have more of a "normal" job so he could be home all the time, but that he was meant for this job and there was a reason he was damn good at it.  How can you argue or make someone feel bad when they know their purpose on this earth? :) That's why I've always supported him 110% because even though I know it pains him to be away, he truly does love his work. 

What have you found helps you cope best with the stress of deployments?
Blogging totally helps! Even if no one reads it, at least I'm getting my thoughts and feelings OUT instead of bottled up.  Sometimes I think I sound like a schizophrenic because I talk about happiness and joy one day, and then I have a hard day and talk about missing him, and being "blue." But that is the reality of deployments, we have our good days and our bad days.  I find taking time to go out with friends and just take a break is ALWAYS helpful, so you can regroup and recharge because it is a lot to deal with on your own everyday.  Also, making sure you don't become a recluse, even if you don't get out with friends, make sure you talk or interact with friends and family members somehow, thru chatting, phone, texting, facebooking, whatever cuz sometimes all you need is a good conversation and it can buoy your spirits up to make it through the next day.  Of course praying and relying on God to give you strength when you don't think you have enough, and trying to remain positive even when you have your dark days, to come back to where it's light and remember the time WILL end.  I feel I've learned so much about myself being a milspouse and that I really am a strong, capable woman.  I may not feel that way sometimes, but we truly ARE!! And of course, Chocolate!! Copious amounts of Chocolate ALWAYS helps!! ;D

Raise your hands if you LOVE Hillary?
She's stinkin amazing,
no I didn't say she stinks. I said she's stinkin amazing!
I love you and your blog girlfraan, I think you gave some awesome tips
in that coping section.  It's SO easy to lock yourself up and
get depressed about everything happening but
we need to remember to get up, go out and most importantly
eat copious amounts of chocolate.
Happy Birthday Hillary!


If you want to be featured here just shoot me an email, also..
I'm thinking it might be fun to see some new questions answered, 
if you have a question to add, let me know!


  1. i just wanna say that i LOVE cleo. she's awesome and strong and AMAZINGLY hilarious. yay for her being special today :)

  2. Great interview! Going to check her out right now :)

  3. What a strong woman! This was a fantastic interview... I love how she explained everything with great detail and how she's the only blonde from a family full of brunettes (me too)! :)

  4. i luv it! and you're too kind, thanks for letting me be featured and feel special today!! you rock, pretty girl!


  5. Loved the interview! :D And happy birthday to the awesome chick!

  6. happy birthday... oh, and i am in awe. love those daddy dolls and i hope those girls get to see daddy really soon!


  7. Love the idea of "meeting" new spouses going through deployments like me. I'm pretty new to blogging and am finding it does help cope with the deployment and getting thoughts/feelings out. Thanks for sharing!

  8. Great interview! I love all my bloggy friends too and love how much support I've gotten online during our deployments too. And happy belated birthday!!!