Final week for Tricare open season selection is here

Last week my dentist held an informational meeting for military retirees to help navigate the maze thousands of military families have suddenly found themselves in – choosing their medical coverage through Tricare, otherwise known as open season.

I was the youngest person in the room, by about 20 years. And the consensus among attendees and medical professionals was: this first year of Tricare open season is a confusing one.

Prices are rising, incomes are not

Have you shopped outside the gate lately? Did you feel a slight sticker shock at the price of even the simplest of items?

That’s because prices are rising and it could be bad news for all of us.

New beginnings: my thesis, my daughters’ first time in public school

By Amy Nielsen

This year may well see a ginormous shift for us. It has come to my attention that the master’s degree I am pursuing is going to take a whole lot more concentration as we progress toward the walk. Coupled with a change up in the neighborhood dynamics, it looks like we will be moving to a more traditional schooling pattern for my girls. My two kids are currently reporting in grade school as homeschool students in our district.

Yep, my kids are gonna hit public school after only ever having experienced pre-school many years ago.


The very merry problematic month of May

By Amy Nielsen

I don’t remember when I fully understood that May is a problematic month for me. I know it has been so for a very long stretch of my life. It is both my most favorite month and also the month I most prefer to keep at arm’s length. In working on a project for school, I am required to write a timeline of my life and I have been struck by certain patterns. Events in May seem to top the list.

Spring break – Now what?

By Amy Nielsen

It’s spring break week. Who knew that Master’s programs got spring break too? I mean, I guess I figured they did, but never really thought about it. Do doctorate students get spring break? I suppose the question should be do we take spring break or just keep plowing along?

Have a closet stuffed with old military ball dresses? Donate them!

How many old ball gowns do you have in your closet? Tired of moving them in each PCS? Tired of hoping you’ll fit back into them after your last pregnancy?

Donate them! There are prom gown collections happening across the nation this spring to make sure high school girls who cannot afford a dress can still have the gown of her dreams.

Night owl? You might want to start going to bed earlier

Who else out there felt like a rock star when scientists reported last year that people who swear more and are messier are generally smarter?

Yep, I was suddenly awesome.

Soon after, researchers in Belgium and Miami conducted studies that concluded that people who stayed up late and slept in were generally smarter, more productive and more creative than their early to bed early to rise counterparts.

Heck ya, all my most bothersome traits were suddenly a goldmine of success.

Until now.

Ready to leave military housing behind and buy your very own house? Not so fast

Buying a home is one of the biggest decisions many of us will ever make, not only financially, but emotionally as well.

It’s also one of the things many soon-to-be military retiree families look forward to the most. We want to buy curtains and rugs that actually fit and match, paint the walls and replace the flooring and install whatever countertops we like best.

We want a place of our own. Or, as many call it, a “forever home.”

But is buying a house a wise choice when in the midst of leaving the military?

Change to maternity leave rules long overdue

Illinois Sen. Tammy Duckworth, made headlines earlier this year for announcing that she vowed to change senate rules to make it easier for future senators to take maternity leave.

In fact she told CNN, it was ridiculous that these types of changes were still making headlines in 2018.

She’s right. The U.S. lags far behind the rest of the developed world in granting workers not just maternity leave, but also any guaranteed paid leave of any kind. The U.S., in fact is the only advanced economy that does not mandate paid sick or maternity leave.

New Dynamics - juggling childcare in multiple states

By Amy Nielsen

Next week I add a new dynamic to this already crazy life. My younger daughter starts weekly medical treatment at a hospital three hours from home.

Normally this would not be a huge addition to our week as it is really just a day trip and easily done. We’ve been doing it for years almost like clockwork in the early part of the year. Because of the nature of her treatments our appointments are conveniently always on Monday.


For Military Spouses
Apply for the Salute to Spouses scholarship today and begin your education! You’ll be on the way to your dream career.