Lifestyle Cat.

Bitter Sweet Goodbyes: Making Friends in the Military

Saying goodbye to friends you’ve made along the way is probably the hardest part when it comes to being a military spouse. It is the one thing no one can really prepare you for because the bonds you create in the military community are so different from the your everyday friendships. You will go through things with one another that most normal relationships will never be tested by.

When you move thousands of miles away from your family and friends your circle becomes a lot smaller. For example when I moved to Oahu to be with my husband I had no one I really knew. I had met a couple of his friends and another spouse before moving, but I wasn’t close enough to call them friends. As the months passed by though, I was lucky enough to build bonds that I won’t soon forget.

** This is one of my favorite pictures ever! This was the day Reyes and I went down to the Honolulu Court House and got married! Since we couldn’t afford to throw a grand wedding or pay to have our families fly to Hawaii (My mom, dad and step mom though were amazing and flew to Oahu to celebrate with us) it was tough, but thanks to Rey’s friends (who soon became my friends as well) we had an amazing day! The camaraderie between military brothers is something I think few civilians will ever understand and I am so thankful they got to be there!

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My husband and I recently said goodbye with our good friend Lucas. He always had a smile on his face and knew how to make the most of any situation. Lucas was always fun to be around and was really the class clown of our friend group. I will forever be grateful to him for looking out for me since I moved to Hawaii. When my husband and I would fight he would always remind us that we were good for one another and how much love we had to give.

**Lucas is on the far left, helping Rey and I lay beach blankets down because the wind was crazy that day!

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When I had my wisdom teeth out this spring Lucas came to our house and made a big batch of his AMAZING mashed potatoes because I couldn’t eat solid foods. For Christmas him and his girlfriend bought me a really nice waffle maker because months before I had made the comment about how I missed my dad, and how he used to make me the yummiest waffles growing up. Isn’t that just the sweetest thing ever!

So even though the goodbyes are hard, and I miss the people that have moved away or that I have moved away from, I am thankful for the chance it has given me to meet others. If it wasn’t for the military I never would have met the friends we have now. I have learned so much from the people I have met in my journey as milso, not just about life but about myself as well.

** This was the night we said goodbye to Lucas when all got together for one last hurrah at the local sports pub. Good friends and good food!

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The one piece of advice I can offer to new military spouses is to take every opportunity this life offers you, and don’t be afraid to reach out. You have a whole community who is going through the same things as you, so take advantage of it. Join Facebook groups, get involved in your spouses network, invite others for a cup of coffee to connect. Most importantly though, take a lot of pictures because before you know it this part of your life will be done and the pictures are what will bring a smile to your face.

XOXO Taylor Ma

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Lifestyle Cat.

Behind The Ink: My Tattoo Journey!

If  you had asked me when I was 8 if I was going to get a tattoo as an adult my quick response would have been, “NO!” I was, and still am, terrified of needles! I get nauseous every time I have to get my blood drawn, make my husband hold my hand when I get vaccinated, and avoid going to the doctors because I have this irrational fear that I have some illness only treatable by getting a shot! Sad, but true!

My conviction changed however when I turned 16 and decided I wanted to pierce my nose. You’re going to need a little context to fully understand the implications of the situation. My mother, a free spirit, had her nose pierced when I was young and I always adored it but my father however is a very straight-laced man. He comes from a different generation and his belief is that people in general should not alter there body whether that be a lot of makeup, piercings, tattoo’s, or wild hair colors.  All of which I now have, or have done(I will have to post pics of my high school days with lavender hair!)

It took me a good few months to finally convince him that I wasn’t falling off of the straight and narrow path if I got my nose pierced, and the moment he gave me that solemn nod I was in my car and headed to the nearest tattoo and piercing parlor!

It wasn’t long after getting my nose pierced when I started thinking about wanting to get a tattoo, and the more I thought about it the more I was sure I wanted one. I knew early on the first piece I wanted to get and always had it in my mind that I was going to get the second star to the right from my favorite childhood movie and novel Peter Pan. Only a couple weeks after turning 18 I came home with my first tattoo.

  • So when I say I’m obsessed with Peter Pan, I am not lying. I seriously cried when I met his character at Disneyland, and was so giddy I could barely say even a few words! The tattoo, along with my lotus flower, was done by the artist Carlena Myers of Weiser Idaho. I had the pleasure and privilege of working part time in her shop my senior of high school as part of our work study program.

  • My second tattoo done by Carlena is a lotus flower, to me they represent the strength of women. Lotus flowers bloom in murky waters, yet they remain untainted by the surroundings they’re in. The circles around the flower represent the seven chakras; lam, vam, ram, yam, ham, aum, and ang. They remind me that I am a complex being and that I need to take the time to focus on my body, and check in with myself to make sure my health and mental wellness is good. I got this tattoo at a very uncertain and stressful time in my life and it always brings me a little light when I look down and see it. Let me tell you though, foot tattoos can be pretty uncomfortable but are beautiful when finished.

  • My third tattoo came about almost a year after my second. I was on vacation with my mother and my brother in Maui when I had the idea that we should get tattoo’s to commemorate the trip. Of course I went with something island inspired and got beautiful waves tattooed on my other foot. This tattoo was done at the shop Hula Girl Tattoo in Maui.
    • A little side note: This is also the vacation that I met my future husband! Thank you Tinder lol! I’m gonna have to write a blog post about how I found the love of my life on a site renowned for flings!

  • Here we are at my latest tattoo, the beautiful triple moon goddess symbol. I got it back in December of 2017, and had it placed on the back of my neck because I wanted it to symbolize walking away from my past, and into my future. I think the meaning behind the symbol is beautiful and will attach a link to an informative page on all the meanings behind the symbol. I had been having a really tough time, and was going through a lot of changes in my life. I was out to lunch with a friend when the idea hit me! I asked if she was free after lunch and wanted to go get tattoos. Obviously she said yes and so off we went. I called up a reputable tattoo parlor, House of Ink, and walked away two hours later sporting some new ink! Its a memory I will always love because I am not typically a “spur of the moment” gal but that day I put my fears and doubts aside and just did what made me happy.

For now that is all the tattoos I have, but I don’t plan on stopping any time soon. I’m currently planning my next tattoo as we speak, and my Pinterest board is full of cool ideas that I can’t wait to go over with my tattoo artist. So follow me Instagram and stay tuned because you can bet that I’ll be posting pictures of my new ink when I have it!

XOXO Taylor Mae

Food Cat.

An afternoon on Oahu’s North Shore

Oh Oahu how I love you! This island has given me some of the most beautiful memories of my life, and I will always cherish my time spent on the islands of Hawaii! There is an adventure around every corner and that’s something I love the most about this place! A few weeks ago my husband and I were brainstorming about where to go after a dreary couple of weeks on the windward side of the island so we decided to head to Oahu’s lovely and always sunny Haleiwa, where there are beautiful beaches and food trucks galore!

Its a bit of a drive from our side of the island to Haleiwa but manageable and that coconut shrimp is so totally worth the price of gas! I’m drooling just remembering how crispy and flavorful the coconut shrimp was! The best food trucks are down in an easy to miss “parking lot”. There is about 7-8 food trucks to choose from, and you can get anything from seafood to good ole southern BBQ. There is even options for those who are vegetarian or just prefer something lighter. Something you can’t leave without getting though is a snow cone, its a total must have!

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After you fill up your tummy head on over to one of the lovely beaches close by to let your food digest and soak up some rays! The weekends in this area can get pretty crowded but if you go Monday thru Thursday early afternoon its usually not to bad and the traffic wont be terrible.

If you have the time definitely stop at The Dole Plantation on your way back towards town for some yummy adventures! I myself am not a huge fan of pineapple but you honestly cannot beat the fresh Dole Whip they serve there! You can also take pictures in a giant pineapple or ride the pineapple express(which is my husband and I’s favorite). It will take you on a beautiful and informative ride through their pineapple fields and also show you some of the other cool fruits/plants they grow here in Hawaii. The picture below is a photo of a baby pineapple plant! Isn’t it just the cutest little thing!

All in all you cannot go wrong with a day spent in Haleiwa. Its a fun and hip little town full of history, cool stores, and unbeatable food! It never ceases to put a smile on my face! That or I could just be laughing at my goofball husband, you never know!

XOXO Taylor Mae