Monday, February 28, 2011

Project Gratitude

Project Gratitude Day 56:
Once again, I am gracious for my mother for all she does for me! She is the best babysitter ever :)


Sunday, February 27, 2011

Project Gratitude

Project Gratitude Day 55:
I am very thankful for the wonderful people in our lives that may not be blood related but I consider them family regardless.


Saturday, February 26, 2011

Project Gratitude

Project Gratitude Day 54:
Thankful that Hubs did not hurt himself any worse than he did, I hope those Navy Dr.'s can patch him up right! That boy worries me so...


Friday, February 25, 2011

Friday Confessional

I confess...
I am more tired after being in a car all day then if I had spent the day running! When will they invent teleportation?

I wish Little Miss traveled better, having to stop every 2 hours makes for a long car ride but I feel guilty about getting a TV to travel with us! I should be able to entertain my own kid. But the TV babysitter is so easy...

I confess...
I am really missing Hubs today, its so strange being home without him. The ever changing status of whether communication is up or down is bothering me and honestly I am getting a teensy bit jealous that others are getting phone calls and nice long emails :( I just miss him, nothing he could do would be enough to replace him being here. Guess I need to suck it up buttercup!

I confess...
I am tired of seeing all the negative posts on facebook in regards to deployment. I am tired of seeing people be downright mean to other spouses. I am tired of know it alls who make it their personal mission to show off their smartiness and put others down in the process. Grow up, get a hobby, go make yourself happy because obviously you are miserable with your life if you feel like you have to put others down in order to feel better about yourself. Facebook is evil I swear. My goal is to cut down on my time online because I can't control others immature behavior but I can control how much I read it. 

Join Friday Confessional! Go link up here.  


Project Gratitude

Project Gratitude Day 53:
Today I am grateful for such amazing parents. They gave up their weekend to drive me 8 hours to my in-laws so they could see Little Miss. 


Thursday, February 24, 2011

Alot going on!

Wow life sure hasn't slowed down yet! I am finally on the mend after my battle with food poisoning: NEVER eat the food at the zoo in Norfolk. I haven't jumped on a scale yet, but I am pretty sure I lost almost 10 lbs. since I couldn't eat for 3 days. I feel like my clothes are falling off me and I hate that.

Now I am vacation so I have a few extra helping hands around. Not that my friends aren't great help with Little Miss, but come on you can't replace Grandma & Grandpa! This vacation could not have come at a better time. Though I am teasing my mom that its a working vacation for me. I've probably spent 4 hours working on FRG stuff since my plane landed on Tuesday. Actually, while I was on a 3 hour layover in Baltimore I was on the phone booking childcare for our Halfway Party! It is proving to be a lot of work but I am so excited to see how everything will turn out. 

Yesterday we hit up the outlet mall. I LOVE shopping at the outlet, especially for Little Miss. She now has a new summer wardrobe and we made some great purchases at Stride Rite. Their shoes are great, but I refuse to pay $40 for a pair of shoes for her so thank goodness they had an outlet. We found her 2 new pairs (I paid less than what I would have paid for one pair at their normal store!), one of them being a pair of sandals she can wear to the beach or in the water anywhere! Does anyone else get excited when they buy stuff at a great price?

Little Miss has been really enjoying playing with her cousin K, she is 6 months younger than Little Miss. Someone should have explained to K that Little Miss is a hugger. Oh and Little Miss is now calling me "MAMA", right now I am loving it! I am sure eventually I may want a name change though...

I got my first email from Hubs today after he's been in the dark ages for over a week now. He was out pirate hunting. Nope, I'm not even kidding! I told him before he left that he would be out pirate hunting on the open seas...he told me I was being silly. HA! I was right and that doesn't happen very often. For those of you confused, my husband's ship was involved in the pirate fiasco where 4 American citizens were killed. We haven't been able to communicate with them until today so I am excited to finally hear from him. Not that I was worried about him in any way, I mean pirates vs. naval fleet, come on! 

I have lots of plans while I am home, including getting my first tattoo! I will share all of my adventures with you guys :)

Project Gratitude

Project Gratitude Day 52:
Thankful to be in warmer weather, though I am disappointed I didn't pack for it! I can always go shopping :)


Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Project Gratitude

Project Gratitude Day 51:
Thankful for the few old friends I can come back home to and thankful for "grandma" so I can finally get a manicure!


Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Project Gratitude

Project Gratitude Day 50:
Very thankful today that Little Miss was such an excellent little plane rider today, I was definitely nervous since this is the first time we have flown since she learned to walk!


Monday, February 21, 2011

Project Gratitude

Project Gratitude Day 49:
Happy to be heading "home" tomorrow to be spoiled by my parents!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Project Gratitude

Project Gratitude Day 48:
I am thankful that I am feeling better today!


Saturday, February 19, 2011

Project Gratitude

Project Gratitude Day 47:
Thankful for Little Miss being so understanding that Mommy is stuck on the couch because of food poisoning :(


Friday, February 18, 2011

Project Gratitude

Project Gratitude Day 46:
Happy for a lovely day at the zoo with the play group!


Thursday, February 17, 2011

Project Gratitude

Project Gratitude Day 45:
Thankful for warmer weather heading our way tomorrow! I am glad I can finally open up the windows and air out the house.


Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Project Gratitude

Project Gratitude Day 44:
FRG meeting days are just beyond hectic for me, I am very happy to have so much help today!


Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Prayers For Logan

I have been MIA for a few days due to my hectic schedule, so tonight when I finally had a chance to catch up on the blogging world I was moved by all the posts about a little boy named Logan. He is a neighbor to a fellow blogger over at Goodnight Moon and he was diagnosed with a stage 4 Wilms Tumor. She is holding a raffle to raise money for his family. Please go over to Goodnight Moon and check out what you can do to help! 

This story hits a little too close to home for me as my sister dealt with childhood cancer. Cancer has also recently struck a close friend who is not even old enough to drink but is dealing with deployment, pregnancy, and a cancer diagnosis. Cancer is such an ugly word and is far too common. It can strike no matter what race, gender, or religion you are. 

While I know there are not many cures out there, I can take solace in the fact that our treatment of cancers have advanced tremendously. Have you ever heard of a little place called St. Jude Children's Research Hospital? This place is top notch and is amazing during such a dark time in people's lives. My sister was treated there for a number of years until they declared her in remission. I have never been in a hospital full of such caring people. The staff here see the saddest and most heartbreaking cases of cancer in children and young adults yet they are so full of hope. Every time my sister had an appointment, they paid for airfare, hotel, food, and transportation from the hotel to the hospital. Not a dime was out of pocket. For families that need to stay long term, they provide lodging for free at the Ronald McDonald House. 

I was on their website tonight and their featured patient of the month is a young girl named Nylah who was also diagnosed with a Wilms tumor like little Logan. Her story so far is a positive one and I hope and pray the same is true for Logan. Please head over to Goodnight Moon and help raise money for his family!

Project Gratitude

Project Gratitude Day 43:
I had an appointment with my personal trainer today and I am so happy my hard work is paying off!


Monday, February 14, 2011

Project Gratitude

Project Gratitude Day 42:
I am once again thankful for my Bestie to keep me company tonight :)


Sunday, February 13, 2011

Project Gratitude

Project Gratitude Day 41:
Today was supposed to be a day of just lying around in my PJ's. I am so happy I decided to get my lazy butt up and take Little Miss to the park and take myself for a run outside! Thank you motivation :)


Saturday, February 12, 2011

Project Gratitude

Project Gratitude Day 40:
Today I am thankful that we had a successful Bowling Party for the FRG and everyone seemed to have a great time! We received so many compliments and I saw many new friendships in the making! Deployments are not easy, but events like this really help boost not only my morale but others as well!


Friday, February 11, 2011

Time flies by!

Is there such a thing as being "too busy"? If there is, I think I am almost there. By no means am I complaining so don't take it that way there are so many perks to being busy! The days are flying by at record speed. I realized that today after making my monthly appointment with the personal trainer. Wow, has it already been a month that I've been back to the gym? I'm really excited because I am already seeing results. Between the gym, play dates (which I am LOVING), and FRG planning, I am swamped! I had to go out and buy a planner so I don't forget what I have going on. Thanks Little Miss for eating at my brain while I was pregnant...when does that get better by the way? She is over a year old and I still feel like I have pregnancy brain! 

Hopefully things will slow down, I am making a trip to see my parents here soon. I look forward to getting spoiled and to no longer feeling like a married-single mommy! I am afraid to announce the terrible two's have hit our household and Little Miss is taking no prisoners. Lord help us all! Hopefully the weather will start cooperating and warm up soon so we can start burning off energy playing outside. That should help right? I am also anxious to run somewhere else other than the treadmill. 

I can't believe February is almost half over already!


Project Gratitude

Project Gratitude Day 39:
I finally had a productive day today and got everything crossed off my to-do list!


Thursday, February 10, 2011

Project Gratitude

Project Gratitude Day 38:
Very thankful for cheesecake on a bad day :)


Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Project Gratitude

Project Gratitude Day 37:
There are no words out there to adequately describe how grateful I am for the "unexpected angels" in my life.


Tuesday, February 8, 2011

My Adventures with Cooking Healthy...

Usually I am very good at eating healthy but since Hubs left I have sorta veered off track. It is really hard to cook for one...well one and a half. I don't mind eating leftovers but I don't want to eat the same thing all week. I decided this week I would get back to a healthy diet AND back to cooking. My mom shared this awesome cook book with me, Holly Clegg Trim & Terrific. It is a HUGE cookbook and so far I am impressed. The recipes are easy to prepare and they don't taste half bad. Now sometimes I'll tweak them a little, usually its just adding more seasoning. I wanted to share my favorite one I've found so far:

Spinach and Black Bean Enchiladas
1 (10 oz) package frozen chopped spinach, thawed
1 (15 oz) can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 (1.25 oz) package taco seasoning mix (I used HOT taco seasoning mix)
1 cup water
1 cup fat-free sour cream
8 (6-8 inch) flour tortillas (I used whole grain tortillas)
1 (10 oz) can enchilada sauce
1.5 cups shredded reduced fat Cheddar Cheese
2 tablespoons sliced green onions

Preheat over to 375. In a non-stick skillet, heat the spinach, black beans, taco seasoning, and water. Bring to boil, reduce heat, cook for 8-10 minutes or until thick. Remove from heat and stir in sour cream.
On each tortilla, spread 1 tbsp. enchilada sauce, about 1/3 cup of spinach mixture, and 1 tbsp. of cheese. Roll up each tortilla placing the seam side down in a baking dish coated with nonstick cooking spray. Spread the remaining enchilada sauce over the filled enchiladas, cover, and bake for 15-18 minutes.
Uncover and garnish with the remaining cheese and green onions. Continue baking for 5 minutes longer or until cheese is melted.

Voila! Only 266 Calories, 14 g. Protein, 39 g. Carbs, & 5 g. Fat per serving! They are actually pretty tasty too. I like mine a little spicier so I used the HOT taco seasoning but you can always go more mild. The Bestie even agrees these are pretty good. If you try it out, let me know how you like it!


Project Gratitude

Project Gratitude Day 36:
Today I am grateful that I was able to stick to eating more healthy food, my tummy however is not so grateful.


Monday, February 7, 2011

Bitchy Much?

So today hasn't been my best of days. I blame hormones, the weather, and lack of sleep to name a few. Those sound like good excuses right? Though I am afraid excuses just don't cut it when I turn into Miss Bitch. Yup, that is my split personality. I don't know exactly what prompted her to come out today but boy was she heard. 

I had a great weekend with friends and I was happier then ever when I fell asleep last night. Saturday I went out with an old friend from jr. high & high school. She actually married a sailor too and has been up here a while longer than me. She was a huge help when I moved up here and was lost. It was her birthday this past week so a few of us girls got together for dinner and dancing. It was the first time I have been out to a club in 3 I had alot of fun, the girls I was with were so easy going. Then last night I went to another friend's house for a Superbowl Party and had a blast. Last night I remember thinking how lucky I was to have such a great group of people in my life. Also my Hubs is one step closer to adding "SW" by his name, I am one proud wife! So why did Miss Bitch pay a visit today?

So for anyone I offended unintentionally (or intentionally!), I apologize. Though days like this remind me that for once I have REAL, GENUINE people in my life that understand we all have bad days and are willing to overlook it. 

What does everyone else call their "split personality"?

Project Gratitude

Project Gratitude Day 35:
Very grateful for friends that still stick by me even on my bitchy days. I promise once I get some sleep I'll be an angel!


Sunday, February 6, 2011

Project Gratitude

Project Gratitude Day 34:
After a rough morning & afternoon, I had a wonderful time watching the Superbowl with friends! I am grateful to have great friends around to help pick me up out of a funk :)


Saturday, February 5, 2011

Project Gratitude

Project Gratitude Day 33:
I am so grateful I was given the chance to rekindle an old friendship from jr. high & high school! I had an amazing night out with her for her birthday tonight with just the girls!


Friday, February 4, 2011

Project Gratitude

Project Gratitude Day 32:
Me and the Bestie toured a great location for a super important FRG event and I am so grateful for our luck!


Thursday, February 3, 2011

Project Gratitude

Project Gratitude Day 31:
I had a very blonde moment today and totally messed up a play date with a new friend, I am grateful that she doesn't hold it against me that I'm not a "super-mom" (her words not mine!). Its so refreshing to have a friend mature enough to understand when I mess up that its not personal, I am just spacey sometimes! 

These are a few of my favorite things...

Thank goodness payday came this week! I was running low or completely out of some of my essentials. It has taken years of trying new products to find my list of favorite things and I wanted to share! Also I am hoping in return I can get some advice about a few things to add to this list :)
  • Philosophy Purity Made Simple. Once I found this one-step face wash, I knew I'd never use anything else on my face! I have very oily, acne-prone skin. Not the little zits, but the big massive cystic acne. Yucky. It has taken YEARS of prescriptions and over the counter meds to combat my acne. I have this face wash to thank. I am amazed at how well this stuff works because it is very gentle but still gets the job done PLUS it removes my makeup. 
  • Philosophy On A Clear Day. This is an oil-free all over acne treatment. Like all other Philosophy products I have used, this is very gentle on my skin. It has 0.5% salicylic acid but it doesn't burn when I put it on and doesn't dry out my skin very much. I use it twice a day, under my makeup and before bed time, and it keeps my skin clear.
  • Proactiv Refining Mask or Philosophy On A Clear Day Acne Spot Treatment. When I do feel a zit coming on, I dab either of these on it before I go to sleep and when I wake up in the morning its not quite the catastrophe that it could have been! Both of these use sulfur as the active ingredient and I find when its combined with the salicylic acid it really helps prevent a huge breakout. Both are gentle on my skin and cause no burning!
  • Clinique Even Better Clinical Dark Spot Corrector. Because I deal with cystic acne, I have alot of scarring to deal with. Lovely purple and red spots on my face. This stuff is a miracle worker! It is rather pricey but it is so worth it! Within 2 weeks I can see the scars fading. I used to never leave my house without makeup because the scarring was so bad it looked like I still had blemishes all over my face. After using this product religiously, I can walk out without makeup and I even get compliments on my skin!
  • Clinique All About Eyes Serum. Under my eyes I tend to deal with alot of puffiness and dryness. I get this in the eye massage tube and it really brightens and de-puffs my under eye area. 

  • Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturizing Gel. Best. Face. Lotion. Ever. Nothing even compares to this stuff! It is so lightweight, absorbs quickly, and works! With all the acne product I use I tend to get dry areas and this lotion fixes it without leaving behind that oily feeling. Its oil-free and won't cause breakouts either. You can even get it now with SPF. 
  • BareMinerals. Since I have super oily skin, wearing liquid foundation in the heat and humidity in summer is a huge mess. I was amazed at how well powders could cover my face just like a liquid but still be lightweight and not melt off. This is a must for people that deal with makeup sliding off their face! The foundation even has SPF 15.

  • Clinique Even Better Makeup SPF 15. When I do wear a liquid foundation in the cooler months, this one does double duty. Along with being a light-medium coverage base, it also has the dark spot corrector product mixed in! So in the winter months that is one less product I have to use because they have combined it with the liquid foundation. 

  • Urban Decay Shadow Primer Potion in Sin. I have used many different eye shadow primers to help my eyeshadow not get all creasy by the end of the day. This one actually works AND it adds a touch of color. Its a nice shiney nude color. You can get it in different colors or no color at all.  
  • Smashbox Cream Eye Liner in Midnight Brown. I apply this stuff with a smudger brush and its perfect every time! I don't have the most steady hand, but applying with the brush is effortless. A trick I use: I blow warm air on the liner before I dip the brush in it so it applies easier. 

  • Sephora Lash Plumper Mascara in Brown. I have tried all the ridiculously expensive mascaras out there, if my husband knew how much money I wasted on find the perfect volumizing mascara he would not be a happy camper! This stuff is $12 at Sephora and it works BETTER than the pricey brands. It not only makes my eyes look like I have lots of lashes, but it also lengthens.
  • Smashbox Makeup Brushes. Since I use the powder makeup, a soft brush is a must! These are not cheap but OMGoodness do they feel amazing when applying makeup. I have the face/body brush for my powders and the smudger brush for my eye liner.
  • Nivea Body Lotions. I wash my hands a million times a day and even though I have an oily face, my arms & legs get ashy. I use this stuff on my body after a shower and I have some by my sink when I wash my hands. Its lightweight, absorbs quickly, and doesn't feel greasy. Plus it works better than the heavier lotions that make my hands feel all gross. 
  • Colgate Total Toothpaste. I have used this stuff for years and I can brush in the morning and by lunchtime my breath still smells minty. 
  • Suave Clinical Protection Deodorant. You can buy the Secret brand, but this one works the same and costs much less. I can put this stuff on and it'll keep me sweat/stink free for 2 days!           
  • Nicole/OPI Nail Polish. Both are made by the same company, Nicole is just slightly cheaper. This polish endures the many hand washes I put my nails through and manages to last longer than the rest.
  • Chi Flatiron. Love it, it works well and has taken a beating yet still works faithfully! While my hair is naturally board straight, I use this to tame the ends of my layers. It is a pricey investment but I've had mine for 5 years now with zero problems. 
I hope this list is helpful to some of you, I know it took me almost 10 years to figure out! I know the makeup and skin products can be quite pricey. Luckily the only product I run out of quickly is the acne gel. Also, the NEX sells Philosophy, Clinique, Smashbox, and BareMinerals for much cheaper than the other stores. Though the advantage of shopping at Sephora or Ulta is their rewards points program if you like that sort of thing.

What I would like to add to this list: A good volumizing shampoo and conditioner that won't dry out my hair. I highlight my very fine hair and the problem I come across is either A) the product doesn't volumize, or B) it does volumize but it dries out my hair.
Also I would LOVE to find the perfect lipstick/gloss. I love the staying power of lipstick and how a gloss feels soft on my lips I just haven't found a product yet that combines those two well. 

Thursday Five

Time for Thursday Five, head on over to Flip Flops and Combat Boots  to link up!
Here are the 5 things this week that made me feel:
 I was at the mall a few nights ago shopping for a friend's birthday gift and also browsing for fun stuff to put in the next care package for Hubs. At Francesca's (I LOVE that store!) they had the cutest book of love coupons so I grabbed then and threw them on the stroller. I walked out the door a few minutes later and totally forgot I had the coupons! I turned around, apologized for my Honest mistake, and paid for them. 
Monday night I had a friend and her wonderful daughters over for dinner, this is the first time I've had anyone over for dinner since Hubs left. It was Splendid having a chance to chit chat with her, normally we are so rushed for time! 
This week I have stuck to my workout routine and I even ran for 30 minutes straight! At least one thing in my life is going Perfect right now!

I received my first phone call from Hubs and it was beyond Spectacular! I have never cried so many happy tears :) Hearing his voice was the best thing by far that has happened this week. 
So I decided to try out my new "suit" jacket with my nautical-inspired striped shirt with sequins and my new pair of bootcut super darkwash jeans and to top it off wore my grey suede Jessica Simpson leather booties. I got so many compliments on my outfit, I felt so Fancy!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

OPSEC: Learn it, Live it, Love it!

Since the Hubs left, there is one acronym that keeps popping up all over facebook: OPSEC. When my husband was in school, I heard nothing of this. It was not until after we moved to VA that I heard of OPSEC. Of course it made total sense to me, but I have noticed lots of other people don't understand what it is and what is/isn't an OPSEC violation. This post is going to be about what I know and what I've found on the internet about OPSEC. I will be the first to admit I do not know everything on this subject. So only constructive criticism please :)

What is OPSEC?
Operations Security, or OPSEC, is keeping potential adversaries from discovering our critical information. As the name suggests, it protects our operations planned, in progress, and those completed. Success depends on secrecy and surprise, so the military can accomplish the mission faster and with less risk. Our adversaries want our information, and they don't concentrate on only Military Members to get it. They want you, the family member.

Protecting Critical Information
Even though information may not be secret, it can be what we call "critical information". Critical information deals with specific facts about military intentions, capabilities, operations or activities. If an adversary knew this detailed information, our mission accomplishment and personnel safety could be jeopardized. It must be protected to ensure an adversary doesn't gain a significant advantage. By being a member of the military family, you will often know some bits of critical information. Do not discuss them outside of your immediate family, over the telephone, and especially not on the internet!

Examples Of Critical Information
  • Detailed information about the mission of assigned units.
  • Details on locations and times of unit deployments.
  • Personnel transactions that occur in large numbers (Example: powers of attorney, wills, deployment information).
  • References to trends in unit morale or personnel problems.
  • Details concerning security procedures.
Puzzle Pieces
These bits of information may seem insignificant. However, to a trained adversary, they are small pieces of a puzzle that highlight what were doing and planning. Remember, the elements of security and surprise are vital to the accomplishment of our goals and our collective personnel protection.

Where and how you discuss this information is just as important as with whom you discuss it. Adverse agents tasked with collecting information frequently visit some of the same stores, clubs, recreational areas, or places of worship as you do. You know when you chat with your hairdresser or the person giving you a manicure? To you it may seem like mindless chatter but think about who all can hear your conversation.

If anyone, especially a foreign national, persistently seeks information, notify your military sponsor immediately. He or she will notify the unit OPSEC program manager.

What Can You Do?
There are many countries and organizations that would like to harm Americans and degrade our influence in the world. It's possible, and not unprecedented, for spouses and family members of U.S. military personnel to be targeted for intelligence collection. This is true in the United States and especially true overseas! What can you do?

Be Alert
Foreign governments and organizations collect significant amounts of useful information by using spies. A foreign agent may use a variety of approaches to befriend someone and get sensitive information. This sensitive information can be critical to the success of a terrorist or spy, and consequently deadly to Americans. I would suggest cleaning up your list of facebook friends. Do you really know 1000 people well enough to trust them with the information you put out there?

Be Careful
There may be times when your spouse cannot talk about the specifics of his or her job. It's very important to conceal and protect certain information such as ship movements. All those rumors that fly around during deployment about "a change in port of calls" or "a change in schedule". While you may not be specifying EXACTLY what has changed, you are possibly letting the enemy know that something has changed. Something as simple as a phone discussion about where your spouse is deploying can be very useful to our enemies.

All family members are part of the military OPSEC team. They need to protect information to ensure the safety of all our soldiers, sailors, airman, coast guards, civilians, and their families. If you decide to share information with your family, you need to make sure they know the rules. Personally, I don't share with any of my family. Why? First of all, they are all thousands of miles away so the only way to tell them would be A) over the phone, and B) over the internet. Neither of which is a safe way to share information. My family respects the rules enough to understand that I can't share anything. They are okay with it, they'd rather my sailor be safe.

Here is a run down of what you CAN'T say:
  • Current and future operations
  • Travel Itineraries
  • Operation planning information
  • Entry/exit (security procedures)
  • Capabilities and limitations. Example: My husband told me that _____ broke on the flight deck today.
  • Port calls (current, future and past port calls in a current deployment)
  • Readiness
  • General morale
  • VIP/ distinguished visitor movements
  • People’s names and billets in conjunction with operations
Now for discussing past operations of a current deployment. (You can't say my husband left Spain yesterday but you can say my husband left port. You can't say my husband left for deployment yesterday because you can generalize an area off one day.) You may however post any of the above if you have a media link to prove the information has been released. Our ship has a public page. When they announced where they were in port, A LOT of people unnecessarily panicked. Ladies and Gentleman, the ship would NOT allow information to be posted if it were not safe to do so. The command WILL ALWAYS have our sailors best interests in regards to safely in mind when they choose to release information.

Guess what else is a violation? Marking halfway points or referring to how many months are left in the deployment. Also no discussing how long your SO has been extended. This includes discussing percentages left on a deployment. (example: There is only 20% left on this deployment). So those cute DaisyPath tickers you have on your facebook counting down until you are once again united with your love? OPSEC violation. Those pie charts that count down the percentage left on deployment? OPSEC violation. I have been out of college for 5 years now and I can do the reverse math to figure out from those percentage left charts when your sailor comes home. The point: It doesn't take a genius to figure out when your sailor is due home. The deployment date was publicly released and then if you have a percentage showing how much of the deployment is completed, its just simple algebra from there.

Do NOT discuss anything that has not been released yet. So your husband told you the ship's schedule has changed? Prove it before you announce it to the public. You must provide a link if it is questionable. While we are at it, you must provide a link to a reputable news source! Sorry ladies, we bloggers are NOT considered a good, time proved source of information! Do NOT speculate or spread rumors. Rumors will fly about the ships schedule. The command is committed to keeping Sailors and families informed and getting schedule updates to you as soon as practical. Flexibility is the key. Navy schedules do change but the command will keep its crew and families informed. The best way for family members to keep informed is to attend the Family Readiness Group meetings every month and to avoid listening to or spreading rumors. The command will only release official schedule updates so why rely on rumors and hearsay?

CORRECT: "My soldier is deployed in support of Iraqi Freedom or Enduring Freedom."
INCORRECT: "My soldier is in XYZ Unit and is stationed at ABC Camp in XXX city in Iraq."

INCORRECT: "Please pray for my soldier. He called today and told me he is going out on a very dangerous mission tonight."
When our sailors are in dangerous situations, it is natural to want to reach out to others. But the above statement puts your sailor in danger. You could have very well just alerted the enemy about their mission

Best piece of advice:

If you see someone has violated OPSEC, kindly message them to let them know. If they are a repeat offender, you should remind them of the consequences: deployments can be extended, communication with your sailor could be cut off (no phone calls, no emails!), and then the worst of all, being attacked by the enemy. If they don't remove their post, inform your ombudsman. 

Now please don't read this and interpret is as "Well she thinks she is just the OPSEC expert!". By no means do I feel that way. I have violated OPSEC myself unknowingly. But you better believe once it was pointed out to me, I didn't argue. I didn't send rude messages to the person who showed me my error. I apologized and then educated myself! Knowledge is power people. Knowledge will keep my sailor safe. While researching for this post I came across this: Know OPSEC. Keep OPSEC. Get over yourself.