Military Mama

An interview with abbey + missy

On this Memorial Day, we want to honor the men and women who have given the ultimate sacrifice for our country. And for the families who have lost their loved ones and feel like every day is Memorial Day, our sincerest thanks for giving our country one of its greatest heroes.

We would also like to recognize our nation's military moms. Your dedication to your family and country is a special kind of love that comes with a great deal of sacrifice. I was lucky to get to ask Missy, whose husband is in the Air Force, a few questions about military life.

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Thanks for joining us on this memorial day - please Tell us a little bit about yourself!

Hi! I'm Missy...a wife, mom, and destination wedding photographer. I married my high school sweetheart, Kyle, in May of 2011. My husband is full time Air Force and my part time business partner. We love working together photographing destination weddings! I also adore being a mom to our 3-year-old, who keeps me on my toes.

First, a huge thank you to Kyle for his service with the Air Force! Where has his job taken you over the years and how have you established a community with each new move?

Kyle and I met during high school while I was living in Maryland. After high school, Kyle went to the Air Force Academy for four years in Colorado where I moved to be near him and start my photography business. Following his graduation in 2011 we were stationed in Texas for two years, Hawaii for three years and we are currently stationed in New Mexico. Each move has presented challenges to maintaining existing friendships/relationships and developing new ones, but Kyle is truly my best friend and leaning on each other helps us through. Getting involved in the Air Force community as well as finding a great photography community encourages us in making a new place feel like home. We also always find a church that we love where we get involved and go to small groups or a bible study, which is great for developing new relationships and keeps us on track.

What is the best and worst part of military life?

The absolute best part about military life is getting to go places and experience new things. For example, Kyle spent some time in Australia for work and I was able to go visit him for a bit and experience some amazing sights that I otherwise wouldn’t have been able to see! The hardest part for me is reestablishing my wedding photography business with each move. Networking is a huge component of wedding photography and moving every few years has been a challenging for me and my ability to grow the business.

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Your daughter Avery is just the cutest! What is being a military mom like?

Thank you! For the most part I think that a military mom is just like any other mom. I work from home so I have to balance being a stay at home mom and a business owner. But military moms do have to deal with family separations (spousal deployments) and relocations more than most. Now that Avery is three she is becoming more aware of when Kyle is gone or doesn’t come home at his usual time. In the past she hasn’t understood that her dad is in the military (she knows Kyle’s uniform and when we see others in uniform, she thinks that it’s him, LOL!). Currently, we are gearing up for Kyle’s first deployment and I'm sure that she is going to ask where he is, so I am trying to come up with some creative ways to keep us busy and count down the days with her until Kyle returns.

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We hear you LOVE to travel! Any tips on traveling with kids?

Yes, we love to travel! Traveling is a big part of our lives. We set a goal to take at least a couple of trips a year to new places and even though we have a 3 year old, that hasn’t stopped us from traveling the globe - it just adds an extra bag or two that we have to bring along. While we travel a lot for fun, our wedding photography business requires travel too which is awesome to do together! We try to take Avery when we can, but thankfully, I have amazing parents who watch her when we need to travel without her. The biggest tip for traveling with kids that I can offer is figure out a way to make it happen. The memories you will make traveling the world with your family far outweigh the logistical headaches.

What is your favorite place to visit? Why? Any funny travel stories you would like to share?

New Zealand stands out as my favorite place that we have traveled to so far. NZ is absolutely beautiful! We joke constantly about moving there. A funny story from one of our travels has to be from last year while we were visiting Iceland. We were on the Snæfellsnes Peninsula and had found a specific spot that we wanted to hike to so Kyle pulled it up on his GPS app. According to his GPS, we needed to hike to the right to find the landmark. For about an hour we hiked through rain, hail, and some tough terrain. Finally, after being completely exhausted, we decided to turn around. When we arrived back at our car, Kyle decided to hike in the other direction quickly to see if he could find the landmark that we had been were looking for. Sure enough, about 30 seconds to the left from where we had parked was the landmark. It was a pretty funny moment and we still laugh about it together.

So CM! is all about celebrating the mama life. How do you celebrate your mom life?

By recognizing and enjoying life's little moments with Avery. It amazes me how much Avery grows and changes constantly. I try to make an effort to take out my camera often to capture her being a toddler at home or take her somewhere to have fun and document our experience. She has such a great sense of humor so I love to laugh with her, have spontaneous tickle times, and at the end of each day we love to snuggle together reading books. I also think it is important to take time away from your little one for yourself. I enjoy getting a pedicure, going on errands, or walking the aisles of Target while Kyle watches Avery. Taking these moments for myself help me come back refreshed and ready to be a mom.

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FOLLOW MISSY

www.missyrichphotography.com

Instagram: @missyrichphoto

 

Facebook: Facebook.com/missyrichphotography

Pinterest: www.pinterest.com/missyrichphoto

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We hope you have a fun filled Memorial Day and unofficial start to summer! Between the BBQs and pool parties, be sure to remember why we celebrate today and how grateful we all should be to our service men and women.