Hi, I’m Kayla, founder of The Navy Mom. I’m a Navy wife with a toddler trying to find adventure in a new city amongst deployments, underways and everyday life. I created this site as a way to connect with other moms and share our experiences as a Navy family. I have a passion for exploring new places, eating awesome food and finding creative ways to entertain a toddler. We are currently stationed in Jacksonville, Florida for the second time. I’ve lived in over ten different cities so I’m not a stranger to moving but with every move comes new friends, new places, new adventures and many new obstacles. The goal of this site is help you find adventure, fun and friends amongst all of the challenges of military life.
Three years ago we received orders to Jacksonville. We were living in San Diego at the time and in true Navy form, we had five weeks to pack up and move. My husband was attending multiple schools on the East Coast at the time so it was up to me to get the house packed up and moved across the country. My sister flew out and joined the dog and me on a cross-country drive. When my husband finished schooling in Virginia Beach, he met me in Jacksonville with ten days to spare before heading out on deployment. There I was, standing at the pier in Mayport with our dog in tow watching my husband leave for a seven-month deployment. We hadn’t closed on our house yet, our belongings were still in transit and I didn’t know a single other military person. Now what?
Does any of this sound familiar? If you’re a military spouse then I bet your story sounds very similar to mine. As a military wife, we often find ourselves in a new city with not a clue about what to do next. Since we’re usually not in one place very long, it is important to jump right into building a new life here. “Bloom where planted,” right? In order to bloom, I started researching fun things to do here in Jacksonville. I have to tell you- that first deployment wasn’t too bad. I found a great community of military wives and non military friends and I ended up with a lot of support, I found a great church and I delved into many activities. I actually started to like it here.
Fast forward to last January, my son was two months old and we thought we were moving back to California for shore duty in the spring. Ahh yes, shore duty, it was SO close I could taste it! Then, hubby came home and told me that not only were we NOT moving back to California yet but that he was going to be deploying for nine months. “Wait, WHAT? I just had a baby! You’re leaving? You’ve GOT TO BE KIDDING ME?” We had planned this so perfectly. My husband was going to wrap up his sea tour, we would then be going to shore duty for several years where he wouldn’t be traveling or deploying, a great time to start a family and make sure both parents are present. Not so fast! The Navy and God had other plans for us. Now here I am staying in Jacksonville with a newborn and my husband is deploying for nine months.
The second deployment was NOTHING like the first. Isn’t funny how one deployment can differ so drastically from the next even in the same city? I only had the dog, paint colors for our new house and myself to worry about. Now, I have a baby to keep alive and healthy for the next nine months on my own. I entered into an entirely NEW WORLD. I went from working full time at a television station to starting my own advertising agency from home right after the baby was born. I was a Navy Mom in Jacksonville and I didn’t have a clue what to do, where to get support, or how to survive deployment.
Well-I did survive. I even had a little fun. Now I’m here to help you. I want to give you all the ins and outs that I’ve learned so that you can have fun and exciting adventures as you figure out how to navigate this new city as a military mom.
I’ve survived and thrived during 3 submarine patrols and 2 surface ship deployments. I’ve moved 10 times, lived in 8 different states and visited 25 different countries. Being a military mom can be really hard, especially if your husband is gone a lot. The key to enjoying Navy life is to find adventure wherever you’re anchored! The goal of this blog is to inspire adventure as we all try to navigate this crazy wonderful military life.
Can anyone else relate to my story? Tell me about it!