October 31, 2016

Happy Halloween + New URL!

Happy Halloween everyone! Can you believe that we only have 2 month left in 2016!! How crazy is that? This Halloween weekend was spent eating way too many peanut butter cups and watching movies on netflix. So fun :) We're to much of homebodies to go to Halloween parties this year.  I hope you all are having a fabulous Halloween day full of lots of fun and yummy candy! 

We also have some super exciting news here on All Gumption and Grace....WE HAVE A NEW URL! 
I'd been many to get a custom url for ages, but was a little intimidated by the process. Honestly though it only took a couple of minutes. I'm so excited to officially have my own little part of the internet. It's exciting watching this blog evolve and grow. You can still reach us through the old link, but if you ever see madiherronblog.com then that's me! 

Yay! Anyway, happy holiday to you all! See you in my next post!

October 17, 2016

The Cozier the Better // Autumn Mood Board

{1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8}
Oh how I miss the fall weather that Indiana had. Here in North Texas we're halfway through October and I haven't seen a single leaf on the ground. It's still like 75* too! Although I'm sure like one month into colder weather I'll be missing the heat, but it'd still be nice to have pretty leaves and chai tea. 
Who knows where we'll end up being stationed for next fall. Still no word on his assignment or even when we'll know. That's the Air Force for ya; just hurry up and wait.
In the meantime, I'll be surrounding myself with fall themed goodies no matter the weather. 
. . .
watching: Grey's Anatomy Season 7!
listening to: Twenty Pilots, always, Twenty One Pilots
cooking: cinnamon apple french toast (omg soo good!!)
loving: mauve nail polish & cozy nights in on tumblr


October 14, 2016

Solo Road Trips // Tips and Tricks

 There's just something extremely thrilling when you're driving down the highway, windows rolled down, and your favorite songs playing on the radio. Ahh, just thinking about it makes me excited! I took my first road trip alone a month after my 18th birthday to visit Caleb 6 hours away. From that day I was travelling to Ohio and back to Indiana about once a month, more during the summer! Each trip I gained more experience and began to perfect my road trip plan. The biggest trip I took alone was this August; 350 miles from Ohio to Indiana followed by almost 1000 to Texas. It can be a little daunting to go on a trip alone, that's why I thought I'd share my 5 tips for conquering any solo road trips!
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1. Keep Your Car Organized
In general I love when everything has a place. This is especially good for when your on the road. When loading up your car, make sure you place things where they're most convenient for you while also ensuring that you have everything you need. For example, I always put my bag in backseat, carry-on type backpack in the passenger floorboard, snacks in the passenger seat, insurance cards/registration in the glove box, and basic car maintenance in the trunk(jumper cables, jack, coolant, etc) This way when I'm stopping at a rest stop, checking into a hotel, or even just wanting a quick snack while driving I don't have to worry about trying to find something.

2. Check Your Car Before you Go
This is kinda obvious, but very important. Be sure to check your fluids, tire pressure, fill up the gas tank, and make sure you have all important documents for your vehicle handy. If you're unsure how to do a few of these things as someone you know for help. When I first started I'd always ask my dad or husband. Eventually you'll learn and can do it yourself! If anything needs fixed make sure you do it before you leave. This will keep you safe while also avoiding a headache down the road.

3.Bring Snacks and Music
At times, road trips are going to get boring. That's why I like to bring snacks to keep me full and help keep be focused. (*Cue Mini-Wheats Guy*) Music will also help to pass the time and keep you from falling asleep. Road trips are perfect times for karaoke sessions!

4. Stay Safe
Safety is one of the most important things on a road trip. Let someone know before you leave and where you'll be going. Be sure to also call someone when you arrive. For extra precautions I always like to shoot my dad or husband a quick text when I stop somewhere for a break. This way he knows where I am at and the time just in case something horrible were to happen.  Having something to protect yourself if something were to go wrong, such as pepper spray or a tazer, is also a good idea. Lastly, don't stop somewhere that's not very busy. When stopping for gas or a rest stop I like make sure there are plenty of people around. 

5. Don't Push Yourself
Make sure you get a good nights sleep before you leave. If at any point during the trip you start to feel sleepy, don't be afraid to stop somewhere and take a break. Splash some cool water on your face, do some jumping jacks, or even take a quick nap. Whatever it takes to keep you awake on the road. On the other hand, don't keep forcing yourself to stay away just so you can try to get to your destination quicker. Sometimes it's a good idea to stop at a hotel for the night, especially if it's a long trip. Both your body and the other travellers with thank you.

6. Start with a Plan
Always have  printable version of your route. Just as you'd look up directions on your phone, you can do the same on your computer and print them out. Sometimes you'll be in an area without a cell phone signal so you want to make sure you have a backup in case your GPS goes out. Pay attention to traffic signs to avoid taking the wrong exit. If you did get lost, don't worry. Most GPS will reroute your trip, or you could take the exit into a nearby city and recreate your plan. You'll be back on the road in no time.

7. Trust Your Instincts
If something feels concerning, don't just ignore it. Creepy feelings about a place or person can be right, and it's better to be safe than sorry. I've never had any negative experiences, but they do happen to lots of people. Just keep your head straight and pay attention. 
. . .
There's a few more tips I wish I could share, but I think these are the most important. I've been on 10+ solo trips and they really aren't as scary as they might seem. Just follow driving laws, stay focused, be responsible, and don't forget to have f


October 12, 2016

BMT Graduation: Day One // Coin Ceremony & Base Liberty

This post has been sitting in my draft folder since the night we arrived in San Antonio. I knew before we even left I wanted to write a guide on each day at BMT Graduation. It can be a little nerve wracking going to the graduation. There's so many rules, different atmosphere, and the overall anxiety of seeing your Airman after what feels like FOREVER! So I thought I'd share my experience there, so you have a bit of an idea on what to expect.
. . .
It was just Caleb's mom, Charlotte, and I who were able to make it. We were awake by 5:30 am; way too excited to sleep! We wanted to get on base around 6:45 to 7:00. Thankfully our hotel was only 5 minutes away so it wasn't too hard to get to base. When you get to the gate you'll hand them your visitor's pass(your airman would've mailed these to you) and your ID. Once you're through the real fun begins!
When we finally arrived at the reception center I think this was really when it all started to set in. My heart was beating so fast and we were still an hour away from seeing him! I think it was just seeing all the squadron buildings and airman around. I just kept thinking, "Is this where he did classes? Is this where his dorms are? I wonder where he's at right now?"  I'm gonna be honest though...we skipped the orientation they held in the morning. I know everyone says it's mandatory, but Caleb's mom had already went to it 1 1/2 years ago with Caleb's sister so we decided it wasn't worth going to again. Now I don't think I would suggest this for everyone. Since we didn't go we had no idea what his heritage flight was, which would've been very helpful in knowing where he'd be standing come later in the day. Really though, that was all we missed. Everything else was perfect.
Since we didn't go to the orientation though, we were able to get a really good spot right next to where they do the Airman's Run! This was the moment I had waited 9 1/2 weeks for. My stomach was filled with 1000 butterflies! They run around twice; the first time we missed him. On the second lap though, we caught a quick glimpse of him. I would suggest videotaping this part rather than try and take pictures. This way we could go back and screenshot the 1 second we got of him. 
He's in the very very back left in the gray with glasses! I about died when I saw his face. The worst  part though was seeing him run by and then just run off again. I wanted to run after him and be like "no, come back!!" 

In between the Airman's Run and the Coin Ceremony is a really long wait. There's a gift shop in the reception center which will help to keep you busy. They have t-shirts for each squadron, family member themed shirts, and other cute lick knick-knacks. The prices are pretty reasonable too. I got a shirt with a pin & lanyard for only $22. 
Okay so here is where the orientation is helpful to attend. This is what the reception center is like with all the airman ready for the coin ceremony. This stadium is HUGE which rows and rows of bleachers. The airman are separated into heritage flights. During the meeting they tell you which flight your airman is in as well as where the flight will be standing. Since we skipped it, we took a chance and just decided to sit on the side where we wouldn't be blinded by the sun. This was a total blessing though because guess where Caleb ended up standing? Yup! He was the very first flight right in front of us! I couldn't believe it!
Also a huge thank you to Caleb's mama and her super amazing camera! As a result she was able to take HD pics like this one. Trust me, you'll need a camera with a decent zoom if you want to see anything. It's pretty far away and we were in one of the first few rows. For real though, seeing him standing there looking all cute and  military-like. I was smiling ear to ear! 
The whole coin ceremony took an hour and a half I think. I honestly can't remember, but there's a schedule online that will tell you for sure. It's a lot of speeches, national anthem is played, recognition for the honor flights, and then handing coins to each airman. There are multiple videos of it on YouTube if you want to know exactly what's in store.
The very last speech felt like it took forever though! They'd say "I know you all are excited to see your Airman", then continue to talk for another 10 minutes. Later Caleb and I both agreed we were at the point of "Come on let us go! I wanna see my baby!" Finally though we were able to go get him(aka tapping out). The moment he saw me heading towards him was such an amazing moment! We both just bursted into the biggest smile and hugged each other so tight. I never wanted to let go!
The rest of Thursday is base liberty. Your airman will be briefed on what they can and cannot do during base liberty. Websites like AF Wingmoms has lots of helpful information on this too! 
  As soon as he was tapped out we were able to go off and explore the base. Now that may be different for other airman though. Many might have errands they need to run before they're free to go. This is one of their first times exploring base too, so don't be surprised when they know where nothing is. Thankfully all of Caleb's errands we could do together. There's not much to do other than a mini-mall, movie theater, bowling, and a park. Which was really perfectly fine. I was way too excited to care either way. All we really wanted to do was talk before he had to go back to his dorm at 2000(8:00 pm...get use to the military jargon. That was one of the first things I noticed; the change in language and the way he walked).
Dropping him back off at curfew sucked, and only got harder each day, but knowing I'd get to see him tomorrow made leaving on Thursday a little bit better.

Day 1 down. 3 more to go.
. . .
I have two more posts coming soon. Friday's events and then Saturday and Sunday. Look for those soon! If you have any questions about graduation week or just the Air Force in general let me know! I'd be happy to help in the best way I can!