A Beautiful Camouflage Update & Contest Opportunity!

There are dozens of subcultures in the United States. If you’ve followed me for any length of time, you’ll know my family is a proud member of the military subculture – with less than ten percent of American society being able to claim a military veteran in their immediate family.

Since our family already enjoys being part of one subculture, we decided this move from GA to our new dwelling, we would join another subculture. One in which I have no previous exposure, and would require a little flexibility from all family members.

Introducing, our new home away from home:


According to our five year old, this is our “home trailer.” It is also the place where the dreams of quiet and solitude from mothers with small children go to die.

However, it is also the birth place of adventures!

We left GA with our home trailer, but since we arrived in our new state, we have had the thing sitting in the shop for repairs which were due at the time of delivery of the rig to our family.

In the meantime, we are beginning Week Three of living in the military’s temporary lodging facility (a.k.a. their hotel on the installation). My crockpot, Instant Pot, wooden spoons, changes of clothes for more than three days at a time, and my Bible, Catechism, and projects I should be working on sit in the home trailer at the RV dealer. I won’t complain in this piece about the kids bouncing off the walls, or the lack of having our “own” space, simply because our blessings far outweigh our struggles.


We have a full-service kitchen in our temporary lodging. That means we also have a coffee pot, and pots and pans with which to cook. Furthermore, it takes me a solid twenty minutes to clean everything, including a sweep of the floor. I can’t beat that anywhere else we have ever lived!

We have two bedrooms with televisions, so when the going gets tough and “Mommy needs a time out,” the kids retreat to the second bedroom, and flip on “their” television. We have a generously sized table with which to eat, fold clothes, and type on a laptop – and anything else.

And, it has been seriously nice to have someone else come in and make our bed on a daily basis.

If you’ve followed me on social media, you’ll know we are facing the added struggle of renters being too afraid to rent to owners of either a German Shepherd or Husky (even if she is mostly Lab and cat). Therefore, our hope is that, at some point in the not too distant future, we will move out of this current lodging, and back into our camper. We will find ourselves in a smaller, more intimate setting; yet, one which is solely ours. Finding ourselves in the Sunshine State, we are also hoping to wait until our number comes up on the housing list to move into military lodging on the installation – where our dogs and the children are all welcomed with open arms.


All this leads me to a newer installment of The Gratitude Project.

While sitting in this military temporary lodging, I was contacted by an individual working for Country Inn & Suites by Radisson. She offered me an opportunity to share with my artistic readers an opportunity to express gratitude to our nation’s military members – free of charge! Simply, Country Inn & Suites is offering a Thank You Card Design Contest – four lucky winners will have their designs featured on cards made available at more than 450 hotel locations throughout the United States.

Our family is not currently staying at a Country Inn & Suites. However, unbeknownst to the woman working in their communications department, we have stayed at a Country Inn & Suites in the past. It was a place we laid our head and called home for about a month when we moved to GA. They did not discriminate against our large dogs. They provided our family with a small kitchen, in which I was able to use my crockpot to make meals healthier than the average dinner out. They provided us an opportunity to rest easy when we were a family in flux.

Just like today.

Just like these past two weeks.

Just like this move.

As the public announcement in the e-mail sent to me states:

“Country Inn & Suites® by Radisson has launched its Military 1st Thank-You Card Design Contest to help in the creation of new thank-you card designs honoring United States’ service members. Four winners will have their designs featured on cards that will be available at more than 450 Country Inn & Suites by Radisson hotels around the U.S. for guests to write messages to U.S. troops around the world.

‘Since launching our Military 1st program last year we have collected thousands of thank-you cards from our guests around the country,’ said Ken Greene, president, Americas, Radisson Hotel Group. ‘We are humbled to play a small part in helping to share our sincere gratitude to those who make big sacrifices on our behalf.’

The contest is part of the Military 1st Program, which is a partnership between Country Inn & Suites by Radisson and Operation Gratitude. Operation Gratitude annually sends 250,000+ individually addressed care packages to U.S. Service Members deployed overseas, to their children left behind, and to veterans, new recruits, first responders, wounded heroes and their care givers. Every Country Inn & Suites by Radisson hotel in the U.S. has a thank-you note station in the lobby area, giving guests the opportunity to show their gratitude to America’s heroes. Messages are collected and delivered inside Operation Gratitude Care Packages to troops serving overseas.

As part of the Military 1st program, active military, veterans and spouses receive a special military rate on hotel rooms for leisure travel and are automatically qualified for an upgrade to the best room available (subject to availability during check-in).

‘We are excited to partner with Country Inn & Suites by Radisson, giving their guests the opportunity to express their appreciation to those who serve,’ said Kevin Schmiegel, Chief Executive Officer of Operation Gratitude. ‘Providing opportunities for our nation to say ‘Thank You’ to Service Members and their families is critically important, because so many grateful citizens want to do so, but many don’t know how.’

The contest runs until July 31, 2018, and entries can be submitted via the Country Inn & Suites by Radisson Facebook page.”

I want to have my son work on a design. I want to work on a design, although my gift is the written word, rather than the drawn. Our extra drawing paper sits in our home trailer. So, on our behalf, I am encouraging each of my readers to dig into their creative hearts and create, and submit, a design for Country Inn & Suites’ contest!

Let’s make sure our nation’s military members (and their families) feel the love for the adventures they go on every couple years!

If you enter the contest, I’d love to see your design! Certainly use the Country Inn & Suites’ social media handles of @countryinn and #Military1stAtCountry – but then, also be sure to tag me at @beautifulcamouflagedmess (IG), or @beautifulcamome (Twitter), or @BeautifulCamouflage (FB). And, as an extended Gratitude Project, be sure to use “my” #bctgp.

And, of course, spread the word!

Let’s inundate Country Inn & Suites with a ton of submissions – not because I dislike the chain. Rather, because I can’t think of a nicer headache than to have to sift through and choose the top four submissions for this particular contest.

I look forward to what you, my dear reader, design for this contest!

While blog updates will continue to be haphazard, be sure to keep an eye on my social media sites for further thoughts and inspiration as they come to me during this time of upheaval for my family!



18 thoughts on “A Beautiful Camouflage Update & Contest Opportunity!

    1. Thanks!!

      I’m itching to write more – I have lots of thoughts. But, no time with which to write them down, let alone draft full posts! I keep telling myself that someday life will allow me to get the writing back toward the top of my priorities! 🤗

  1. ahhh! i love these pics!

    florida is a great state in which to live in an RV. you are a wonderful wife and mommy, and i know you will help create many, many beautiful memories for all of your family 🙂

  2. How cool! I love the contest, love that the hotel reached out to you, and love your shining, smiling attitude in your situation! Praying for quick repairs to your home trailer. ❤

  3. Wow, I think that’s so brave of you to be living in your camper until you can military housing! What an adventure! I remember reading your posts of how tough housing was. Saying a prayer for you today.

    1. Any and all prayers are definitely appreciated! We’re just honestly blessed (a term I don’t use lightly) to be stationed in a state where it’s possible to camp year-round!

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