"Thank you so much Bryant, Marko, and little Oliver from @thecozyhomegays, for interviewing with It’s a Military Life for our Happy Home page launch and getting us excited for our theme week: Making a House a Home. We will be focusing on ways to make a house a home, with DIY projects, home decor advice, and ways to make your family's living space a happy one."
1) Tell us a little bit about yourselves and your family! What does your social media platform represent as a couple, military family, and home decor influencers?
Bryant, Marko, and little Oliver here and we’re an Army family currently growing our loving family through open adoption. While we’re currently separated due to an unaccompanied PCS, we are making the best of all the marvels technology has to offer us to stay connected and supportive of one another over this next year.
Marko is a Major in the Army and has served for 11 years. He recently reported to South Korea where he will work in his role as a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist. I’m Bryant, Marko’s more colorful half!
I work as an Infection Control Practitioner and take graduate courses on my way to becoming a Clinical Psychologist. Together, we run our IG page TheCozyHomeGays as a way to celebrate our family bonded by love and open adoption. We share a glimpse into our lives to showcase the joys of family and how crafting a more beautiful world through gardening, decor, and DIY allows us to create together as a family.
As we continue to grow our family through adoption, we hope people will follow along on our journey and engage with us so we can build a community that not only supports one another and sparks creativity, but encourages people to embrace others with inclusive open minds and loving hearts.
3) Currently, your husband is deployed. Can you share how it is to be a military spouse husband, and father, during this very stressful time with the pandemic. What have you done to stay busy and happy for yourself and family?
When our son (who is now 2) was just 4 months old, Marko was deployed to Syria. His departure was hard on all of us for very different reasons. He wanted to bask in the joy of his newborn son and be with us as we continued to finalize our adoption. I was trepidation about caring for this precious life on my own without my husband, who had rose to the occasion in such a big way from day one of Oliver’s birth.
The 8 months of his deployment were transformative in many ways. We were forced to find strength within in ourselves to ensure our family adapted to change and thrived. Schedules and responsibilities may have shifted, but our priorities and values as a family unit remained the same.
Fast forward to today and we feel prepared to face the twists and turns of military life now and in the future, knowing that we have navigated these seas of separation before. We have a lot of balls in the air currently being juggled (adopting baby #2 among the biggest), but we know that we can still support each other and love each other unconditionally through the chaos and stress.....no matter what sky we’re under.
6) We are so excited you will be contributing to our new Happy Home-Home Decor and DIY- page! What do subscribers have to look forward to with your upcoming blog posts?
Some fails and flops as I try to navigate DIY without the expert on hand, perhaps some lessons learned as Marko shares with me his tips and tricks (they always seem to be revealed after I make the mistake by the way), and hopefully some successes that boost my self-efficacy along the way! In between the DIYs I will continue to create spaces both in the home and out in the gardens that bring me joy. I’m excited to invite everyone in on our daily journeys and look forward to engaging with you soon!
2) I love your home decor and innovative projects. What has been your favorite DIY so far? (If you could share a project with photos and a caption with steps)
Marko is the builder and he just amazes me with what he can whip up in the garage based off of a rough sketch in his mind. His process for bringing his DIY visions to fruition always seems so informal and organic to me that I have a hard time believing the end results. I would need to put together a planning committee, and maybe take a few months to research different screw length options!!!
My eye is more for decor and I wouldn’t know where to even start with most of the projects he works on. Our favorite DIY projects have been our farmhouse table with bench and our sliding barn door window treatments that use modern farmhouse design and incorporate mirror panes to make the space seem bigger and brighter.
4) Where can we find on social media? What would you say is the most fun part about @cozyhomegays and the topics you discuss and share?
You can find us on Instagram!
Just engaging with such supportive and creative people has been tremendously rewarding. As much as we try to inspire and support others, what we get back in turn from those that follow us feels so much bigger! We try to respond to every question and comment that comes our way…we just love the interaction!
Additionally, we have a lot of fun just being silly and creating fun content together as a family. Some things are flops (or learning opportunities) and other things turn out better than we envisioned.
For Marko, the DIY piece is by far his favorite. Typically, I come up with the vision for what a space needs and just don’t have the skills to execute…enter Marko! For me, gardening is my therapy and time spent with Oliver watering flowers and searching for ripe strawberries brings me a lot of joy. I really enjoy trying to capture snippets of these adventures to share with our online community!
5) Do you have any major plans coming up for your platform and home decor?
With Marko gone, I may try to venture into DIY land myself over this next year (enter daunti
ng music here). It should be entertaining to see how it goes…I expect a lot of video calls with Marko to figure out how to work tools, and if I can just hold everything together with glue and staples!!!!
As we start to shift into cooler months (wishful thinking in this dreaded humidity and heat we’re currently dealing with here in Maryland) I typically turn to my neglected houseplants and start to amp up the indoor gardening. Marko may come home to a jungle (aka: indoor plant sanctuary) next year and I’m not so sure he’ll be as thrilled with it as me!!!