Samantha is a winner of Top 25 Military Moms - 2013

What's a tip for celebrating a holiday or milestone with your kids when your partner isn't able to be there?

Go above and beyond! No birthday or holiday is too small to celebrate. It doesn't have to be gifts; it can be certain things you do, like going to the park and spending time together or having a "drive-in" in your living room; do your best to make it special.

I always sent my husband themed care packages and this is a great way to involve the children as well. Make cards, banners, etc and turn it from a negative to a positive!

And of course, pictures and movies are a must! Take a ton of pictures, not only to show your partner every single detail, but it will give the kids a chance to explain what was happening in each picture.

What have you learned about parenting from living in different places?

It's hard. My son has never been on a routine because we have been moving or visiting different places so frequently, we never really had a chance to get settled into one. Some parents find the time to do it but for us it never worked. Our son has had to adapt to different houses, situations, and family members being present and he's done such an amazing job at it.

The most important thing to remember is that their happiness needs to be number one. Pick your battles. Let them explore and enjoy themselves but set boundaries without being too constricting. It's all about balance.

What are your best tips for traveling with kids?

Patience is a true virtue. Trips that normally take 6 hours can turn into 8 hours when traveling with children and you just have to learn to accept that. Frequent stops, lots of snacks, and hours of entertainment will do wonders for everyone!

My biggest tip? Plan the trip around nap time or bed time if possible :)