The moving stats — Hawaii to South Dakota

40+ days and counting since we have been living out of a suitcase. (* No word yet on actual delivery date of household goods. *)

11 shipping crates of our domestic bliss, approx. 12,000 lbs of stuff.

500 lbs of Unaccompanied Baggage of household essentials. (* Murphy’s Law guarantees this to be the last arrival. *)

19 mind-boggling, stressful hours waiting for word that the family dog has successfully landed in the correct destination on the mainland.

6-hour flight with an inoperable onboard entertainment system to the mainland with 2 kids depending on an operable onboard entertainment system.

21 days from drop off to pickup of family car at the Vehicle Processing Center.

1500 miles, 5-state, 3-day road-trip with 2 cars, 2 kids, and 1 set of grandparents.

55 degree cold and rainy weather welcome by Mother Nature.

0 warm weather outfits.

Complete suspension of normal family budgeting and financial operations!

Too many good-byes to count.

1 grand military family adventure to the great state of South Dakota!

Just a few hiccups: Misplaced car registration, $1500 travel bill for the Dog, Tears & Curses, Sciatica.

Are we there yet?  YES!

Are we having fun yet?  YES!

And I still have unpacking to look forward to…

Wishing you a happy, safe, low stress PCS season!

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No Orders Yet!

Bureaucracy
Military Bureaucracy

I have my last few days of freedom before summer break begins and we move.

Perhaps the military will hand us another surprise and change our location…who knows?…what I do know is that we still do not have orders and thus I have no packout date. [Cue the crazy.]

This uncertainty is making me uncomfortable and anxious.

The only thing I know for certain is that the outprocessing/TMO scheduling/packing out/cleaning out the house per the lease agreement is going to be a torrential sh*tstorm when it finally descends upon us.

As I write this, we are suppose to be in Hawaii in 35 days. Clearly to the indifferent military bureaucracy, that is plenty of time to relocate military member, military family and household goods overseas. To the planning milspouse, 35 days without any concrete plans except our lease ending is nothing but severe agitation (read: bitchiness). I know I will be jumping through hoops to get my end of the deal done without penalty and on deadline.  Everything hinges on a packout date!

Meanwhile, I am going through the dwindling pantry coming up with creative menus. I am purging. I am avoiding dealing with the self-perpetuating mounds of papers. (Seriously, where does it all come from?) I’m wondering how we are going to transport our high value items that we usually partial-DITY move with a trailer.

I am manning the homefront and waiting for the hubby to get home from his extended TDY – 2 more weeks to go. I am less than amused when I receive a text that he is enjoying beer & exchanging stories with his classmates after work. Sounds so carefree & relaxing…. I am have become bitter and resentful and not sure how to let go of what I consider a very unbalanced situation. (Sanity check: I decided to dine out for dinner with the kiddos tonight.)

There is always the balancing act of living in the present and preparing for the future when dealing with the military move. Usually, I research online extensively about the next location. But this year, I have little extra brain matter and haven’t prioritized the time to research, so it will be a true adventure upon arrival, which I’m sure will make for some interesting, blissfully ignorant, situations.  We are, after all, “stuck” on an island for 2 years.

Honestly, I am trying to not get ahead of myself. I am trying to keep in together in the here and now – the last 5 weeks have been a whirlwind (Spartan Race, completed the last of the 350 hours for massage license re-certification (and still have 1 more hurdle to go!), dance recital, TKD tournament, birthday celebration, end of school year things, and EFMP/overseas medical clearance shenanigans) – and while I had grandparent reinforcements here for a few of those weeks, I have been doing this solo and my brain capacity has been maxed out. Even though I am excited for the next leg of the journey in Hawaii, we are taking it one day at a time. Just waiting impatiently for orders, so we can get on the housing list (I can’t even begin to think about schools & rentals.) and deal with TMO.  Fun, fun!

How do you handle the uncertainty of a military move?

Valerie
#getamassage

A Year of Fun & Fitness in Montgomery, Alabama

Hello Nametag
I have recently relocated to Montgomery, Alabama (Maxwell AFB).

One question looming, as I unpack the house, navigate through a new city, get my family settled, is how much do I invest of myself in this community?

Our time here is short.  As I write, we are 3-months down of an 11-month stay.  Already the powers that be in Military Assignments are working on our next assignment.  I liken it to “Assignment Roulette,” as we truly have no control where the next assignment will be (although I’m hoping, not so secretly, that it’s DC!).

I think the holding pattern of thinking “I’m only here for 10 months – why bother?” is prevalent among the milspouse community here because of the nature and timing of the military school environment.  The local community, while welcoming, also knows it’s a revolving door of military families.

I can’t think about the next move yet, when I have a life right here and now to live presently and fully.   I do not want to be in a holding pattern.  Instead, I am using this time to pursue my self interests.   For the record, I considered working but my resume/track record/present career goals need a major overhaul before this is a viable option, but one that needs to be addressed before the next move.  (I will be exploring this topic at length this year because military spouse employment opportunities and challenges are a real issue for our community.)

I have decided that this is my year of writing and working out, aka fun & fitness.  These are things that I always want to do, but I frequently pushed them off my to do list at our last duty location in Texas.  I am writing and working out, no excuses.  I am making connections, making new friends and acquaintances.  I am volunteering.

I will leave Montgomery a better person, or at the very least, more fit.

How are you using your time and talents in your new location?

Valerie