Down to the wire!

All sorts of happenings (and mishappenings) over here! This is our last weekend down on the Chattahoochee. The “storage” movers come on Monday, Chuck graduates on Tuesday, and the final round of movers come on Wednesday. The cleaning lady comes on Thursday morning, inspection is Thursday afternoon, and then we are out of here Friday morning!

Currently, I’m most annoyed at Craigslist and the vet clinic. I’ve “sold” our washer and dryer about 3 times this week, but the buyer always backs out before even seeing the damn things. It has to be gone by Sunday, so I dropped the price and am carefully waiting to see which of my two pending offers comes through at this point. I’m tired of being stood up!

As for Annie – I heard from the Japanese quarantine services, and apparently she needed to be vaccinated for rabies TWICE after the insertion of her microchip (she’s was vaccinated once after they put it in.) The poor thing is practically glowing with antibodies already (and I have the blood test results to prove it), but I got an emergency appointment for Monday afternoon. I can only hope it still counts! It’s too bad I can’t trust the vet to know what they’re doing and I’m having to scramble before we leave the state… oh well. So long as I get her into the country, and she doesn’t have to stay locked up for 6 months after all this effort, it’ll be good…

BUT! I am excited to be moving on. There’s a lot that needs to happen, but I am ready. Plus – Chuck and I head to Europe in 10 days!! Woohoo!!

Some days, I love my quiet life in yoga pants, with no alarm clock, snuggling with the Bean, and taking my French lessons. Other days, I really miss being a professional who engages with and contributes to something every day… taking on the world in 4-inch heels!

Maybe I am meant for part-time work. Three days a week! Americans are notorious for working too much, right? 🙂

But, I also like money… so there’s that.

Just got our Japan itinerary…

… And it’s the most long-winded, annoying trip ever! Seriously, who plans these things..?

April 9th, we fly DC —> Atlanta —> Seattle.

April 10th, we fly Seattle —> Yokota Air Force Base —> Iwakuni Marine Base —> Kadena Air Force Base, ultimately arriving in Okinawa on April 11th.

I’m so worried about Annie. That is a longggg journey with a lot of transfers! I’m worried she is going to get lost, or sick. In my experience, cats won’t pee on stressful trips. Crazy cat lady Mama is going to be out in full force, that’s for sure.

But, it is moving right along, regardless. Our first round of movers come TOMORROW. We are sending over an air mattress, sheets, towels, toilet paper, lamps, and the microwave in this early shipment. Should be good things to hold us over before the rest of our stuff arrives at the new house. It will be funny getting through the next 3 weeks without a microwave here though…! I don’t think either of us appreciates how much we actually use it. We will soon! Ha 🙂

What a goofy week…

1) Uncle dies. I was not particularly close to him, and his life was fairly depressing… but still. RIP, Uncle Bill 😦

2) Mom suddenly resurfaces. After 6 months of relative silence and “treatment” (aka punishment for her recent offenses), she is back on the streets of Colorado. What is even more depressing about the whole situation (besides the fact that it’s freezing cold everywhere lately) is that my Dad seems to have harbored a belief somewhere deep down that the “treatment” was going to help. He still clings to this shred of hope that perpetually leads to disappointment…

3) I got food poisoning Monday night, and while the puking has subsided, I still get bouts of wooziness and I tire easily. Damn you, expired Pillsbury Cinnamon Rolls!

4) My sister’s dog basically has two bum lungs, and needs to have his chest cut open to have them fixed, at a very high cost. If not, he dies. He’s already had several liters of air pumped out of his chest cavity already. Basically, her dog is to her what Annie is to me, so… I feel Bonni’s despair.

5) I went to the doctor before Christmas for my pre-Japan medical clearance, all on top of things and ready to go. I repeatedly asked for confirmation paperwork and signatures, but was emphatically told I did not need any. Turns out she was wrong, wrong, wrong, so I get paperwork from some random source in Japan and go back this week, still woozy from the food poisoning. She doesn’t understand the papers, so she sends me home while she calls around to figure them out. As it turns out, she isn’t qualified to do medical clearances, and I’m supposed to go to some other place that does them. Now I’m trying to schedule doctor’s appointment #3, but no one will pick up their phone! Of course, we can’t finalize or book anything until we are cleared. I can’t decide if it’s the military at large that is incompetent, if it’s me, or if it’s just the Army. Ha! 

6) I have to take the Bean to the worst vet appointment ever, but you all already know about that. 180-day quarantine started yesterday (at least it’s in-home!)

Grrr. Can this week be over already? I need a fresh start.

2013: A Year in Review

Actually, I’d like to talk about more than just one year. Specifically, I want to talk about the past 3 years! Only because I feel as though 2014 is the beginning of a whole new era, and it’s rather unbelievable how much has happened in that relatively brief period of time. The events of those years have ultimately culminated into what I am feeling at this very moment, and captures an interesting combination of emotion, growth, and self-discovery that I know is not nearly finished yet.

In that time as a new wife between 2010 and 2013, I’ve been through two deployments, two work-ups, three less-than-desirable moves (about to do a fourth), and said goodbye to two really good jobs – not to mention friends, family, and ready access to some of my favorite things. Sure, I’ve dealt with a little resentment in the process (and probably still will from time to time), but I’ve also experienced things that have added new dimension to my life, in all kinds of ways that I like to think make me happier and more interesting than I was before. I worked in the medical community. I lived on the beach. I diversified my resume in the business community. I visited beautiful Southern cities and held baby tigers. I learned the inner workings of (and made a name for myself in) a whole new city. And with frequent moves and long separations, I learned my own strength. Essentially, the past few years have forced me to create opportunity for myself in new and unexpected ways.

Now, I’m about to embark on a new adventure with my husband and partner in crime. I can’t lie – the first few weeks after hearing the news were really difficult and full of inner turmoil, but now I am remarkably at peace with it. In fact, I am even excited about it, and look upon the move with inspiration and hope for the great (and even the not so great) experiences it will bring.

I do struggle with some things that come with being a military spouse (and I try not to struggle too much out loud), but the truth of the matter is that Chuck is the best thing to ever happen to me, and I love him and my little Annie Bean more than anything in the world. I know how rare and special it is to find that kind of love and family and adventure, and I want to be sure I never take that for granted, in 2014 and beyond…

Too much spaghetti

Chuck always says that women have spaghetti brains, while men have waffle brains. Women can think of multiple things at once, and often manage to get them all tangled together as part of some complex relationship with random connections. Men prefer to compartmentalize, thinking of one (maybe two) things at one time, and often fail to make connections among them (because in their view, those connections likely don’t exist anyway.)

Lately I’ve been dealing with bouts of insomnia, and it’s totally due to my spaghetti brain. I am trying to process things that have already happened, and things that will happen soon. I will spare you the details of each and every noodle, but I will say that I am completely bipolar over this Japan thing.

One day, I can’t believe it’s happening – and the resentment bubbles up in me like an over-carbonated soft drink (sorry, I spent too much time at the Coke Museum yesterday…) The next day, I feel like if the orders were changed to somewhere else, it’ll be as if a unique opportunity was taken from me, and I jinxed it with negative thinking.

Much of the time, these switches can change from minute to minute, not even day to day! Oy vey, I need to relax. There’s nothing I can do about it anyway. It just makes me think harder about what I want for my (our) future, and how much control over it I’m willing to give up… Which only serves to start a whole new cycle of stressors..!

Fresh Day, Fresh Perspective

So, today I’m thinking I overreacted to the news of us potentially moving to Okinawa. Now that I’ve allowed it to digest, I’m starting to see it as more of an adventure than a lost opportunity. Everything has its pros and cons, but I think it could be fun. It could certainly be better than moving to another dead-end American town, that’s for sure.

As for that “day-to-day” experience I was worried about – it may be a great time to finally pursue an online Masters degree. That way, when I re-enter the work force in 3 years, I won’t have totally lost my relevance…

Of course, I really shouldn’t be putting so much thought into this anyway. The military is notorious for changing its mind, and we don’t even have orders yet!

Surprise…!

… we are moving to Okinawa.

Actually, we don’t have orders yet, so I am trying not to freak out more than I already have. In an unexpected, early announcement from Chuck’s monitor, we found out we are “slated” to move to Japan in the spring. This is not great news for either of us, but especially for me. What the heck am I going to do in Okinawa? 😦

There is still hope though – Chuck is going to call the monitor and see if we have any other choice. This was not even remotely on our list of preferences, and we are still wondering why we weren’t given any options in the first place (like everyone else we know has.)

I’m just… tired. Twice this year I’ve had my hopes up for something a little better around the corner, but things just keep getting worse. I hate to be dramatic – and yes, I’m sure I’ll find things to love and experiences to value in Okinawa, just like I did in NC and GA – but I don’t particularly want to spend the next three years of my life on a remote, isolated little military base in the middle of the Pacific…

Giant chocolate cake is in the oven…

Tuesday…

This is the first full week I’ve had in a while where I have nothing big coming up, and I’m not recovering from anything just past. The next several weeks should be like that, which is kind of nice. Here’s a small life update:

  • Friday, we went to the PX to stalk Sarah Palin (not because we’re fans, but just because.) She was in town for a book signing. I was shocked at how many people showed up, especially women. I honestly didn’t think that many people liked her…
  • Saturday, Chuck went to the Marine Corps Ball, and I stayed home and watched Miss Universe. We figured it wasn’t worth $135 for us both to go to a party where we know no one. We’ve been to enough parties lately. Even Chuck was anxious to slip away.
  • Sunday we went to a local ice hockey game with another couple from Chuck’s class. That was really fun! I didn’t want to get attached to anyone while I’m here, but I’m getting increasingly fond of those two. Dang it! 🙂 
  • I’ve been to the gym a few more times with Chuck, but not as much as I’d like due to his schedule. I’m not quite ready to go on my own yet. I’m still getting the hang of the exercises and the machines, and a military base gym is rather intimidating. Way too many men being all beefy and making me feel uncomfortable. 
  • I’m noticing lately that I’m falling more nicely into the stay-at-home-wife routine than I was before. I hope I’m not getting addicted to sleeping in, being accountable to no one, etc. But it’s better than being overly anxious about it, I guess!
  • Season 3 of “Homeland” is awesome.
  • Chuck’s monitor asked for our top 3 picks for next duty station. I wish we could see a list of options, so we can pick 3 that may actually exist, but the good news is that MAYBE we will know where we are headed next by Christmas! 
  • We took the plunge and got a grown-up, rewards-based credit card. I’m pretty excited about it, and have had fun revamping our financial plan and our approach to making purchases. I only wish we had gotten it months ago, before we dropped thousands on weddings and a DITY move. C’est la vie! Speaking of which…
  • French is finally getting harder, and I’m loving it!

That’s pretty much it. My brain is feeling kind of warbled today (been battling a headache since 2 AM!) so I’m not even sure I’m making much sense. I can’t believe Thanksgiving is next week already – and Christmas is just about a month away! In some ways, time sure is flying…