Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Moving On Up

My apologies. I haven't posted in a really long time, because I am currently involved in the craziness that is the Army PCS (Permanent Change of Station--for all who are not hip to my random acronymns.)

As I have been preparing for our move these past several weeks, I have uncovered a few fun facts:

1. There is no amount of prep work you can do to protect yourself from the chaos that is moving day. You will know for weeks that a move is on the horizon, but your official paperwork will not be signed until it all comes down to the wire. Consider it the Murphy's Law of the Army.

2. There will never be enough time for goodbyes. All at once, your paperwork is processed and movers are scheduled to come in a week. All of the little jobs you were doing to "help with the move" are forgotten as you widly fling things into your husband's garage and try to pencil in as many coffee dates as you can into the next seven days.

3. Moves become substantially more difficult when you have A) a child in school and B) a dog. You start to worry if it will ever be possible to find a house with a fenced backyard that is in a reputible school district. You start to wonder why you constantly pay $350 pet deposits for a dog you only paid $100 for. You start to wonder how much your child actally needs a kindergarten education.

4. The biggest jobs are the last to get done. You are doing things, just not important things. I might not sort through and properly file my legal documents before the move, but I will sort through and organize my ribbon drawer. I might not compose the case study for my certification that I need to complete in the midst of this move, but I will write this blog :)

5. Things you've waited on for months will come together just in time for you to leave them. The restaurant that you have anxiously watched being built will open a few short weeks after you're gone. The jalepeno plant that you planted in March will just now begin producing peppers. The dance recital your daughter has worked on for the past three months is scheduled for 8 days after you leave.

6. You have WAY more crap in your house than you think you do. I have spent every free minute of the last two weeks sorting through rooms in our house and making a yard sale pile in my husband's garage. You can no longer walk through the garage, and it didn't make an ounce of difference in the house.

7. You have WAY more food in your house than you think you do. I go to the grocery store about once a week because we are "out of food." Now that I am trying to use up my pantry/freezer odds and ends that can't move with us, I've realized that I always have enough food left over at the end of the week to host a small dinner party and a cookie exchange. I also discovered that I might be a contender for the next Iron Chef America...as long as the secret ingredient is spaghetti sauce.

8. You will get sentimental about things you wouldn't expect. I fully admit that I was less than excited when I learned that we were going to be moving to our current duty station. And I am pretty sure that I cried for about two weeks straight after I got here. But somewhere in the last 3+ years, this place has become my home. I am going to miss the rugged desert mountains. I am going to miss the amazing sunsets. I am going to miss the mild winters. I am going to miss my delicious Mexican food. I am going to miss the house that I watched my youngest child learn to walk in/run around. I am going to miss the playground where my oldest child learned to cross the monkey bars. I am going to miss the crazy half-wall in the front of my house that displays our family portraits And of course, I will miss the people.

9. You will always worry about what lies ahead. Moving is certainly an adventure-a chance for a new beginning. But it is also a blank slate, and starting over gets scarier the older you get. There is always fear of the unknown---Will I like it there? Will we find a good house? Will my kids adjust quickly? Is my husband going to like his new job? Is my husband moving into a deployable unit? Will I be able to find work? Will I be able to make friends as great as the ones I am leaving?---Though I am still relatively new to this Army Wife gig, I am guessing this part is something that never gets easier and never goes away.

10. You will always be grateful for how far you've come. Every time we move forward, I always reminisce on where we started. For us, it was a college town in a two bedroom/1 bath "house" with a baby. Everyone starts out with nothing, but we are not exaggerating when we talk about what little we had: two lawn chairs, a small television on a milk crate, a desktop on a busted card table, four warped plastic plates, an end table that we can now only assume was given to us from an abandoned crack house (we will save that one for another blog,) and a dresser that we did not have to pay sales tax on if we did not need a receipt. Now I sit in a house that is so fully furnished, the movers questioned our initial 12,000 lb quote. (My husband's collection of barbeque pits and gun cases probably contributes to the weight just a touch, but I digress.) I've heard it said that if you are worthy with little, the Lord will bless you with much. I believe that. We took our crack table and milk crates and did our best to turn it into a home for our little family. Now our accumulation of furniture has grown. Our family has grown. Our responsibilities have grown. Our aspirations have grown. And our love has grown.

I am blessed beyond measure with the life I've been given, and I can't wait to continue building our life in our next home...even if I am a little apprehensive about leaving this one!

See you on here again once I get where I'm going. :)